What a STEM Student could get from an Alumni Mentor

Posted by S Donaldson on 29 June 2015

Michael Ezra, Regional Business Manager Western Europe at Biotech Vision Care Pvt.ltd., graduated in 1989 from Queen Mary University London with a BSc in Molecular Biology.

Michael spent the next 24 years working for a variety of Pharmaceutical companies, mostly in Sales and Marketing positions before settling 2013 in Biotech, a global manufacturer and supplier of intraocular lenses (IOLs), ophthalmic solutions and equipment for the ophthalmic industry.

He is now an industry mentor for undergraduate Science and Engineering students helping them to explore the Pharmaceutical industry he works in to gain confidence in the recruitment process.

What excites you about being a mentor?

It gives me the opportunity to think in a more focused way about my own work when I am guiding others, and also I like the feeling of helping others to achieve their goals.

How can you as a mentor help a STEM student understand their strengths?

Simply by telling them what strengths I observe during our mentoring sessions. I would be quite honest if I felt something important was lacking. As a mentor I can help a student become more confident by showing them tactics for securing a first job, with the do's and don'ts of job applications and job interviews.

How crucial do you think networking is for getting on to the career ladder?

It is much more important nowadays to get in front of employers face-to-face at every possible opportunity, because the whole blind CV application is encouraging unlimited applications globally and not restricted to the UK (nationally) because of the internet's global reach, which is not only causing UK nationals to compete with global applicants for the same job, but also it is driving the salaries down as a result of foreign workers from poorer economies willing to take the job at much lower salaries. It is becoming more common place that one job advertised gets around 500 applicants (500 CVs sent online!) and it becomes a lottery instead of the best candidate for the job.

Written by Jacqueline Steinmetz, Mentoring Coordinator, Careers & Enterprise, QMUL

Topics: networking, STEM

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