2020 - What an NGC Year!

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Like every December, it is time for us to think about what has happened in the past 12 months and how NGC has evolved during 2020. Our scientific events were dealt a hard hand at the dawn of a new organisational era, while our career talks and our blog had to take a hiatus to regroup and reorganise. Let’s see what happened.

The year started off with a shift toward business-oriented talks at our Career Events for Life Scientists, which are funded by the Gutenberg Nachwuchs Kolleg (GNK) of Mainz University. From entrepreneurship to sales and venture capitalism, we learnt how life scientists fit in the world of business and debunked some myths about sales representatives and venture capitalism. But that was just the beginning of 2020 and things changed soon. The COVID-19 pandemic knocked at our doors and we found ourselves forced to be at home and maintain distance from those who are not our keens. Travel was no longer possible, and so events that would gather people in person.

Like everyone else, the NGC Team adapted, got “digitalised” and mastered the use of Zoom to host virtual career talks.

It took us a few months until we were able to offer our first virtual career talk, but we managed to bring interesting speakers to talk about their careers from Germany, Switzerland and the UK. The new life of our career talks as virtual events allowed us also to expand our local reach, attracting audiences also from other institutes located on Mainz’s campus, as well as from the neighbouring Frankfurt and Darmstadt. Overall, the necessity to avoid meetings in person boosted our visibility giving us more enthusiastic followers who benefit from our events, and expanded our network of speakers outside of national borders.

Long hours at the computer, home office and the lack of a regular social routine were taking a toll also on our blog team. With less events taking place, it became more difficult to find interesting content for our blog. Moreover, the diversity of our team, that is 75% non-German, greatly influenced those of our team who have been facing the pandemic and its challenges far away from their families. The time had come to take a small break and give NGC a restyling. Thanks to indefatigable Heiko’s work picking colour palettes, designing web pages and coding, we now have an amazing new website on a new domain.

At last, the difficulties brought by the pandemic did not allow us to offer scientific talks, but we still helped some PhD students to get ready for the big day by rehearsing their defence with us. However, this has not stopped us and we welcomed two new team members who decided to join us and support our activities.

This year has been unlike any other we have experienced in our lives. It has put all of us to the test and thrown us curveballs. But right at the end it gives us a small present, that vaccine that we hope will help us, protecting people to take back some hints of an “ordinary life”.

Like we did at NGC for our events, people and employers adapted and developed. We are now waiting for a 2021 of further development, with new people, new energy and new opportunities!

Have a great start of the New Year and see you in 2021, folks!


Written by Chiara Galante; Edited by Radhika Menon. Images: NGC/Design.

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