Entertaining the most highly qualified unemployed people in the country , the PostDoc Community @ Ghent University

When I met with PostDoc Pres/ Chemist / Mentor / fellow Expat César “he joked that the postdoc community are the most highly qualified unemployed people in the country…

It’s quite a confusing and insecure position to be in , you’re not quite employed and you’re not really a student… but your also essential to the education system mentoring the new generation of researchers, while also working on research that can lead to new life changing discoveries.

The big dream of a PostDoc is to become a professor, but unfortunately only a tiny percentage can actually become a professor. Surprisingly PostDocs don’t get to meet Professors, due to a busy schedule of mentoring and researching, they could be doing the most important work of their lives but never get to to talk about it to any professor….

Enter the PostDoc Kick-Start Event

What better way to get people talking than having fun. Discard the formalities and rigor of professional communication and be yourself for a little while.

The Event started off with honoring a few guests and congratulating them on their recent achievements and after a brief introduction about the PostDoc community, I was asked to come on stage and entertain these intelligent, time-poor scientists… and it was great.

Immediately I could feel the warmth coming back from the audience as I told them about my experience of living in Belgium as a foreigner and hearing that laughter of recognition as I explained my struggles with the Flemish Language.

Now we’re laughing

My host César came up with an ice breaker idea that was a kind of chaotic BINGO… and I helped as the MC but it was a bit like wrangling cats because there was wine and snacks flowing in and out through the tall tables… But it was all fun and everyone left in high spirits, not to mention it was success in that at the end of the evening Professors were talking with PostDocs and taking selfies and connecting on social media, which was the objective.

When I left there were still a few people chatting and another group left to go on a Boat tour and to take the party to the next level … maybe, I can only imagine… What do PostDoc do in their downtime ?