Available now – grad scheme directories

These are good for identifying some, larger organisations interested in recruiting physicists. Not all employers advertise this way though so if you don’t find what you are looking for, don’t worry. There are different strategies you can use.
Start with our advice on finding graduate jobs.

The Careers Service Blog

Times Top 100, Prospects Student Career Guide and Guardian Top 300 – all shiny, appealing and ready for you to pick up at the Careers Service – so which one to choose?

for-blogTimes Top 100: Over 18,000 final year students were asked “which employer do you think offers the best opportunities for graduates?” The 100 organisations most frequently mentioned make up this listing. Whether through the perceived quality of their training programmes, the business success that they enjoy, the scale of their graduate recruitment, or by the impression that their on-campus promotions have made – these are the employers who seemed most attractive to the students surveyed. Not a light read, and heavy on the statistics – a business-like approach.

Guardian Top 300 – three times as many employers feature, and they’re selected on the basis of a massive 52,000 responses to a student survey. This title presents…

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Data, digital and creative internships

In summer 2017 there will be 50, 10-12 week paid internships available at some of the IPA’s 300 member agencies aimed at STEM penultimate and final year students.

The AdMission internship programme through STEP gives undergraduates and new graduates insight into the new graduate job roles emerging  across the advertising sector which benefit from degrees in physics, mathematics, computer science, data science, software and electronic engineering, economics, psychology and anthropology.

Digital technology is transforming the way advertising companies do business. Data analysis drives consumer insight. Algorithms dictate real-time media buying, coding underpins the functionality of the websites and apps built for communications and e-commerce. Behavioural science informs user experience journeys. STEM graduates who want to apply their skills to a creative communications environment are needed by the sector.

Internship roles include: data analyst, digital strategist, real-time media planner, econometrician, developer/creative technologist, user experience planner, creative planner. Want to know about the roles and how to apply?

Visit: AdMission 2017

Advertising is a reflection of society, and the sector is keen to increase their representation of the multi-cultural society in which we live and work. The AdMission Internship programme welcomes applications from Black And Minority Ethnic students to support this pipeline of talent.

STEP.org.uk offers internships in a range of other areas too and environmental internships through its Bright Green Placements opportunities

 

Featured employer: Theodo

You still have time to catch Theodo at today’s Careers Fair but if you can’t make it…

Theodo are a team of digital experts finding digital solutions to complex business problems. They use a range of technologies including Python for big data. Evolving from  a small student start-up, Theodo has grown to meet the demand for web and mobile development. They now have a team in London and over 100 in France, solving complex business problems for clients world-wide, from start-ups to large corporate clients.

Find out more about their work through their online case studies. Co-founder Fabrice Bernhard told me:

We love tech-savvy physicists!

Voted no 1 in Les Echos Happy at Work 2016. 99% of Theodoers took part in the survey which led to Theodo being recognised as the best start up to work for in France.

 

Scottish physicists win five IOP medals

Five out of sixteen IOP awards went to Scottish physicists this year.

IOP Awards recognise teams and individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the development or reputation of physics in the UK or Ireland. You can find out more about their work in academia and in industry on the IOP news website

One of the winners is Dr Graeme Malcolm received the Swan Medal award for his role in founding M Squared Lasers, and his contribution to the design and manufacture of transformative award-winning photonics products. The IOP’s president, Professor Roy Sambles said:

“the revolutionary technology M Squared develops has global impact” and that this was in no small part due to Malcolm’s drive and commitment to his work.

Malcolm has created two multi-million pound companies. Together, they generate more than £300m and employ around 150 high-level graduates and PhDs, designing more than 25 world-class products and exporting high-value laser systems all over the world.

M Squared Lasers is now one of the UK’s highest-growth technology companies. with more than 70 staff specialising in the development and manufacture of high-performance lasers for aiding research into quantum technologies, chemical sensing and biophotonics. You can find out more about it and Malcolm’s work here.

Previous winners of the Swan Business & Innovation medals include those working in KP Technology, IBM Research, Renishaw, Oxford Instruments Nanoscience, Cambridge Display Technology, Andor Technology.

Like a list?

In some sectors, you have to be a lot more proactive to find employers, do some research on them and make direct approaches. Physicists are naturally curious people but pragmatic. A list is always useful…

Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.  You can find the searchable directory here. You can also sign up to a weekly newsletter. Find organisations doing work you like the sound of and contact them to see if they will consider your CV. Make your CV and cover letter targeted to them and it will make a really positive impression.

More advice on CVs and cover letters here

European Space Agency: my summer internship experience

Tara is a final year student here at Edinburgh. She wrote her first blogpost about applying to the European Space Agency (ESA). Here is her second blogpost where she talks about what she did and what she learnt about the job, the ESA, the people – and herself.

“With my traineeship at ESA slowly coming to an end, it’s time to look back at the many memorable experiences made and interesting people I met. In the 2 months that I stayed in Darmstadt, a 20 min train ride from Frankfurt, I learnt about the professionalism in the agency and how important good communication between colleagues is. I learnt what it’s like to work independently besides one of the best mission analysts in the world and also receive constructive criticism once in a while.

My job at ESA was to improve an orbit determination software called DITAN, which was used for low-thrust trajectories such as the mission BepiColombo to Mercury in 2018.

tara-esa-satellite

Artist’s impression of BepiColombo in front of Mercury. Credit: ESA – P. Carril

Naturally as an Astrophysics student I was afraid that my programming wasn’t up to scratch but luckily I could pick up the most common routines  fairly quickly (so many nested if loops!). With the help of my very patient supervisor I learnt how to make code more elegant and use as little of it as possible. When I wasn’t debugging the Fortran 5000-plus-liner (yes, in the space sector everything gets recycled, including ancient programs from the 70s) tea breaks would take up second priority, as many staff would joke. The canteen was the meeting place of different sections, ages and nationalities.

Besides work, other topics of interest such as politics (Brexit more than once) and even personal bests at the last triathlon as part of ESA’s sports clubs were discussed. Similar to all the societies and clubs Edinburgh University offers, ESA has a smaller range of activities to make different nationalities feel at home. During one of the after-work wakeboarding events I noticed once again that ESA really supports a good working atmosphere and also emphasises positive and open thinking whilst not forgetting to be critical as well.

Sharing an office with 4 trainees and contractors from Hungary, Belgium and Germany also gave me an insight into their work, although some of their French conversations as one of ESA’s working languages surpassed my 6-weeks taster course level. Nevertheless, on multiple occasions we helped each other with technical issues or generally exchanged ideas and experiences. It was astounding that even though they had come from totally different walks of life their technical knowledge and the art of communicating this in an easily comprehendible way was exceptional. Not only in my department did I notice the conscientious and composed way in which trainees and staff would listen and respond.

As most of the staff are international, ESA hosts intercultural events such as the annual fun run, running 5 or 10 km with or without a costume as well as a BBQ, which is themed after a different country every year. This year they chose the UK and Northern Ireland, which the organisers claimed to have chosen before the Brexit campaign started (or they were testing all the British staff’s humour). Costumes ranged from business men, to green leprechauns or simply tea bags and was, besides the roasting temperatures that day, an all-round fun activity. The BBQ didn’t disappoint either and offered all sorts of traditional cuisine, alcoholic beverages such as Pimm’s and a performance by Scottish country dancers and a bagpipe player. And there was me in Germany, thinking I could escape the ever-present bagpipe-melodies known from Edinburgh.

tara-esa-group

Credit : ESA – Stefano de Padova

Another insightful event was the informal ‘space dinner’ with guest speaker Rolf Densing, director of operations at ESA, who spoke about the future in space and invited all guests to have a chat with him during the German dinner. Surprisingly his predecessor and German Astronaut Thomas Reiter made an appearance too. Although I missed my chance to speak to him, I overheard a story of him at the dinner table when he was sipping his morning coffee and let it drop in mid air still thinking he was in space! These little stories besides many others were exchanged during the meal and made the company even more enjoyable.

At the establishment I work at, the European Space Operations Centre, Security takes an important role since million-euro heavy satellites are operated from here. This meant I was obliged to wear a badge with my name and picture at all times and was checked every morning by the international security guards, who I’m sure knew everyone’s nationality off by heart and greeted them with “Guten Morgen”, “Buongiorno”, etc. Equally the staff returned the good deed with respect and a bright smile.

Possibly whoever is reading this thinks I’m exaggerating my appraisal for ESA, but with a 100% success rate for all its launched missions, its expertise is world leading and I couldn’t have imagined a better placement with such a lively and proactive vibe to it.

If you can, I would always recommend gaining some work experience in the summer, since it not only gives you a head start in job applications but also teaches you a lot about if the job is right for you in the first place. That said, I’m considering a career in the space sector more than ever before and could imagine working as a trainee for ESA or in the space industry after graduating. Equipped with my new-found motivation to pursue this goal I’m curious which challenges await when I return to Edinburgh!”

Bright Recruits – IOP recruitment site

This website has some great videos giving you an insight into what jobs involve and where they are. Here is just one of them. Bright Recruits also advertises job for physicists in a wide range of academic and industrial sectors. You can search by specialism, there is an Employer A-Z and a search for graduate jobs. Good careers advice too!

Find more here

Are you a problem-solver?

Could you get excited about a career that allows you to solve some of the most complex problems that the world’s businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations, and non-for-profits face? If the answer is “yes”  a career in consulting could suit you.

McKinsey is coming to Edinburgh on 3oth September to introduce penultimate and final-year undergraduate, and master’s students, to the work they do through an interactive case study workshop. Designed and delivered by McKinsey consultants, you will get the opportunity to:

  • Learn problem-solving skills that will help you in your academic work, as well as other job applications
  • Be guided through the interview process
  • Network with McKinsey consultants over drinks to get all your questions answered

Closing date is 22nd September so find out more and apply here

Need a bit of  inspiration? Several of our physics graduates have gone into consulting. Check their profiles on LinkedIn

Oliver

Elaine

Thomas (with an Ordinary degree)

Jarand

Pizza and presentation panic

Edinburgh physics student Zoe offers her latest blog post from her internship in Coherent in California where free pizza is a nice incentive!  For any of you who find giving presentations just a little bit scary, she has some very savvy advice.

At the end of my internship, I will also be required to host one engineering seminar.  My presentation will last for about 30 minutes and it will include a summary of my internship and the obtained results.

I won’t hide that at the beginning I was dreading the idea of this presentation, since I don’t have a lot of experience and talking in front of people is a skill I haven’t practised as much.  To be fair, I have presented something twice at University during the end of my third year, once for my “Research Methods in Physics” and once in my “Experimental Physics” class.  However, they were both 10 minute long presentations and they differed from the one I am supposed to give at Coherent by an important factor:  the audience.  Presenting in front of your class and professors is quite different than presenting in front of unknown people who certainly know much more than you on the topic at hand.  It will be a challenge for me to stand there and speak with confidence but the more the time passes the more excited I get to do it.

For anyone who might be feeling the same way as me, here’s my advice:  Think about it as a good practice opportunity for a skill that is undoubtedly extremely useful and valuable in any kind of profession.  And the best part about it is that we really have nothing to lose from it.

Read the full post here. The Careers Service has advice on presentations too.

Boston Consulting: Paris workshop

BCG

BCG invites you to apply for the UnlimITed 2016 case workshop in Paris and guide a leading company to success by evaluating a strategy solution to address their biggest challenge. Based on a real BCG project, discover how technological innovations can create a decisive competitive advantage for their clients.

Together with BCG consultants from our dynamic Technology Advantage practice and 50 top students from universities in Europe and the Middle East, you will gain an in-depth understanding of your client’s situation, identify the improvement ideas with the greatest potential, and present your execution plan to the client’s board.

Along the way, you will learn the methodologies and approach of the world’s leading strategy consultancy, and face new challenges that will enable you to grow personally and professionally.

This event is open to outstanding university students and postgraduateswith an affinity for both IT and strategy, proven through studies or extracurricular activities.

Please visit their website to view more information about our event.

Deadline for applications is the 6th of September.

The Boston Consulting Group is also on MyCareerHub