Anna’s Career tips: Spring employability advice for Physics students

Students Reading Books

Stage 0 

Now is the time to start jotting down some ideas about how to make the most of stage one study when you get back to campus in the autumn.  There will be opportunities for all of you to apply for paid summer internships at the end of stage one, these are six to eight-week stints of real graduate level work experience and give you a real head start in developing professional skills alongside your degree.

Register now with Gradcracker, update your employer and alert preferences, and the roles will be emailed to you directly.  By registering with Gradcracker you will also be guaranteed feedback from interviews and you can record all of your applications made through the system to help you prepare!

Peruse the pages of your professional societies for your subject; there is much to be learned from these and some of the recruitment pages are useful for getting to know your relevant labour markets that seek your specific subject knowledge and skills.

Stage 1

All the upheaval of late might have unsettled everyone, however, for stage one students, this situation is still very positive and there is nothing to stop you preparing to start submitting applications for Year in Industry and summer internships at the end of stage two.

Advice for all subjects is to keep working on your CV and application skills over this period and start making a shortlist of employers for whom you might want to apply. The Employers and Sectors tabs on Gradcracker are useful inspiration for those who are lacking ideas. Each employer also has a hub where you can go to start researching companies, their opportunities and culture.

Schemes for large employers will start opening in the mid to late summer this year and should be applied for. Life will go on and you do not want to miss out! For those of you considering applications to engineering and manufacturing firms such as Rolls Royce, Airbus and BAE should start practising psychometric tests in numeracy and diagrammatic reasoning. Spending 30 minutes on these each fortnight between here and when applications open will pay dividends.

Stage 2

For those of you on M programmes and considering postgraduate study then it would be wise for you to use any spare time generated by current events to start your research and initial planning now. and are both useful and informative starting points for your investigative quests!

Some questions to ask if you are considering a research programme:

  • What are your current interests and is there research being carried out at this time? If so, by whom and where?  Are there publications and research leader biographies that you could acquaint yourself with?
  • You could start honing your literature research skills? Maybe you could sharpen your knowledge of bid writing.
  • Are there opportunities with research abroad?
  • Does my professional society, the Institute of Physics (IOP), offer a chance to network, attend events and get involved?

Some questions to ask if you are considering a taught programme:

  • Will a programme add to my subject specific skills and knowledge when I finish my undergraduate programme?
  • Is it necessary for what I want to do next?
  • Where could I go?

Final Stage Students 

For students who will move into their final stage this August, now is the perfect time to start planning your next steps.  If you are considering non-subject related graduate schemes you can start researching employers using The Times Top 100 Graduate Employer site. For subject specific roles, see what is advertised on the job pages of your professional societies if they have them; this will give you an idea of how to focus your activity as a finalist.

This autumn all final year students will be sent a “Pre-departure check in” ticket from placements and employability in the School of Physical Sciences at Kent. This will give you a chance to have a quick CV check, get some questions answered or help taking action, enabling us to see you through the departure gate and out into the world beyond the University of Kent.