Case study: Dr Fanny Burrows and Biointeractions
Project duration: 2 years
End date: 02/11/2010
How did you find the support once the partnership began?
The support was great and immediately evident from multiple departments and experts. BioInteractions are an extremely hands on company so offered me continual support to make sure I personally was developing at a high calibre rate.
How did the triangular relationship between the business, the University, and yourself result in being a key factor in your development?
There was an immediate benefit for me being an Associate in this particular project as the relationship between BioInteractions and the University of Reading already existed due to the company being based on the University campus. In addition to this, there had been a previous KTP before mine, so both parties already had an understanding of what to expect. Although the close proximity did make things a lot easier, I know even if Bio was off campus the relationship would still have been really strong; we had frequent meetings to propose new ideas, discuss budgets, and ensure we were all on board and on the same page with regard to the work we were doing. There was always a great synergy and I never got the impression that one partner was more or less invested than another.
Please could you describe the other benefits of becoming an Associate, especially with regard to after the project had finished?
The main benefit for me outside of the project itself was that I was permitted to start my PhD, and I was able to utilise the KTP as a platform to completion. The culmination of my PhD came some time after the completion of the project, and I was supported and encouraged to develop my education while the project was running and it was one of the many reasons I stayed on with the company so as to be able to finish my qualification with the same level of resources available to me. In addition to this, I took various management courses to help me develop my skills in finance planning, scheduling, proactivity and innovation. I learnt and am still learning invaluable project management skills, and as a direct result I am now comfortable and confident in taking on new assignments, including some forecasted international projects.
How do you think being employed under the partnership would differ from a standard post-graduate employment?
The biggest and most notable difference is that being employed as an Associate offers so much more; you have such an extensive level knowledge from all partners available to you with so many avenues to capitalise on and learn from. With the company and academic experts available, you're able to collaborate with both and absorb the knowledge from highly skilled and adept professionals, an advantage of which would be otherwise unavailable if not part of the KTP.
Would you recommend KTP to other graduates? If so, why?
I would definitely recommend it. For me, I would say it needs to be the right time for someone's career, but it's the best possible platform for someone who really wants to propel their professional future. You learn so much and do so constantly, and you can grow both personally and commercially. You're offered the courses and support to gain the tools to manage your career, along with development in your expertise when speaking to people from all different levels in many different sectors. Your confidence when you come out of a KTP is incomparable to when you went in, so you can take that next huge step forward into your future.
Finally, what one piece of advice would you give to a graduate considering KTP?
Ask for help! Make sure you utilise the network and support available to you, even if they're in different fields. The other Associates were a great help and always happy to offer support even if they were working in a completely different area to mine, so whether it be another Associate, a colleague, a superior, an Academic, or someone in the KTC, whoever it is just don't be afraid to ask; any of these are always happy to help when they can.