Réseaux-Stage: Helping students find their careers in pharma
The Faculty of Pharmacy at the Université de Montréal is one of the largest of its kind in Canada. There are nearly 1000 students enrolled in undergraduate studies and more than 250 students pursuing graduate studies.
The Baccalaureate in biopharmaceutical sciences focuses on the drug development process and prepares students to contribute to this field.
As a part of this initiative, the Faculty offers first and second-year students a careers networking event, known as the Réseaux-Stage, providing the perfect backdrop for them to develop their soft skills, meet with industry professionals, and find a summer internship.
Replicating matchmaking and networking dynamics online
Réseaux-Stage is based upon two things:
- To connect students with the right professionals via a matchmaking dynamic based on interests and expertise.
- To provide students with a fun and easy speed dating environment that sparks participation and engagement.
With no option to run the event in-person, the Faculty of Pharmacy took the decision to move the second edition of Réseaux-Stage online. Given that this would be their first time doing so, it was important to find an easy to use online events platform that could offer the event’s matchmaking and speed dating dynamics.
Putting students in front of the right professionals
Through Eventtia’s registration module, the Faculty made two separate forms, one for students and one for professionals. Along with the usual information, the Faculty added two drop down filters to the forms, one for interests and another for area of expertise, which were then used for scheduling the meetings.
By including two additional filters in the registration form, the students were able to identify the most relevant profiles related to their backgrounds. This allowed students to choose whom they wanted to meet with, ensuring a high standard of meetings.
Enabling the perfect networking environment
Because the information filled in from both sets of attendees on the registration form goes straight into the virtual stage, students and professionals alike could explore each other’s profiles and start scheduling meetings before the event had begun.
Both sets of attendees had the option to accept or reject a meeting then depending on the outcome, a notification email would be sent out. If a meeting was accepted it could then be viewed in the program of each of the participants. As seen in the photo below, the interests, expertise, and graduation year of the students could be viewed. Plus three buttons to add the meeting to the calendar, cancel the meeting, and join the meeting via its video streaming option.
All of the networking features and conditions were configured in the backend of Eventtia. 10-minute meeting slots were made and staff were able to monitor and control the number of meetings, by being able to view the number of meetings that had been accepted and rejected. In addition to being able to manually adjust meetings for students or professionals who were fully booked.
A positive outcome for future pharmacy professionals
This came in handy when the Faculty had to cancel meetings that students had scheduled with professionals due to them being overbooked. Given this, the event was a huge success.
In total, there were 434 scheduled meetings with all of the 88 students getting to speak with the 37 professionals that they wanted to. The event achieved its objective of motivating students and received positive feedback with 70% of them still in talks with employers for a summer internship.