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.

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.”

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!

http://www.ubcworldwide.com/

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.

Data science winter fellowship: MSc students and final year PhDs

The Data Incubator is a Cornell-funded data science training organization. They offer a free intensive 8 week fellowship that prepares masters students, PhDs, and postdocs in STEM fields seeking industry careers as data scientists. The program is supported by sponsorships from hundreds of employers across multiple industries. A variety of innovative companies partner with The Data Incubator for their hiring and training needs, including LinkedIn, Genentech, Capital One, Pfizer, and many others.

Who Should Apply

Anyone who has already obtained a masters or PhD degree or who is within one year of graduating with a masters or PhD is welcome to apply. Applications from international students are welcome. Everyone else is encouraged to sign-up for a future session.

More details on their website

Data Science in 30 minutes: Learn how to build a data-science project in their upcoming free Data Science in 30-minutes webcast. Signup soon as space is limited.

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

Funded summer school in science communication

STEAM-Logo-1

The STEAM Summer School provides training in science communication for university students, researchers, and educators, connecting science and art in science communication practice. The 10-day programme (13-22 July, 2016) at Rhine-Waal University (Dutch/German border) offers a unique experience in science communication training.

There is funding available for University of Edinburgh students. Deadline for application is Fri 29 April.

The programme covers the main aspects of science communication including journalism, social media, policy, management, arts, and science theatre. The workshop will be a fully immersive experience on science communication theory and practice, and no previous communication experience is required.

They aim to train science communication ambassadors eager to engage with various sectors of the public back in their home countries.

For more information: www.steamsummerschool.eu

Riding the waves…the power of perseverance

grav waves

It’s been a big week for physics with the evidence finally here to provide the existence of gravitational waves.  It did strike me that physicists have to be persistent to keep trying even when doubters doubt and scoffers scoff.  Having:

  • the courage of your scientific convictions
  • the determination & drive to keep on pushing to find the evidence to support those hypotheses and
  • the resilience to cope with the adverse effects of resistance, opposition & failing (a lot) before you succeed –

makes the discovery all the sweeter  – but also shows how physicists develop many of the personal qualities necessary to cope with a varied and demanding working world.  You can find out more about resilience here.

From Physics to Data Science: my transition from academia to industry

Great event coming up on 17 Dec at the Data Lab. Find out more here:

“From Physics to Data Science – My transition from Academia to Industry”

Thursday, Dec 17, 2015, 6:30 PM

The Data Lab
University of Edinburgh, 15 South College Street, EH8 9AA Edinburgh, GB

34 Data & Technology enthusiasts Attending

Martina Pugliese, PHD – Data Scientist – Mallzeehttps://uk.linkedin.com/in/martinapugliese“From Physics to Data Science – My transition from Academia to Industry”Martina will talk about how you convince an industry that you are good for them, what skills you need to refine, soft skills you need to leverage, mathematics and numerical abilities an…

Check out this Meetup →