Got time for a coffee?

Got time for a coffee?

April 2022

During the Big Ideas, Linacre students had the opportunity to have a ‘virtual coffee’ with all sorts of fascinating people, allowing them to chat and ask questions in a friendly and informal atmosphere.

Astrophysicist and Educator, Dr Becky Smethurst chatted to students about her research into supermassive black holes and her own fascinating journey into cosmology

Kia Lindley (Linacre 2014) made time to speak to our students about her work with the Prison Service and National Probation Service, as well as her current Masters studies in Forensic Psychology. Students said that Kia was an ‘inspiration’ and were fascinated by her experiences and insights.

Award-winning author, Liz Hyder, talked to students about her journey into writing, where she gets her ideas, her writing process and the perils of loitering in the street to get a sense of place while researching her books (“People thought I was a burglar!”).

Coupled with a chat with Anna Valdinger at Harper Collins Publishing, Liz’s words gave one literature student ‘food for thought about her future career’ and firmly denied the ‘stigma around lack of jobs in English’.

Many of the workshops focussed on pressing issues of the day. Kayden Xie’s (Linacre cohort, 2016) excellent workshop on coronaviruses, based on his cutting-edge research at Cambridge university was described as a ‘highlight’ by many students.

Our maths and science students were also put through their paces in a workshop on Artificial Intelligence with Dr Kamran Javid and his colleagues at Arabesque AI.

“I thought that the online lecture-based sessions on AI, cosmology and the Higgs-boson were really interesting, but the most important thing I took away from the week were the stories of the people who delivered the sessions and their university and career advice. I realise now that there are so many opportunities available and the future is more exciting than worrying.”

– 2021 Linacre student

Meanwhile, the historians discussed the multiple meanings of material culture in public spaces, including the debate around statues of controversial historical figures. The law students, who were connected with lawyers at firms such as RPC and CMS, said:

“The 1-on-1 chats with lawyers were so helpful in answering any career questions I had.”

Aside from the workshops, students also got to know each other by trying to break out from prison, rob a casino and solve a Sherlock Holmes mystery. All as part of an online escape room game of course. We were told they were an overwhelming success! One student in particular said:

“I found the sessions really interesting and liked how much we got to get involved in debates as I feel it helped the group get to know each other (especially when online). The escape room was especially fun and I think it boosted our teamwork.”