Placements and internships are an amazing way to gain industry experience, develop transferable skills and kick-start your career. They provide an insight into your chosen field or industry like no other, enabling your future career choices to be based on your real-life experience. Employers agree that related experience enhances your career prospects, as well as allowing for personal growth and achievement.
STEM placements can be competitive and securing one can be hard work and stressful. WISE wants to provide students at UoB with supportive environment to avoid people feeling they have to drop off of the programme. It would be fantastic to see young woman from UoB achieving their goals of gaining a placement or internship. Whether you are currently looking for a placement or considering transferring to the program
1. Placement and internship websites
Have a look through these websites, taking care to note deadlines, required qualifications and location. It is important to understand each company’s application process. Having your CV and a cover letter ready will help you meet application deadlines, although you must always edit your cover letter to why you are interested in that specific company!
2. Specific Placement Positions
Below is a spreadsheet containing companies known to offer placements/internships to EPS/LES students. Some have available links and deadlines but please double check these yourself too as placements change all the time, especially during a pandemic! If you find a company you are interested in, you are always able to contact their HR or talent acquisition department to enquire about potential experience. Attaching a CV and Cover Letter can let them know your skills in advance – you can create your own opportunities!
3. UoB Careers Network
The Careers Network is a great place to get both Undergraduate and Postgraduate Careers advice! University Staff are available to support your career journey in many ways. These include meetings to discuss your career plans, mock interviews and pdf guides! Throughout the year there are careers events and drop in sessions designed to answer your questions and provide networking opportunities. Many students find the CV Checker particularly useful for making their CV stronger.
Upcoming Careers Network Events
Top Tips for Creating a Personal statement
Top Tips to a great CV
- Thursday 25th March 2021 (17:00) via weblink
Top tips for using LinkedIn
- Friday 19th March 2021 (12:00) via weblink
Top tips for a successful cover letter
- Monday 22nd March 2021 (12:00) via weblink
Top tips for Interview Success
This is a great resource! Simply upload your CV instantly get feedback back on how to make it stronger for applications. As you edit and upload your CV, you will improve your score and see your progress!
Find Careers Network Guides Below
Book a appointment with the Careers Network
LinkedIn is a great way to network with companies and find opportunities that may not be advertised on other sites. This social media allows you to connect on a professional level with potential employers, university peers and society members. The site acts as a CV in itself, allowing you to be seen by those looking to fill positions. Following companies and Hashtags you’re interested in is a great place to start!
5. Experience & Advice
Ellie Wigg – MSci Biochemistry with Professional Placement (4th Year)
“For my placement year I was working at The Binding Site in Birmingham, who sadly no longer take placement students. I was working in one of the research and development departments which provided a great opportunity to learn industry wide protein purification skills. Not only did I learn a wealth of laboratory skills, working with various different departments enabled me to create a strong network of people in the industry to go to for future advice or even provide job references! The year in industry improved my confidence in my abilities and helped to refine my future career goals. My top tip would be to always ask questions (no question is a stupid question)! Whether you are unsure of why you are doing something for a process, or you want to understand more about the research that you are conducting – asking questions is a great way to show that you are enthusiastic to your employer! Wish you all the best of luck in your application process and don’t give up on applying. I know it’s a long process and often feels like an uphill battle with the increasing 2nd year workload, but it will be the best thing you do at university!”
Alexandra Webb – MSci Biochemistry with Professional Placement (3rd Year)
“I have just started my placement year at LGC in Fordham, working in the Small Molecule Bioanalysis department. Although originally meant to be in a different lab, I was asked to move departments due to changes workload due to Covid-19. Becoming flexible and seizing opportunity has probably been my biggest take away from the placement application process. I had to become open to new companies I hadn’t heard of before, be ready to move to a new place on my own and tackle situations with a positive and confident outlook. The hard work will pay off! I am now enjoying learning to independently operate Mass Specs, analyse clinical samples every day and even see positive Covid-19 blood being prepared for research. My team have been nothing but supportive, answering all my questions – even if I ask the same thing again! Being on placement has already made me feel more confident for graduate jobs as I know more about what I’ll be faced with at interviews and in the work place. Working has made me more motive in my career goals and reminded me of my love of science, even after some tough months inside!”
Apoorva Patil – BSc Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence with Industrial Year (Final year)
“I am in the final year of a BSc Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence with Industrial Year course, at the University of Birmingham. I have completed a year-long software engineering internship at IBM and a spring internship at Morgan Stanley.My primary interest was to understand how all the bits and pieces that I had learned about at university fit together in real-world applications. Secondly, I was aware that there are a lot of cool things going on in the world of technology out there and I wanted to get my hands dirty and experience the tech world outside the realms of my university course. Thirdly, I was quite undecided about what I wanted to do for my final year project and if I wanted to study further after graduation and realised some first-hand insight into the industry would help me make a more informed decision. I would highly recommend applying to spring insight programs if you are in your first year at university (or second-year on a four-year course). These are short (a few days to a couple of weeks long) programs that give you an introduction to the workings of the company and opportunities for work-shadowing and networking. Please don’t limit yourself to the official website. Reach out to people via LinkedIn or your school/university’s alumni network and get to know the company’s culture, working style, giving back opportunities, tech-stack etc. I know it is daunting to contact strangers but usually, people are happy to help with specific, genuine, and short queries.”
“I’m a PwC technology degree apprentice and I study Computer Science at university. This year, I’m doing a placement at PwC in the Technology and Investments team based in the More London office, but I’ve been working remotely since starting it. My team is responsible for overseeing digital assets created by employees using business intelligence tools such as Alteryx, Tableau and UiPath. These are then published on an internal online platform for other employees to download and use for their own work. So far, I’ve been able to meet people from all over the business and have developed my skills using these technologies. I’m currently working on a data analysis team project focusing on improving engagement with asset reviews. I’ve learned so much about the importance of communication when working in teams and it’s vital with the work that I’m doing that I can explain technical concepts in simple terms to others. Starting a new team remotely has been challenging for me, because it’s difficult to connect with others and meet new people. Blocking out my time to do specific tasks as well as taking regular breaks from my screen has helped me stay focused and engaged at work. I enjoy getting involved with lots of events hosted by the people networks at PwC, as it’s a great way to meet new people and learn something new. My advice for anyone applying for placement years is to attend recruitment events hosted by companies to get your name out there to recruiters. These might be in partnership with organisations like Generating Genius or the Bright Network – make sure you sign up to groups like these which provide great advice and share opportunities that might interest you.“
Lauren Alie – BSc Computer Science, PwC technology apprentice