After more than one and a half year of zoom meetings, 30 PhD students of e-conversion had the chance to meet in person for the Winter Retreat 2021. The event is part of the clusters graduate program and took place from 2nd to 5th of November at Kloster Ettal in the south of Bavaria.
Surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, the participants eagerly discussed their scientific visions, questions, and challenges in this open and informal framework. The meeting especially offered a perfect starting point for interdisciplinary exchange and networking – or, as one of the Phd students put it: “It was amazing to meet people with the same research interests, yet different scientific background. Now I finally know who to contact for sample exchange, analytics, or theory.”
Creative input & All about the life after the PhD
The student board had put together a varied program with workshops and talks. Three workshops provided creative input on important non-scientific topics in the life of researchers – such as bringing an idea to the market or presenting their work to a broader audience: “How to design a scientific poster” (Golden rules of good design), “Science in 100 seconds” (Explainer video production), “Science and impact” (Fundamentals of entrepreneurship with a focus on the academic environment). In addition four inspiring talks by young employees of BMW, BASF, McKinsey, and Infineon gave insight in the carrier options after the PhD.
Highly positive feedback & New ideas
Despite of all the difficulties that come with organizing such an event during the pandemic, the retreat was a great success. “It was challenge to make sure to keep everyone safe, but we’re really happy that the whole event worked out so well,” states Clara from the student board. Inspired by the feedback of the participants, she and her board colleagues plan further career talks from academia and industry in the future. Furthermore, the established “Data & Dine” meetings will be continued where the PhD students present their research to the e-conversion graduate community. Depending on the current situation the event will take place either online or in person.