November 7, 2018, by Carla Froggatt
Five Reasons You Should Attend Physics Careers Week
By Liam Walters, BSc Physics (2018)
I didn’t start thinking about my career until the third year of my physics degree, which is a three year course by the way! So Physics Careers Week was particularly timely and I’d recommend all physics students attend.
Here are my top five reasons why:
1. Connect with employers
Physics Careers Week is a great opportunity to talk to employers. Last year, I spoke to representatives from Tessella and Romax, who explained the skills they were looking for and why they value physics students.
It also helped me to understand which roles I might enjoy and, more importantly, those I wouldn’t. Had I not attended, I could have gone down a very different career path that wouldn’t have been right for me.
2. Learn about LinkedIn
Attending the workshop on LinkedIn gave me the kick I needed to set up my profile and it made it easy. I learned about how to grow my network and use LinkedIn to explore the jobs market.
I discovered that when searching for a job on LinkedIn, one role snowballs into 10 possible roles. You can easily see what’s available and whether you might be a good fit.
3. Meet your Careers team
I wouldn’t have had any of the opportunities, including securing a graduate position, if it hadn’t have been for the Careers team.
Meeting the team led to me getting additional support with a mock video interview, which led to strengths coaching, which led to careers advice, through which I had a real ‘Eureka!’ moment about my career path. Read more about that here. So I recommend you speak to Careers and make use of their services.
4. Interview confidence
Attending the workshop on interviews allowed me to build on the confidence I had gained when speaking to employers. It provided a structure in which to answer their questions effectively.
I didn’t realise how the stuff I’d done would be relevant to an employer, but I now have a bank of examples I use for interviews and I structure all my responses using the STAR technique without even thinking about it! Find out more about the STAR technique here.
5. Demystifying assessment centres
The thought of an assessment centre is pretty scary. However, the session with Rolls-Royce really helped me to understand what was involved and what they are looking for. This session also included mini-interviews that we were given feedback on. It made the whole process much less intimidating when it was time for the real thing.
The School of Physics and the Careers and Employability Service arrange lots of activities, such as Physics Careers Week, attending the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy, Spotlight On events, as well as individual support through appointments.
These are just a selection of what I took part in at uni and all of them contributed in some way to me securing a graduate role I am really excited about. So, I recommend getting involved in as much as you can and seek support. And you don’t have to wait until your final year either!
Physics Careers Week kicks off on Monday 13 November this year. Find out more about what’s on here.