How difficult are you finding it, to find placements and work opportunities in your chosen fields?
I recently read an article on The Independent’s website, about degree choices that are more likely to guarantee you a job afterwards. (The article is available here, for reference) I suppose it’s not really surprising that employers are looking for candidates with a wide range of skills – communication, teamwork, time management, are just a few of the skills that employers want, on top of your academic excellence! I mentioned in my last post on here about how important it is to get noticed: apprenticeships and internships, placements and volunteer work are all great ways of getting yourself out there, getting that necessary, and relevant work experience, and acquiring those coveted skills! That’s not really the point I’m making here, though. How can you apply for these places, these chances, if you don’t know where to find them? It’s not just about looking in the right places though, you should be looking everywhere – don’t leave anything to chance, you might find exactly what you were looking for, in a place you never thought to look.
I found myself, a few placement and summer opportunities through (surprisingly) twitter: I never thought I’d find opportunities there, but it turns out that they advertise a lot of placements and opportunities that way, and that’s exactly how I came across the placement. I’ve also been contacted by a few people also working or studying in a scientific field to denote the interest they had in my personal blog (also available here, if you’re interested!) I use it to ramble on about day-to-day musings, but over the last year or so, I’ve used it more to consolidate my own thoughts and ideas in terms of science, and maths and other areas that interest me, I suppose in an attempt to organise my thoughts! I have also found, through these contacts a number of other blogs that are really quite interesting, and have been lucky enough to be in contact with one of the authors – it’s a great way for me to learn about opportunities I’d never otherwise consider, or even look for.
I think what I’m trying to get across is this: don’t leave anything out. As undergraduate students, we’re constantly on the hunt for something to do to aid our education, or to improve our chances of getting that competitive job at the end of the degree, and it’s not worth letting a chance slide by, because you just didn’t look hard enough.
Heena Panchal – Student Blogger