Case study: Dr Catrin Williams and Cultech Ltd
Project duration: 18 Months
End date 30/11/2014
How did you find the support once the partnership began?
I was really well supported from the start of the project both from Cultech and the University. The KTC team at Reading were great, and I was continuously supported by my Academic Advisor who was always happy to provide me with anything I needed, specifically with regard to project management. There was also a KTP Associate's forum where I was able to discuss my progress and development with other likeminded Associates in the same or similar positions.
How did the triangular relationship between the business, the university, and yourself result in being a key factor in your development?
As the Associate I was put in charge of the project so it was my role to keep regular contact with all the relevant parties. This gave me a real opportunity to development my leadership and project management skills, and also gave me the opportunity to gain experience in communication with all different levels in different industries. Maintaining a good relationship with each party was key to the success of the project, and each partner played their part in ensuring that happened.
Please could you describe the benefits of becoming an Associate, especially with regard to after the project had finished?
As an Associate I was able to take ownership of a project for the first time in my career. This was not only important for my future, but also very unique as it puts you in this position very early in your career which separates being employed from other post-graduate jobs out there. Additionally, as a result of the KTP I was able to redevelop my transferable, personal and technical skills, and was given the confidence to progress in my career and make informed, sensible choices on what I wanted to do moving forward. When the project finished I decided to return to Academia and apply for a fellowship, but without the project I never would have had the skills or confidence to go for such a prestigious award.
How do you think being employed under the partnership would differ from a standard post-graduate employment?
The KTP Associate position gives you the opportunity to claim ownership of your own project whilst focussing on the growth of your leadership skills, all at a very early stage of your career. It presents you with support and opportunities that simply wouldn't be available to you in another form of employment.
Would you recommend KTP to other graduates? If so, why?
I would definitely recommend a KTP; it gives you a really unique opportunity to develop your leadership skills, and exposes you to working in industry whilst still having the advantage of being linked to Academia. It also allows you to develop an extensive and invaluable network which will be useful throughout your career either in industry or higher education.
What one piece of advice would you give to a graduate considering KTP?
Believe in yourself and your abilities. It is daunting at the beginning of the project when you're set milestones and objectives and handed a venture you need to take ownership of, but there's always support on hand from the Supervisors, the company, and the University so you'll never be on your own. Additionally, the skills that you'll learn are going to be so useful throughout your career, so I would just say go for it!
You can read Catrin's complete case study here.