IMPRS graduates proceed to accept positions at renowned research institutions, build up new research groups in their countries of origin, or start to apply their skills in a wide range of professions beyond the science track. A few years into their professional career, former graduates will have gained valuable insight about what in their PhD education mattered most, in retrospect, to prepare them for the career they now have. They will also be well-networked in their respective professions. They represent an attractive resource to tap into for those following after them.
Overall, the current students and the numerous alumni combined constitute a significant talent pool where members can mutually benefit from connections between each other. Graduates may learn about career opportunities or collaboration options at alumni's institutions (scientific or other). Alumni may value the option to advertise positions, and suggest talent for recruitment to their employer, from a pool with an educational background well known to them. More generally, both students and alumni may find it productive to exchange information about career paths and career choices based on their shared educational experience.
Alumni may also simply be interested to keep in touch and be curious about what is becoming of their former fellow students, the IMPRS, and its growing member network. Likewise, the IMPRS is very interested to follow the diversity of career paths its graduates are pursuing, and to invite them to inspire junior researchers.
In order to provide opportunities for former and current IMPRS members to interact, the IMPRS offers infrastructure such as a mailing list, short profiles for many alumni on the old web pages, and as a very recent addition a LinkedIn group (currently being set up - stay tuned for the initial invitations coming soon). The IMPRS has also held a few alumni-related events already, with more in planning.
Larger communties across multiple disciplines are the Max-Planck-Society-wide social network maxNet, with includes an MPS-specific group and several regional alumni groups, as well as the university alumni clubs, which equally offer regional and subject-based subgroups on the various social networks where they are present.
Alumni events at MPS
Speed informing event in 2014
During a career development workshop for PhD students and postdocs, the IMPRS offered the first speed informing event, held in the foyer of the MPS. Pairs of junior researcher had 15 minutes to ask career questions to one alumna, then on the whistle signal rotated to the next alumnus. These time constraints lead to very intensive interactions. The positive feedback both from the visiting alumni as well as from the participating students suggests that this format should be repeated soon.
Max Planck Symposium for Alumni and Early Career Researchers
Rocks'n'Stars II conference in 2017
The school celebrated its 10th anniversary with a student-organised conference called "Rocks'n'Stars" in 2012. The second edition Rocks'n'Stars II" is planned for 13 - 15 September 2017 and will include an alumni day on 16 September 2017.
Memories from Lindau times
Alumni pages of the International Max Planck Research School for Physical Processes in the Solar System and Beyond at the Universities of Braunschweig and Göttingen