Does it seem like a big decision to come and discuss your
career ideas and plans (or lack of) with an anonymous careers consultant? Maybe
this is something you’ve never done before?
We thought it might be helpful to know a little more about
the mysterious Jay and Kathy before you book an appointment, so that when we do
meet we won’t start as complete strangers to one other.
Let me introduce myself first; I’m Jay Willink Wilde. I have
20 years’ experience as a careers consultant in higher education, mostly with
The Careers Group, University of London. My first career episode was a PhD and
postdoctoral research in life sciences. I first looked at how different soil
micro-organisms could be used as biological control agents for a specific wheat
crop disease, within the broader movement to reduce global pesticide usage.
This was followed by a spell at one of the Medical Research Council’s labs using
molecular biology techniques to understand what can and does go wrong with the
genes that regulate cell division, growth and movement.
I enjoy moving between very different careers projects.
After my research work, I became a careers consultant in 1998 and enjoyed
helping people grow and make fulfilling career choices. My doctoral background drew
me into the then-new field of early career researcher development. I have since
worked with hundreds of PhD students and postdocs at UCL, Imperial College,
Goldsmiths’, Royal Holloway and SOAS. I feel really honoured to begin this new work
with the technē PhD students.
I’ve always had a foot in the arts. From my PhD onwards I was singing every
weekend in ensembles and, as I trained my voice, gaining as much solo
experience as I could. I eventually went part-time in my careers work and
successfully auditioned at Birmingham Conservatoire to study vocal performance,
where I graduated with a PGDip (Distinction) in 2002. I have also always
enjoyed making in textiles using techniques such as knitting, crochet,
hand-sewing and macramé.
I would identify as a portfolio or ‘slash’ careerist; what the
author Emilie Wapnick has called a multipotentialite.
My current activities include freelance careers consultant/trainee
From my conversations with technē students so far, I know that there are many other multipotentialites amongst you. I take
particular pleasure in helping people navigate and earn a living through the
complexities and richness of these non-linear, zig-zag careers.
Whatever your career aspirations and challenges, and whether
you are laser-focused or completely lacking a firm direction, I look forward to
working with you on your next professional steps.