Dr Dominic Chiwenga

When Dominic first joined the Prosper pilot, he’d been a Postdoctoral Research Associate at The University of Liverpool Management School for two years, where he works across the Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM) group to support research development. In addition to his academic work, Dominic has an extensive background working in production and operational management roles within the Agri-Food industry – experience which aligns with his research interests focusing on resilience and sustainability in food industry supply networks.

Following his year with Prosper, Dominic intends to found his own consultancy business to build and grow on the side.

Role on starting Prosper cohort

Research Associate, Management School, The University of Liverpool. 

Case study conducted

August 2022. 

The challenge

Having experienced both the academic and commercial world over the course of his career, Dominic was unsure of his medium-to-long-term plans. He wanted the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of his own drives and interests, as well as a better sense of his professional strengths and weaknesses, so that he could make more informed decisions about his future career path.

“I wanted to reassess my career development to date and its relationship to my true strengths, motivations and values. I didn’t feel as though I had enough information to develop a credible career plan – one that balanced my own interests with the various skills and attitudes sought after by employers.

The Prosper journey

Dominic found the extensive Prosper resources and information incredibly helpful in his quest to develop a better understanding of himself and a more detailed idea of the course he wishes to chart in the future.

The self-assessment tools together with the group and individual coaching sessions provided an ideal environment for self-exploration and discovery. Sessions with ex-postdocs who had themselves pursued a variety of pathways – some having stayed in academia, others having transitioned into the commercial world or started their own business – gave him a better sense of the practicalities, pros and cons involved in each, as well as a greater appreciation of the range of options open to someone in his position.

Prosper really opened my eyes to the opportunities available to someone with my strengths and motivations.”

The group sessions and social element enabled Dominic to meet other postdocs and ex-postdocs from a variety of circumstances and backgrounds that he would otherwise not have encountered – enabling him to expand his professional network along the way. And the tailored approach of the one-to-one coaching improved his confidence and empowered him to develop a more concrete career plan that worked for him.

Next steps

Prosper helped Dominic realise that he has the strengths and experience to thrive in both the academic and non-academic worlds should the right opportunity present itself. While he remains undecided whether his next role will be within or outside of academia, he now intends to found his own consultancy business to build and grow on the side.

“I have learned so much about myself – I’m now quite seriously exploring some career options that I would not have had the confidence to pursue a year ago. Whether in applications for new roles or in my current work I’m now more comfortable and confident expressing my strengths.

“Prosper has been an amazing journey full of self-discovery and development opportunities – it allowed me to re-evaluate where I was and re-imagine my future. The team were supportive and engaging, the sessions and resources incredibly informative.

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