Café Biologique

Third Year BSc students at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have set up an initiative called Café Biologique to bridge the gap between students at the College and professionals. But who are they, what have they done and what are they aiming for?

During their studies at the RVC, Josef Huntington, Annabelle Loustric, Kirstie Lucas and Mahnoor Khan noticed a sizable gap in career communication at the College other than that geared towards veterinary or postgraduate veterinary study. So, with the support of Charlotte Lawson (Course Leader), Sophie Pullen (Educational Development), Morag Walling (Careers) and Janette Pickles (LBIC Operations Manager), Café Biologique was born to inspire students to explore careers other than Veterinary Medicine. The initiative is to create an informal, friendly networking environment.

With a maximum of 30 students, two or three main speakers and some additional professionals, students feel comfortable to ask questions and engage one-to-one, building their networking skills and creating a student-professional network that both parties can utilise in the future. All speakers are based within the biology field, showing students where their BSc in a biologyrelated subject can take them. Over the past year, Café Biologique has hosted a wide array of events focusing on potential careers, from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) for science communication to BUGS Bioscience for Biotechnology start-up and entrepreneurial expertise. The initiative has been incredibly well received and has had great success over the past year, with increasing attendance at events and external speaker recruitment, with the Continued from front page year ending in receiving generous funding from LBIC to develop the enterprise further. Now, that is the history, what are Café Biologique planning on achieving this year? The funding is going into marketing Café Biologique, creating a solid grounding for students to carry on the initiative in the coming years. Alongside this, they are setting up the RVC’s first BSc Third Year Dissertation Conference and Poster afternoon, to showcase the quality of research that students undertake at the RVC, providing them with presentation experience and the chance to meet potential employers. In addition, they want to increase the access students have to the entrepreneurial community and the accompanying expertise.

With LBIC just next door providing the perfect platform for students to come and engage with successful biotechnology companies and hone their skills, Café Biologique aims to provide a means for students to grow their own ideas and enhance their business skills: after all, we are in the era of the biotech! Confirmed speakers for the coming year include the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza and CRUK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories, proving the sky is the limit for this initiative and the growing reach of Café Biologique. If you are interested in contacting Café Biologique to find out more, please email: cafebiologique@rvc.ac.uk.