Participants at the mentor speed dating event at APSS.

I know what you are thinking…..really speed dating? During APSS 2018 the need to facilitate communication between scientists of all ages was raised, particularly aiding young scientists to find mentors within the industry. So this year at APSS The Chook Chat Shack (aka Poultry Hub Australia, Agrifutures Chicken Meat and Australian Eggs) supported a speed dating mentor session at APSS 2019. The aim of the session was to connect early career researchers (within 5 years of completing PhD or exceptional circumstances) working in an Australian university or research institute with active members of the Australian poultry industry. By improving the dialogue between researchers and industry, there will be a greater opportunity for industry relevant research, thus increasing the chance of success for researchers and the impact on industry. Drs Natalie Morgan and Peta Taylor did a fantastic job mediating and organising the event. They kept everyone in check and ensured they moved on every 4 minutes! They provided tic tacs to ensure everyone had fresh breath, a bowl of questions in case there were awkward silences and a heap of good cheer and entertainment. The event was well received by participants, with one mentee remarking “It was a great meeting. It gave me the chance to talk to industry people that I had met, but never had the chance to talk to. It was a wonderful experience I learned a lot too. Thanks a lot!”. The mentors enjoyed the event too and commented that “Good idea and great to be able to share my experience/career path.”. While everyone enjoyed the event many commented on how it would be beneficial to include a wider range of skills from the mentor side. Something to include next time we run it!