SEPnet: careers information and Skills Transformer tool

SEPnet is the South East Physics Network, a network of nine universities in the South East of England, working together to deliver excellence in physics. SEPnet partners have useful careers pages on their websites full of information, advice and relevant resources for physics students.

SEPnet careers information

They also offer Skills Transformer which provides science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students with a structure to help you recognise, write about and talk about your skills. Skills Transformer shows you, through hearing from STEM graduates, why transferable skills are vital to working successfully in science and technical jobs after graduation and why being able to write and talk about them is fundamental to securing a job.

Spend 5 minutes trying out the online Skills Transformer tool and work through the sessions to help you prepare for placement or job application forms and for interviews.

Skills Transformer

Interview success

To improve your chances of doing well in job and placement interviews, watch the video clip below. Gil Travish at Adaptix provides tips on how to do well in Skype interviews and explains what he is looking for in a physics graduate

Physics CareerLabs – Interviews & LinkedIn

I am running two workshops for physics & astronomy students. All welcome

  • Physics CareersLab – Get better at interviews

Got internship, job or PhD interviews coming up? Get some advice and a chance for some low-stress practice.

Monday 4 March, 5pm – 6pm, JCMB 4319B

  • Physics CareersLab – Making good use of LinkedIn

Want to learn about making a good profile? Using LinkedIn to help you find out about job roles and vacancies? Get some advice and a chance for some low-stress practice. Bring a device if you can.

Monday 11 March, 5pm – 6pm, JCMB 4319B

CGG on campus & recruiting physicists


Are you passionate about science and technology and want to use your skills to solve real problems?

CGG provide geological, geophysical and reservoir expertise to natural resource clients around the globe. They are looking for people with excellent analytical and problem solving skills, who will apply these skills to solving these complex data issues.

CGG will be visiting the University of Edinburgh to share information with you about their graduate and internship programmes, their image processing technology & offer advice on how to prepare for their video interviews & assessment centres.

If you are currently studying Physics, Geophysics, Geology, Maths or Engineering, see them on Thursday 15th March from 1pm – 2pm.

Details here:

Careers Scholarship Summer Programme 2017

It was great to work with some of the students doing project placements as part of this programme.  It’s a competitive programme open to students in later years of their BSc or MPhys.

This year I offered two sessions. The first one was co-delivered with Ross Galloway, the academic in the School whose remits includes this programme. This was to prepare students for their placements (academic & industry), address any questions and concerns and help them move confidently into their project placements.

The second one today was to help students  reflect on what they did, what went well, what went less well, how they coped with the challenges and how it might influence future career plans.

Importantly, it was also about  how to present what they gained from doing the project. There was lots of animated discussion, constructive peer feedback and hopefully everyone felt a lot more confident  about how to talk about their project and what it means they can do.

I also think those in the group today will do a much better job at the end-of-placement presentation event as well as in future applications, interviews and networking events.

Success story: Callum & the Unipol Graduate Internship Programme

Callum Munro, a final year physics student has been successful in getting on to the six-month graduate internship programme with Unipol, the Italian insurance company in Bologna.

The programme runs twice a year, with start dates in February and September. Work is carried out in English so no prior knowledge of Italian is required.

 I asked him to give a bit of background to why he chose it  – and the application process.

Being in my final year of uni I have been looking for employment in finance. It’s something I’ve been interested in and I had an internship last summer. I found the role on MyCareerHub via the University of Edinburgh Careers Service website which is really great and gave some really clear information on what exactly the role was, where it was, a bit of background on the company, remuneration and so on.

 I sent off my CV and cover letter and they got back saying they would like to further my application and organised a telephone interview. The interview started with them asking about which part of the business I would like to work in and my experience of insurance and finance in general. 

 During the call they said that they would like to offer me the post and started talking about when I would be able to come, having an introductory week in July and whether I would be prepared to do some training. It starts properly in September but they said they will have me over for a week in July to get an idea of what I’ll be doing. Thanks again for the discussion we had at the Careers Service, it helped me out a lot.

The archived vacancy on MyCareerHub

The six-month programme consists of two three-month rotations in the corporate finance division. Interns may choose to work in any two of the following areas:

• M&A
• Debt Capital Markets
• Strategic Planning
• Investor Relations

Daily tasks will vary based on the needs of the management and department. They could include:

• Market analysis on the financials and business models of our Italian and European competitors within both the insurance and banking market;
• Conducting financial and economic valuations of potential investments, disinvestments and partnerships;
• Scouting and studying new M&A and Business Development opportunities to raise with senior management;
• Tracking the international financial media and producing daily reports;
• Monitoring and updating financial models, tables and balance sheets;
• Attending meetings with senior management and external stakeholders including investment banks;
• A personal research project tailored to the interests of the intern.

The requirements are as follows:

• Candidates must have achieved, or are on course to achieve, a minimum 2:1 in Economics, Finance, Mathematics, or a similar degree;
• Basic knowledge of finance;
• Strong analytical, organisational, communication and time management skills;
• Candidates must be self-starters, able to work well individually and as part of a team;
• Experience using Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint;
• Knowledge of financial databases (Bloomberg, Datastream, SNL) would be a benefit.

Work will be carried out in English so no prior knowledge of Italian is required.

The programme runs twice a year, with start dates in February and September.

Edinburgh Graduate Recruitment Fair

Poster of the Edinburgh Graduate Recruitment Fair

Edinburgh Graduate Recruitment Fair  #EGRF16 is on next week with over 60 exhibitors. It’s a good opportunity to explore opportunities.Find out more here.  However:

  • If your palms get sweaty at the thought of talking to employers
  • If you have limited time
  • If you simply don’t know how to make the Fair work for you

watch our ‘Prepare for the Fair’ video here  to get the most out of the event.

UK management consultancy sector set for another year of growth

A quick search on LinkedIn showed that a number of Edinburgh physics graduates are now working in management consultancy/professional services. Interesting profiles include: Elaine Goode at Actica (currently recruiting), Oliver Proctor at Accenture and Thomas Crewther who graduated with a three year ordinary degree and following some interesting work experiences is now a Senior Consultant at EY.

The Careers Service Blog

Thanks to my colleague Kayleigh McGarry for this blog post giving an update on the consulting sector following the publication of Top Consultant’s annual management consultancy recruitment report; essential reading for any of you who are thinking about entering this competitive sector – Rebecca have published their annual Management Consultancy
Recruitment Channel Report 2016, which is based on a survey of 1000 UK consulting recruiters, and focuses on the trends in recruitment and retention within the industry.

The report indicates that there is confidence from management consultancy recruiters that 2016 will bring another year of strong growth, building on the 8.2% growth in 2015 reported by Source Global Research.  Other key findings from the report include:

  • 89% of consulting employers report that they are looking to hire staff in 2016 at least as fast as they did last year
  • Staff attrition rates are increasing
  • IT & Technology…

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Top 5 Interview Tips – #2 Might Surprise You!

For your reading pleasure, Careers Consultant Lindsey McLeod’s top 5 interview tips all in one place.

1) Be Prepared

You’ve heard it before: fail to prepare, prepare to fail. As dramatic as that sounds, its true. You may have submitted several applications recently but if you can’t find your application you submitted for this interview, to refresh your memory – what did you actually write all those weeks ago, then that lack of preparedness is going to come across during interview. Preparation involves time and research across all aspects. Who is interviewing you – can you find out beforehand? Where are you being interviewed – can you get there in good time?

2) Not trying to trip you up

Believe it or not the majority of employers want you to do well at interview, that’s why they invited you there in the first place. They enjoyed your application and this is your chance to shine and expand on the application. It lets them see what you’re like as a person and they also recognise you’re probably nervous – they’ve been there too! Try to enjoy the experience; that enjoyment will come across in the delivery of your answers.

3) Practice

You may think you can wing it, but you can’t. Like everything interviews take practice and persistence. The more you practice the more confident you will become in articulating your answers. You don’t want it to come across in parrot fashion though, as if it were a script. Once you feel confident with your range of answers you can adapt and interchange these during the course of an interview, so you avoid relying solely on e.g. your Volunteer experience for your teamwork example. In fact, your Volunteering could be utilised as evidence of your interpersonal/initiative/reliability. Once you’ve practiced and got the tools to answer a question, you will feel more confident adapting examples accordingly.

4) Be specific

Noone likes a general answer. You immediately lose the Employer’s interest if you speak in general terms. Go specific. Use S.T.A.R for competency based questions. Finding out about that specific volunteer event you ran in semester two of third year, as a member of the Yoga society in conjunction with the Guinea Pig Appreciation society is far more memorable then talking about every event you’ve ever organised in a general, top-level way.

5) Tell them something they don’t know

Only you know what interests you about a certain company and rather than regurgitating what’s on a company’s website about them being a ‘top 100 graduate employer’ why not find out something they aren’t necessarily aware of. A recent news article mentioning them which caught your attention and got you thinking or that Employer event you attended and spoke to a really enthusiastic employee; the personal angle will have far more impact.

New Tech Career Books

Good post from my colleague Lizzie Mortimer highlighting our excellent tech-related careers resources. A must-read if you are aiming for top tech organisations like Google, Microsoft, Apple (and IBM, Fujitsu…there are others!) Our resources are also available at Weir Building, Kings Buildings.

UoE Informatics Careers Blog

The Careers Service has recently added a number of tech related careers books to our collection of reference materials.  books

These books provide advice from those in the know about what to expect from tech interviews, the types of psychometric and technical tests which are used and how to stand out from the other candidates.  Find them in the red section, and the green section (M) at the Third Floor, Main Library Building.

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