My Summer of IP: personal stories #4

Watercolour-style image of apples on a treeOur 2023 Summer of IP programme provided a range of activities and events for would-be recruits to the IP professions – including introductions to the basics about IP and the careers available here, some more specific events to showcase particular types of career, and opportunities such as taster sessions and work experience placements from IP sector employers.

We asked participants to tell us about their Summer of IP experiences, what they learnt and what they enjoyed the most. We’ll be publishing the resultant blog posts here throughout the autumn. This one is from Rhina Houinato, a STEM graduate from the University of Leeds. She tells us about the value of the overall Summer of IP campaign and highlights the events she found particularly useful.

Rhina writes:

I was delighted to attend several virtual events at this year’s Summer of IP, as an early STEM graduate curious about a career in IP. I first learned about the Summer of IP events through a post from the employability team associated with my university, which directed me to the IP Inclusive website. Having previously unsuccessfully applied for a position as a trainee IP attorney, I had already established an interest in IP as a career path, but was discouraged about pursuing such opportunities any further, given I didn’t know much about the field. The Summer of IP campaign outlined some relevant resources and events that answered important questions for me at the time, particularly the range of roles available and what the ideal candidate would look like to employers. I was also attracted by the possibility of work experience opportunities, as this could be a great way to gain more intimate knowledge of what a role in the IP sector could look like for me.

I most enjoyed the “Different types of IP” live event hosted by Powell Gilbert. It was a very informative presentation, with excellent speakers that gave great introductory insight into the different types of IP, with real life case studies that exemplified the use and implications of these protections. It also tied in very well with a previous talk hosted by Chris Burnett on the different careers in IP. Thus, I really enjoyed the “Types of IP” event as I already had a basic understanding of how different attorney roles engage within the IP sector, and was able to participate in the discussion by answering some questions asked by the speakers. For example, one new concept I learned about was the shelf life of copyrights, and how this changes across different types of protected work (eg films vs written works).

This event in particular definitely encouraged me to continue pursuing a career in IP, as I felt generally more informed about what a variety of roles required, and more empowered to seek out further resources that could propel me further. Subsequent online Summer of IP events were also very helpful, as I had the opportunity to hear about the experiences of current IP professionals and their journeys into patents. I believe I have benefited from this event in other ways as well, as I can refer to this experience as tangible evidence of my interest and intent to pursue a career in IP in a cover letter or statements for applications. Additionally, I have taken note of some of the key attributes and skills for roles in patents that most interest me from some of the talks. By utilising advice from the speakers, I can focus on finding opportunities that help improve and demonstrate relevant skills (eg analytical skills, communication, business acumen).

Overall, I would definitely encourage other graduates or individuals generally curious about IP to keep an eye out for future IP Inclusive events, and generally resources from IP career sites. I especially appreciate that the Summer of IP campaign maintains a sensitivity and inclusivity to currently under-represented groups in IP. It is my hope that I can utilise the knowledge I have learned from these events to exemplify the importance of diversity in fostering creativity and innovation in a profession that is so globally and economically significant.

 

Our thanks to all the IP professionals and organisations who helped to make Summer of IP a success, and in particular to Powell Gilbert for organising and hosting the “Different types of IP” event that Rhina refers to. There’s more about this and the other Summer of IP introductory events here – including links to the recordings and follow-up resources.

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