Work experiences stories

Two contrasting examples of work experience to share:

Lewis Lappin, a 4th year MPhys (Computational) student is working at GMV as a Robotics Systems Engineer, a placement he got from applying via the UK Space Agency’s SPiN internship programme

Phoebe O’Carroll-Moran is a 2nd year Mathematical Physics student. This summer she is using & developing her research skills within the Careers Service on two internal pieces of research:

  1. researching all the sectors that make up the Edinburgh City Deal and its data-driven innovation focus
  2. researching sport and physical activity opportunities in a collaboration with the link careers consultant for Moray House (& its sports and exercise degree programmes)

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Rockets in Scotland

This was a great student-led event with opportunities for students and graduates. One of the UoE student hosts was Lewis Lappin who has just started an internship through the SPiN placements scheme. He is working this summer as a robotic systems engineer with GMV.

The Careers Service Blog

Alison Parkinson, Employer Engagement Adviser, and Susan Bird, Careers Consultant, share some useful insights from the recent National Student Space Conference.

The conference was organised by UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS), the UK’s national student space society and was hosted by the Physics and Astronomy society at the University of Edinburgh. The two-day conference brought together students, employers and speakers from a range of space-related fields.

UKSEDS Group 2019 National Student Space Conference: attendees, exhibitors, staff and some of the speakers. Image credit: UKSEDS

The UK Space sector

  • The UK space industry is seeing very ambitious growth. There are currently 130 organisations (companies, research organisations) in the UK space sector. This is an increase of 27% in the last two years and amounts to 9% of all UK employers.
  • The industry is essentially split into two segments: upstream and downstream. Upstream focuses on sending objects into…

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Physics and Astronomy to space engineering: a graduate’s story

Thanks to Jennifer Edwards from Lockheed Martin for her guest blogpost. It’s good to get an insight into where physics & astronomy can take you and how the knowledge and skills you develop can be applied.

I graduated from the University of Southampton in the summer of 2018 with a Masters Degree in Physics with Astronomy. When I began my degree, I was unsure as to what career path I hoped to end up on, but explored by doing two summer placements as an engineer during my studies.

Jennifer Edwards

The first was for Archangel Aerospace Ltd. as a Systems Integration Engineer working on UAV design, and the second working for Rolls-Royce as a Development Engineer. I found that I really enjoyed applying the Physics ‘textbook knowledge’ I had learnt, and that the critical thinking and analysis skills I had learnt on my degree benefited me hugely in my work.

Representing Lockheed Martin at UKSEDS student space conference

Lockheed Martin UK’s graduate scheme provides the opportunity to partake in four placements over a two-year period. Initially, I was concerned that going into an engineering company without having an engineering degree would hinder me or that I would find myself behind the other graduates, but that was not the case. As well as building technical skills and knowledge from across the company, the scheme provides the opportunity to develop skills such as management skills, application of the engineering life-cycle, and teamwork and communication skills. 

I started the graduate scheme in September 2018 as a Systems Engineer – an interdisciplinary field of engineering that primarily focuses on how to design and manage complex systems over their life cycle. My first placement involved modelling and simulation of re-entry vehicles, achieved by running bespoke prediction codes and statistical analyses. My Physics degree provided me with a good background level of knowledge of key physical phenomenon and some coding skills, however it was the ability to grasp new information quickly that was the most significant advantage.

I am currently working on operational analysis on a research and development project, for which I am relying heavily on my background physics knowledge, including optics and thermodynamics. As well as this, many of the key ‘soft’ skills I learnt during University are used daily, such as independent learning, time management and communication skills. I would recommend looking into engineering for any physicists who are interested in applying their scientific knowledge to real-life problems, enjoy working in a team and have a desire to learn and develop new skills.

Jennifer also told me:

I hope this gets people thinking about career options in engineering as there’s a big UK shortage!

Edinburgh Award Success

Congratulations to the 15 School of Physics and Astronomy students who received an Edinburgh Award at a ceremony in April.

The Edinburgh Award

The Edinburgh Award recognises the non-academic University activities, such as volunteering work, community activities or part time work, which some students take part in. The Award encourages students to reflect on and develop the skills gained through taking part in such activities.  One of the important aspects of the Award is the opportunity for students to articulate what they have gained from such activities – a skill which will be of advantage when communicating with potential employers.

The School’s Edinburgh Award recipients had contributed to the School’s Physics Outreach Team or the Maths Buddies scheme.

More detail here

Summer internships in the space industry

The Space Placements in INdustry scheme (SPIN) provides an introductory link for those considering employment(and wanting to build experience) in the space sector with space sector organisations looking to find the most talented and enthusiastic people to ensure the future. It’s managed by the UK Space Agency and supported by the Satellite Applications Catapult. They offer paid summer internships with lots of benefits. Kathie Bowden from the UK Space Agency says:

“Please spread the word to your students there are some great opportunities now – and more to come –  in the next few weeks.”

Space Placements in Industry (SPIN) Satellite Applications Catapult

sa.catapult.org.uk

Use these self-help resources first to help you with your draft application answers and CV, then get some feedback from the Careers Service before you send it.  Make your application a good one!

 

 

 

Focus on: Lockheed Martin

LM_logo_grey

Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 105,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

Lockheed Martin UK has its HQ in London and 16 key sites across the UK from Cornwall to Glasgow. Working across Aeronautics, Missiles & Fire Control, Rotary and Mission Systems and Space (including partnerships in global communications, weather forecasting, space exploration and national security).

I met some of their staff recently at the recent UKSEDS Student Space Conference, including a recent astrophysics graduate. Their space division builds the satellites and spacecraft that do amazing things in space for government and commercial customers e.g. Lockheed Martin-built satellites give earlier warning of severe weather, connect troops on the battlefield, and deliver GPS directions to a billion people worldwide.

They recruit physics and astronomy students and graduates for summer internships and graduate positions. LM UK has a graduate programme and their are opportunities globally too

To find out more visit Lockheed Martin

IBM Universities Business Challenge UoE success

Maxwell’s Angels came 4th in the grand final in London!

Over 300 teams UK-wide took part in this highly competitive challenge, the majority from university business schools.  The School of Physics & Astronomy got three teams to the Edinburgh semi-final (one winning best presentation) and this team (mentored by Vicky Clark of The DataLab) to the London final so did Edinburgh proud. It just shows how good our students are – and how studying physics & astronomy can make you capable of doing more than you might think!

Here they are getting their certificates.

Team Maxwells Angels

Maxwells Angels 4th in grand final

Success at IBM Universities Business Challenge semi-final!

The Universities Business Challenge Worldwide is the world’s longest established simulation-based competition designed to develop employability and enterprise skills. Supported by the UK and South Africa’s leading universities and graduate employers, over 30,000 students have benefitted from taking part in the UBC Worldwide Challenge since 1998.

UPDATE*** 

  • Maxwell’s Angels won the semi-final so onto the final in London on the 22nd!
  • Team Kepler came third and won best presentation on the day
  • Here’s what Tommaso said:

    Even though we didn’t qualify I’m still happy with the semi-final as I wasn’t even expecting to get there. As a theoretical physics student I had no background in business or any related subject (not even in high school) and I feel I have learnt a lot from it.

I am very proud to be supporting all three School of Physics & Astronomy teams who have made it to the IBM UBC semi-final in Edinburgh today.  The teams are Maxwell’s Angels led by Sania Lewis, Kepler led by Adam Thomas-Mitchell and Maxwell’s Demons led by Wesley Shao.  SOPA teams have done well in this competition so I am wishing them lots of luck. If you want to know more about the IBM UBC, you can find it here.

Semi-final winners! Maxwell’s Angels led by Sania Lewis – Emma Elley, Elizabeth Applequist, Hildegard Metzger, Olivia Ngan

IBM team1

Team Kepler led by Adam Thomas-Mitchell, Brendan Martin, Amilah Choudhury, Rebecca Cassidy and Thomas Stanton

IBMteam2

Maxwell’s Demons led by Wesley Shao, Karel Vesely, Clara Edmonds,  Tommaso Bruggi, Margot Van Laar

ibmteam3IBMUBC

Employ.ed on Campus Internships plus help in applying

Planning to apply for an Employ.ed on Campus Internship for this summer? Open to 2nd year to penultimate year students, you will find these on MyCareerHub

There are 57 great, paid, on-campus opportunities available across a range of university departments and units including:

  • Start-up Accelerator and Data Intern (Edinburgh Innovations)
  • Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas Intern (IAD)
  • other include projects in virtual learning, equality & diversity, comms and marketing and several within the School of Physics & Astronomy:
  • Research Computing Internship (Codes, Data Techniques and Skills)
  • Open Source Web Development Community Champion
  • Event Coordinator and Marketing Intern

Keen?  Applications close on 20 Feb so get our expert tips on putting together an effective application. Find out how to match your experience to the job, what recruiters will be looking for, and the little things that make a big difference.

Online session Tue 12 Feb 2019, 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM.  Connect through MyCareerHub

Get summer experience abroad

Interested in getting some summer experience overseas?

This coming week is #GoAbroad week – click to find out more about opportunities to spend your summer abroad (lots being advertised right now), funding (register for Erasmus+ and Go Abroad Fund) and hear from students sharing their international experiences – don’t miss the chance to find out more!

·         Finding Opportunities Abroad–Making the Most of Your Summer on Weds, 23rd January – Get tips on what funding is available and how you can identify and successfully apply for a summer experience abroad.

·         How do I #GoAbroad? Student Q&A Panel on Thurs, 24th January – Come and hear from fellow students who have gone abroad to work or volunteer (with funding) about what it was really like and how you can do it too!

·         PLUS Recruiter in Residences in the Main Library Building: Think Pacific (21st 10-1pm), BUNAC (21st 1-3pm), Camp Leaders UK (22ND 10-2pm), Education First (23rd 10-2pm) and Macau Edinburgh Exchange Tour (MEET) (24th – 10-2pm) – meet some of the employers with opportunities abroad.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @uofedcareers #GoAbroad – we have a special series of posts about GoAbroad opportunities, how to find funding, the resources that you can access 24/7 and blog posts by students sharing their international experience.