INTERACT 5th School event

1. ORGANIZER AND LOCATION

The fifth school event was organised by UTCN online via Teams, on 10-11 February 2022. The organizing committee was composed of Claudia Martis (UTCN) and Anca Constantinescu Dobra (UTCN). It is important to note that the fifth school event was organized online due to the Covid Pandemic situation at the time of the event which prevented the organisation at UTCN, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. It was made such that external people outside INTERACT consortium could join through a request to be sent via the project website.

2. AGENDA OF THE SCHOOL EVENT

The fourth school event was organized in two modules preparing fellows to (i) Career development initiatives and to (ii) Management of technology transfer & innovation and entrepreneurship.
The first module was split into several sub-modules:
1. Career development initiatives

2. Management of technology transfer & innovation and entrepreneurship

3. CAREER DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES

The aim of the training was to train the researchers to identify and plan the key steps for shaping their career path. The activities provided the attendees with practical guidance regarding the professional experience required when applying for positions in academic/non-academic institutions. The workshop focused on the participants’ own work. The moderators worked with participants to address their concerns and the specificities of the individual situations.

From the beginning, the participants received useful tools designed to gain benefits from higher self-awareness. After they applied them, they were encouraged to share their thoughts, competencies as employees and they were able to identify (and had to think about) measures to overcome self-limiting beliefs. They were coached to learn more about their emotional and thought patterns.

In this part, the interaction was very good, even though the online training could be sometimes a real burden. They also should explore in depth their competencies, skills, talents and talk first in pairs with their mates and after with the groups all the findings, the differences in perceptions about the appropriateness of a specific skills for a job. The experimented coaches concludes the discussions after each theme, by emphasizing on the main concepts, or important issues. Also, they made the participants to feel comfortable in a safe environment and every techniques conducted the participants to the next content (new/additional experiments) that organized and prioritized the next steps to be done in order to apply for a new job.

In the second part, the organizational environment was assessed. The participants were split in two groups an each groups had to discuss a specific study case (the company game). The interaction was very good and they were highly involved in this task.

The CV and intention letter was discussed and some good and wrong example were presented. The participants should made they own document and pitch them to the others, but in this specific moment the engagement was average, maybe because this part was at the end of the day.

Therefore, the main teaching technique was „learning by doing”.

In conclusion, it can be considered that the aims of the training was achieved, the participants being more prepared to plan their carrier path in an organized manner. The session was moderated by Maria Dofeldt and Codruta Badea from Coach Connect Romania, a coach training institute and has been in the coaching space for more than 15 years. They offer ACTP accredited programs Made in Sweden by CoachCompanion. Delivered in Sweden, Finland, South Africa and Romania.

4. MANAGEMENT OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER & INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP.

The specific aims of the training was to instil the essential characteristics of the entrepreneurial mindset: the ability to confront self-doubt, accountability, resilience, and a willingness to experiment. Through entrepreneurship education and these characteristics can be developed just like the other skills and traits.

The first module challenge the PhD students to discover and analyze the existing entreprenorial competencies of their best manager in order to raise the awarness. They should categorise their skills according to the behavoiur of a leader, manager and coach. This discussion offered the opportunity for the trainers in the end to stress out the caracteristics of efficient and resilient entrepreneurs. It was a very fruitfull discussion with  a very high involvment of the participants.

The technology transfer exemples conducted the participants to think about thair business that can be launch on the market. The trainers helped the PhD students to shape their ideas, craft them with a repeatable process, and move them forward with capital. In this area, practice being decisive,  the participants “entrepreneurs” had to set specific goals, make decisions, from dealing with minor issues that arise to big-picture strategy and growth questions.

The teaching method was based mainly on study cases, projection, co-creation for clarifying some issues of an entrepreneurial process and “learning by doing”. The students worked in teams and they had to pitch their business idea in the end. A quiz on kahoot platform was implemented in order to assess the most appropriate questions for validate the business idea. The students keep their engagement at higher level: they put a lot of questions, pay attention on colleagues’ teams and gave advices.

For the last part, entrepreneurial mindset, the involvement decreased a little maiybe due to the fact that they were tired or the teaching method was lecturing.

Assessing the final pitch, it can be considerd that the PhD students improved ther entreprenurrial skils and set correctly the business plan.

5. CONCLUSIONS

The 5th event organized in the frame of INTERACT provided insights on carrier coaching and entrepreneurial mindset. Specialists from well-known companies like Coach Connect presented different techniques and methods for personal development in order to identify and plan the key steps for shaping the PhD career path. The trainings’ activities provided them practical guidance regarding the specific skills and competences required when applying for a job. Participants improved also their writing and oral communication competencies by focusing particularly on the specificity of each domain. The participants learned critical skills required in today’s work environment that they can put into practice immediately. The coaches addressed their concerns regarding individual situations. The good and wrong examples of engineers who applied worldwide for an academic or non-academic job shade a light on how to organize and properly plan the carrier development process for a long period of time. The self-discovery techniques brought a higher level of acknowledgement of their thinking mindset and enhanced emotional intelligence. The students got acquainted to HR headhunting procedures and their skills to pitch themselves were improved.

The second module made important contributions in entrepreneurial mindset. Developing and using entrepreneurial skills in their professional lives, will improve their performance in research activities along with their performance and potential for themselves and their teams. The presence of specialists in the field of entrepreneurship, experimented entrepreneurs form services or IT field from Entrepreneurial mindset and Linnify contributed to expand the participants’ knowledge in terms of how to approach research in order to transfer the results into the business environment. The entrepreneurial study cases help them to see the opportunities and to solve the problems of specific target market. Also, the customer discovery techniques support them to gain awareness of how they are in a leadership role. The role play exercises assist them to discover a healthy and effective leadership model. This knowledge, skills and competences are important elements in the training of young researchers who become more employable and efficient in their work.

FULL REPORT ON SCHOOL EVENT 5