Free course to help you manage your digital presence

The University is launching a new free digital footprint MOOC (massive online open course) which will begin on 3rd April and is now open for registration.  The MOOC has been developed with staff across the University including the Careers Service. The MOOC  features a video of my colleague Rebecca Valentine discussing how learners can create an effective online presence. They also have a blog

Find out more  and register to take part

Featured employer: M Squared & opportunities in photonics & quantum technology

Meet award-winning photonics technology company M Squared at this exclusive careers event at its Glasgow headquarters on Thursday 30 March 2017, 5–8 pm.

Working with a company such as M Squared presents a unique opportunity to draw upon your knowledge as a scientist.

  • Collaborate with world-leading researchers as a scientific specialist, create world-class laser systems with its manufacturing team, or develop new applications within M Squared’s Innovation Group.
  • Learn about the advances the company is making in quantum technology, biophotonics and chemical sensing.
  • Develop a broader understanding of what it’s like working with one of the UK’s most innovative companies

This event is being held at M Squared’s headquarters in Glasgow: M Squared, Venture Building, 1 Kelvin Campus, West of Scotland Science Park, Glasgow G20 0SP.//

This event is free to attend.  Book Now


  • Take a tour of M Squared’s headquarters in Glasgow
  • Talk one-to-one with M Squared staff
  • Gain insight into the wealth of career opportunities available with the company worldwide
  • Discover the skills you’ll need to include on your application form/CV
  • Get practical advice and information to help you with interviews or assessment days


Recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies, M Squared is a leading developer of photonics and quantum technology.

The company designs and manufactures advanced laser platforms that underpin the groundbreaking work being carried out by Nobel Prize-winning scientists, the world’s leading universities and innovative businesses. Its pioneering R&D work is also making a direct impact in sectors as diverse as healthcare, food and drink, security and defence, with new applications aimed at diagnosing Alzheimer’s, searching for cures for cancer and detecting chemical weapons.

M Squared’s contribution to scientific discovery has been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation and the Institute of Physics Innovation Award. M Squared’s excellence in innovation has also been recognised by Deloitte Technology Fast 50, The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and Export Track 100, The Lloyds Bank National Business Awards (Innovation) and the Amazon Growing Business Awards (Innovation).

Founded in Glasgow, M Squared has offices throughout the UK, Europe and the USA, serving its international customer base. The company’s talented team includes more than 85 scientists, engineers and software developers as well as commercial experts; over 90% of its staff are educated to degree level or above.

Success for UoE Undergrad Physics team

IBM UBC Physics team cropped

The IBM Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Worldwide is the world’s longest established and leading undergraduate simulation-based competition designed to develop employability and enterprise skills. Supported by the UK’s leading universities and graduate employers, over 25,000 students have benefited from taking part in the UBC Worldwide Challenge since 1998.

Brokered by the Careers Service and facilitated by Susan Bird, link Careers Consultant for the School of Physics, the School submitted two teams, one team making it through to the IBM UBC semi-final in Edinburgh on 3rd March.  After a keynote introduction from Shelagh Green, Director of the Careers Service, the teams did a series of intensive, timed business simulations culminating in a 60 second innovation pitch.

I am proud to announce huge congratulations to the Physics team – students Imran Marwat, Fidel Elie, Ziyi Zhang, Adamos Spanashis and Brandon Christman – who not only won 2nd place at the semi-final – and a guaranteed place in the final in London on March 24th – but also won Best Business Idea on the day – beating 19 other teams from other UK universities.  The Physics team were also the only team on time with their 60 second pitch.

In recognition of the achievement, the School is funding the team’s travel and accommodation expenses to the final in London. The team is being mentored by Mike Ross from Standard Life Investments and supported by Susan Bird, the link Careers Consultant for the School of Physics – a good example of how the Careers Service works with Schools & industry partners to support the employability and professional development of our science students.

Here’s how team member Ziyi Zhang reflected on the Challenge:

 “Thank you for being at the competition and supporting us throughout this experience. I realized studying physics not only made us “book smart” but also taught us critical and logical thinking which can be applied beyond academics. Combined with creativity and hard work, physicists can be successful in any field of our interest. I have met some of the most talented people in physics, and we should all branch out to areas outside of our textbook, and explore our hidden potential.”

We wish them luck for the final in London!

SCI Day of Science and Careers

Organised by  School of Physics academic Dr Tiffany Wood, Director of Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership and Chair, SCI Scotland Group


Calling UG and PG students across all scientific disciplines

SCI’s Day of Science & Careers , University of Edinburgh, 5 April 2017

Explore a wide range of careers in science-based industries. Speakers from industrial, academic and independent backgrounds will present their career pathway and offer insights in to what to look out for, and what to consider when choosing your next steps. Plus sessions on interview skills and CV writing, with opportunities to network with speakers and fellow delegates.

Talks will include the following areas:

  • Working in Analytical Chemistry
  • Intellectual Property & Patents
  • Life in an SME
  • Scientific Publishing
  • Academic Careers
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Academic/Industrial Partnerships
  • Scientific Marketing

For the full timed programme and to book online please visit:

Day of Science and Careers Scotland 2017 flyer_final

Just send that email

Some good advice on making direct approaches to employers (and academic supervisors?) from Bella in our Information Team

The Careers Service Blog

Making a speculative application isn’t as hard as you may think, says Isabella Hughes, Careers Information Adviser

Towards the end of my second year I thought it was a good idea to start thinking about what I wanted to do after graduation. With three months of summer ahead of me I wanted to fill it with useful experiences to help me think about where I saw myself working. An area I’d often considered was working in museums. As an anthropology student I was curious to see what possibilities lay in museums in the anthropological field. After a quick Google search I found that Cambridge had an anthropology museum. I identified contacts from its website and got in touch with the collections manager of anthropology and asked whether they had any opportunities for work experience during the summer months.

Making a speculative application can sound intimidating but it is simply a…

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Selling your experience – The Edinburgh Award

Are you involved in MathsBuddies, Physics Pals, volunteering or doing any part-time work/planning summer work? If so, find out how doing an Edinburgh Award alongside can enhance your experience.

The Careers Service Blog


Lizzie Mortimer explains how the Award helps you add value to your summer work experience or volunteering

The summer vacation presents myriad opportunities to students; relax after the pressures of a busy academic year, catch up with friends and family, go on holiday, lie in….relax.

But, this is a Careers Service blog, so of course I’m going to talk about work. It probably isn’t news to anyone that the months between one academic year to the next are a gift to the student who has one eye to the future and wants to get some work experience. And I hope that is a lot of you.

Work experience is pretty amorphous; we could be talking about a summer job in your local cafe, a volunteering opportunity anywhere in the world, an internship, and more. All of these things develop you as an individual and as a professional. By getting…

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Volunteering opportunities with the Royal Meteorological Society

The Scottish Centre of the Royal Meteorological Society meets in the Geography Building on Drummond St once a month during the autumn & winter, with a guest lecture each time. They need volunteer ‘Student Ambassadors’ to help with maintaining the branches’ website and to live tweet during lectures as well as potential for more if you are interested.

Volunteering as a Student Ambassador helps promote meteorology as a science, profession and interest, while improving your employability skills and boosting your CV.

The post is totally flexible around your academic studies and you will  get free Student Membership with the Royal Meteorological Society.

They ask that you commit around 2-3 hours each month. Closing date 1 May.

Please see attached for the RMetS Student Ambassador leaflet, which explains more about the Ambassador role and how to apply.


Events and placements for physicists

Professional Digital Presence (for Physics UG years 4 & 5)
What does your online presence say about you from a careers perspective? Are you making the most of digital platforms? **Bring your own device (laptop/tablet/phone)**. To guarantee a place, book here
Wed 1 Mar 2017, 2:00 PM3:00 PM, JCMB – 5327

Improve your Interview Performance (for Physics UG years 3 – 5)
Got an interview coming up? Feeling anxious? Come along and learn how to prepare and what to expect. This session is designed to prepare you for academic and industry interviews.  To guarantee a place, book here
Wed 1 Mar 2017, 3:00 PM4:00 PM, JCMB – 5327

PLUS for those of you in year 3 of your BSc or year 3/4 of your MSc, the School has some great academic and industry placements (Moon Collider, Machines with Vision, Edinburgh Instruments, Fixed Phage, Fujifilm, Bright Ascension and Horiba).

Closing date 6 March. More details here:

School of Physics and Astronomy Career Development Summer Scholarships

Get feedback on your application before you send it!

Book an appointment through MyCareerHub or see me outside the Magnet cafe on Thursday lunchtime

The best Data Scientists know how to tell stories

The Careers Service Blog

Many thanks to my colleague Ruth Donnelly for this post on careers in data science and if you’re interested look our for the Data Talent Scotland event happening later in March – Rebecca

There has been an exponential explosion in number of jobs relating to data science and this is only likely to continue growing, so it may be worth a closer look.

What roles are involved in big data?

Data analyst – understands demands of business and able to integrate that with data

Data engineer – software development skills, builds and maintains systems

Data scientist – high powered maths and statistical skills

Ideally data scientists combine all 3 roles. You need to be able to (or be able to quickly learn how to) program, be comfortable with the software used in data analytics (3 most common are Python, R and MATLAB) and, importantly be able to understand…

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