October 27, 2022, by Leah Sharpe
Experience and Experiments – How to Find a Placement in Biotechnology
By Hannah Evans, Cancer Sciences student
It’s great to do a Year in Industry whilst doing your degree! Getting experience in a new setting, learning new skills, and meeting people in the know are all things that could make getting a job after leaving uni that little bit easier. There is a range of companies, both big and small, that offer the opportunity for undergraduates to spend the year in their facilities, but how do you go about looking for placements in biotech?
Here are a few ways I found out about placements related to my degree:
Gradcracker is a website dedicated to jobs in STEM. There is a whole section specifically for placements and internships, so it’s super easy to find which job listings would be best for you. A great thing about this website is that it advertises multiple jobs that come under the umbrella of STEM, not just biotech. If you know exactly what you’re looking for this might not be as useful, but it does mean that if you’re not 100% certain about what you’d like to do with your placement year there is a wide range of options to look through. As I wasn’t really sure what specifically I wanted to go into when I started looking, I found this website a great place to start.
Most companies are on LinkedIn. They use it to both advertise jobs and to talk about what they have done recently as a company. It’s a really good idea to get yourself an account on here. Even if you don’t end up using it to find a placement, you can keep up to date with the company you’re interested in, which will not only be an interesting read but could help you later on in the application process.
Many big companies will often advertise their placements on their website. Organisations that I’ve looked at, such as GSK, AstraZenica and the ICR, have entire sections of their website dedicated to opportunities they offer to undergraduates. If you know that what a company does sounds interesting, then take a look at their webpage to see if you can find out more from them directly.
Another great website to have a look on is RateMyPlacement. This is another place you can go to find jobs, but the brilliant thing about this website is that it’s also filled with reviews written by other students about the jobs you’re looking at. This will give you a more detailed and honest insight into what that role or company is really like, so you can make a more educated decision about if you want to go there.
This is an amazing website that lists every biotech company in the UK along with the main things that they do. If you’re not loving the placements that are being advertised, you can use this to find an organisation that does interest you and look if they have any openings. Even if a company isn’t advertising if you find one that’s right up your street then think about sending them a speculative application.
It should be noted that most big companies start advertising their placements early in autumn, but smaller ones don’t tend to release theirs until later in winter and sometimes even early spring. So, although you do want to try to start looking early, don’t panic if you’ve left it a little too long; there’s still plenty of time to find the placement of your dreams.
Check out the Careers website for more information on careers in biotechnology and finding placements.
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