IMFSE networking, Fact or a Myth?!

To continue my reviews regarding the IMFSE promotions which I have started in my last  Blog. This blog will be about Networking!

If I got to choose one of the best benefits of the IMFSE program, I will pick networking. After graduating, I understood what it means to build such a strong network in your field before the end of my degree. The IMFSE program will not only give you the chance or the contact of as many experts and members of the fire safety community as you need, but they will also bring these people right in front of you in different events. Literally, you will have to network even if you did not want to. For example, the fire safety days, every year the IMFSE program organize an event called the fire safety day. During this event, the following combination of people will gather:

  1. The first and second IMFSE students, they will be able to meet each other and communicate. From my experience, this is very important if you are a first-year student you will need to hear as many stories as possible not just about the coursework but also about how to deal with your next university, when to start looking for jobs and how to prepare for interviews…etc.
  2. The IMFSE alumni, despite the fact that it is sometimes too hard to have many former IMFSE students to attend the event because of their tied schedule, still you will find four or five of them attending. The former students will be like movie stars, every single student wants to talk to them and get to know how it’s like to be a graduate. Current students will benefit from their experience in job hunting and also some of the IMFSE alumni will help to pass CVs to their HR departments for those who are interested in joining their companies.
  3. Many IMFSE lecturers, every year the IMFSE program is held in a different country between the UK, Belgium, and Sweden. That gives the chances for the IMFSE lecturers from the three different universities to attend the event easily. This highly enriches the discussions during the day and also help the students who might not study in one of the three universities to still be able to meet the professors there and communicate with them.
  4. The industry representatives, based on the discussion topic some of the IMFSE industrial sponsors sends representatives to give a short presentation, take part in the discussions and also promote their companies to the IMFSE students. During the event, the IMFSE students can easily discuss the jobs and internships opportunities with them.

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This picture was taken last February in Lund university during the third fire safety day. The first and second-year students, IMFSE alumni, IMFSE lecturers and Industry representatives in one frame.

You can read more about the fire safety days in this Blog written by Darko.

Also having three other partner universities from Switzerland, USA and Queensland will stretch the communication web from America all the way to Australia. For example during the graduation this year we had prof. Jose Torero and Juan Hidalgo so those who did not have the chance to do their thesis in Australia will be able to meet with Juan as a representative of Queensland to discuss any opportunities.

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Our coherent were also lucky to have the IAFSS Symposium this year in Lund and attend it as volunteers which were a networking heaven. We were able to communicate face to face with almost everybody in our field. You can also read more about the IAFSS Symposium in this Blog by Darko.

One more example of the networking efforts, during our third semester at the University of Edinburgh; we were invited to two events to meet with Arup engineers to discuss their projects, the internship, and work opportunities. The first event was a casual breakfast with few Arup graduate engineers, this event was too valuable; we were able to have simple conversations with the graduate engineers and ask them all the questions related to the interviews and the application process. The second event was done by an Arup engineering team where they presented a couple of their major projects, after the presentation we were able to meet with the team manager and discuss all our inquiries.

After graduating, it is too easy to see the impact of these communications. If you are going to industry and doing interviews, don’t be surprised when you find an IMFSE alumnus (who you might already know him) or a manager who you know him personally is interviewing you.  If you will be looking for a Ph.D., you will most probably know the prospective supervisors and there is a very high chance that you met them before and an extremely high probability that they already knew your IMFSE master thesis supervisor, which will make the admission and selection process goes very smooth.

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