Dr Marcos del Cueto

When Marcos joined the Prosper pilot he had been a Research Associate at the University of Liverpool for one and a half years. Working in the School of Physical Sciences at the Department of Chemistry, Marcos specialised in the development of data-driven frameworks for materials science, and the application of machine learning to materials discovery.

Following his year with Prosper, Marcos was offered a very attractive job in industry as a Senior Data Scientist at Dataseat.

Role on starting Prosper cohort

Research Associate, School of Physical Sciences at the Department of Chemistry, The University of Liverpool. 

Case study conducted

August 2022. 

The challenge

Marcos felt he lacked a tangible understanding of the potential career pathways open to him beyond academia, and – like many postdocs – felt that other career and development resources online were too generic and often ill-suited to the particular situation he found himself in.

He wanted to learn more about how to make himself attractive to employers, and was keen to take advantage of the opportunity to engage one-to-one with senior representatives to get their insights, as well as connect with peers across the Prosper programme to share perspectives.

“I feared that when it came to employers outside academia, we postdocs can be appear too focused on the abstract, and not savvy enough regarding real-world applications.

The Prosper journey

Through individual and group coaching, Marcos was able to build a concrete sense of where his strengths lay, re-evaluate his goals, and identify specific steps to take. Sessions on informational interviews and job interview practice gave him a newfound confidence in engaging with employers.

“The coaching sessions were instrumental in enabling me to re-evaluate my goals and progress toward the next stage of my career.

Prosper resources also helped Marcos develop a more realistic and structured approach to exploring the world beyond academia and building his own professional profile and network. As well as learning how to match his CV and LinkedIn profile to the opportunities he was interested in, Marcos learned the importance of planning his activities in advance and deciding which chunks of time would be allocated to certain efforts – before long he was actively making lists of employers where he’d like to be potentially be working in 1-2 years time, and starting to contact individuals at those organisations.

“The resources Prosper offered were extremely engaging and helpful – one year on I felt much more confident about my ability to pursue opportunities beyond academia, and develop my career independently. It demystified a lot of the processes that were previously quite alien to me.

Next steps

Following his year with Prosper, Marcos was offered a very attractive job in industry as a Senior Data Scientist at Dataseat, where he uses a wide range of computational tools to improve the performance of programmatic advertising.

“Moving beyond academia had been in my mind for a while as a route to gain more stability, but I didn’t know if it would be career suicide or even where to start. Prosper was crucial to gaining confidence in transitioning beyond academia and shaping my profile to develop my career in the direction I want.

“Prosper was a major factor in my career transition beyond academia – I doubt it would have been anything near this frictionless a process without the support and resources it provided me.”

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