Featured employers: Edinburgh Graduate Recruitment Fair

Physicists fit really well into what we do. They seem to have the right skill set of scientific thinking, problem solving and data interpretation.

Jonny Press, Director, AquaQ Analytics

AquaQ Analytics logo   semefab logo

I am just back from the EGRF where I met Lorraine Carr from Semefab and Jonny Press from AquaQ Analytics. Both employers are really keen to recruit our physicists.

You can find them and their vacancies on MyCareerHub

One of current students, Jacob Smith is just about to start a summer placement with Semefab. I will be asking Jacob to do a couple of guest blogs over the summer.

Physics degrees and the Physics of trees

TreeHug

Hi, I’m Sam Henderson. I graduated with an MPhys from the University of Edinburgh about six months ago. In this career orientated post, I’m going to let you know about my EngD. Importantly, I’ll let you know how I got the job, as well as what I see as the pros and cons.

So, I graduated, hoorah. Like many people, I didn’t manage (nor did I want to) jump straight into a graduate scheme or PhD. As a reaction to five years I had spent hunched over a desk solving differential equations, I initially spent just looked for jobs that would get me outside. After a few discussions, I settled on criterion for the jobs I would look for.

Primarily, I wanted sensible hours. I know who I am, and there are too many books, films, games, mountains, valleys and people to read, see, play, explore and meet working entrepreneurial hours. Additionally, I didn’t want to spend the next few years of my life in front of a screen. So, I applied, and applied and applied and… nothing, until I saw a position in Forest Research (Forestry Commission’s research division) on the civil service jobs website.

I applied for it even though I wasn’t confident I met the criteria (I was right, I didn’t get the job or even an interview). However, my application was seen, spotted by the person who would become my boss. A few days later, I got an invitation to come to an interview, which turned into an offer, which turned into my job.

My EngD is a collaboration between the University of Surrey and Forest Research (the research division of the Forestry Commission). For those who don’t know, an EngD is a doctorate, but one where you primarily work in industry. This means that you get an amazing qualification, experience working for an employer, and, you get generally get paid more (roughly £18-24K tax free).

For those interested, in my project, I’m studying if and how changing water conditions can cause cracking inside living trees. To do this I’m using a combined experimental and computational approach. Experimentally, I’m using a custom-built MRI machine to look at the water distribution inside living trees. I’ll use the data from experiments to help me develop a computer model of the tree cells, which will incorporate realistic fluid dynamics.

I’ll admit I have had to make some compromises. Truthfully, a large amount of my work is desk-bound, and I have had some long days writing reports for deadlines.

On the other hand, I get to work in a scenic location on a project I care about, I get to cycle to work, I get to grow/perform experiments on real trees, and I generally have a regular 38 hour working week.

Something that is important to remember about EngDs, is that each project, and each company is different. Do your research, and, if you have the luxury, think about what is important to you.

My experience of reading a stranger’s words on the internet has been that I can only take one point away. If you feel the same, take with you the comforting fact that with some time and planning, and a bit of work, physics can probably get you where you want to go.

I’m totally happy to be contacted by email, if anyone wants any advice from a student who was in a similar place to them.  Sam Henderson j.s.henderson@surrey.ac.uk

Big win for the School of Physics – 3rd place out of 300 UK university teams

IBM UBC final all 5The IBM Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Worldwide is the world’s longest established undergraduate simulation-based competition designed to develop employability and enterprise skills and starts with 300 teams across the UK.

Facilitated by Susan Bird (Careers Consultant, School of Physics & Astronomy), the School submitted two teams, one team making the semi-final in Edinburgh. After a keynote introduction from Shelagh Green, (Director, Careers Service), the teams did a series of intensive, timed business simulations culminating in a 60 second innovation pitch.

The Physics undergraduate team – students Imran Marwat (team leader), Fidel Elie, Ziyi Zhang, Adamos Spanashis and Brandon Christman – not only won 2nd place at the semi-final – but also won Best Business Idea on the day, beating 19 teams from other UK universities.

The School funded the team’s travel & accommodation expenses to the London final, the team was mentored by Mike Ross from Standard Life Investments & supported by the Careers Service – a good example of how we work with Schools & industry partners to support the employability and professional development of our science students.

The UoE team of physicists went on to win third place in the final gaining a prize of £250 and beating a number of business teams from universities across the UK.  A real coup for the School of Physics & the University of Edinburgh.

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. We should all branch out to areas outside of our textbook, and explore our hidden potential.”

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 https://www.iopconferences.org/iop/1082/home

HIGHLIGHTS*

  • 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

*ABOUT M SQUARED*

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.

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…

View original post 149 more words

Physics in business: from swimwear to Game of Thrones

physicsworks-sport    physics-works-touchscreen    physics-work-vfx

“In the future, there is the possibility of using new 2D materials where once there was carbon-fibre, using sensors and magnetic fields to improve goal-line technology, and employing laser scanning to improve swimming techniques.”
“The speed & simplicity of supermarket checkouts can mean that it’s easy to forget that they depend on the application of sophisticated laser equipment & high-tech optics.”
“For visual effects company BlueBolt – whose film and TV credits include Game of Thrones and Skyfall – knowledge of real-world physics informs a lot of decisions about how things look.”
If you want to know about how physics relates to different business sectors, the Institute of Physics (IOP) has a great series of resources to introduce you.  From areas as diverse as:
  • visual special effects (VFX) to sports equipment & technology
  • transport to touchscreens
  • supermarkets to computer games

the PhysicsWorks series is an easy and interesting read to understand how physics is applied in these very different areas.

To explore these sectors more, use the Occupations links on the Careers Service website.

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.

Not sure where physics can take you?

2nd or 3rd year physicist? Not sure where physics can take you?

This informal and practical session will give you a head start in knowing where to look to get some ideas and raise your awareness of your options with physics.

When : Wednesday 25 January 2017          Where: JCMB 3217

Time: 2pm – 2.40pm

This session is for any 2nd and 3rd year Physics student including direct entry.You can just turn up but to guarantee a place, book via MyCareerHub events (search Physics)