When you’re a student, it’s good time to start serious thinking about your career development. CVs, cover letters, interviews, internships, graduate schemes… all of these can be daunting for someone unfamiliar with the professional world.
Thankfully, Imperial doesn’t leave you alone with that as Careers Service offers you all necessary career development support. Don’t underestimate its value! In my case, Careers Service has proved useful several times already.
The range of available services is wide. There are lots of online resources, e.g. the CV writing guide and interview preparation tips. Additionally, you can book one-to-one tailored sessions, where you get personalised help with job applications and interviews.
Are you seriously thinking about a research career? If so, there are many opportunities to try out leading-edge research as an Imperial undergraduate student. Some time ago, I wrote a post about IROP, a programme that allows you to have a research internship at prestigious institutions abroad. Today, I would like to write a few words about UROP, which gives you equally-good placements at Imperial itself.
Are you seriously considering a career in research? Do you want to discover new places while doing what you love? Or maybe you just want to spend your summer in an exciting way? The International Research Opportunities Programme (IROP) might be for you! It is an exchange programme which allows you to undertake a 2-month research internship at world-class Imperial partner institutions, with all costs covered by a bursary. This includes accommodation, food, flights and a visa!
Module Choices, Job offers and tough decisions
Whilst my first two years at Imperial could be largely summed up by my extra curricular activities, coming into third year I have decided to focus my attention on my degree in order to secure that 2.1. (I’m not that academic :/ )
With this in mind, my first step was to decide what activities I would continue into final year, and what would sadly have to face the chop. Having been elected President of MathSoc, I knew that this would be my biggest focus and would take up most of my free time.
Did I manage to get an Internship?
Here’s a timeline of how I finally secured my Second Year Summer Internship at one of my favourite companies.
August – It’s all about the CV
A year in advance I found myself sitting in the waiting area of an empty careers service getting my CV checked. I would throughly recommend using the service over summer before they become extremely busy in October again. The careers service was able to not only identify key experiences I should include in my CV but also suggested some structural ideas. Whilst I know loads of people who LaTeX their CVs (overkill IMO) I think that you can make a perfectly good CV on Word.
How to successfully navigate applications
One of the hardest parts of being a penultimate year student is juggling applications for internships alongside academic studies. Having just been through this process, I wanted to share my journey and also some top tips on how to survive this time-consuming task successfully! In this first post I will talk about the general process and my top tips!
The general steps in the application process
- Online Application – This usually involves providing your personal details, answering some questions about your motivations for this career, listing your previous work experiences. Sometimes you will be asked to provide a CV and cover letter
- Online Assessments – Either with your application or sometimes if you make it through the first round, you will be asked to complete some online assessments.
I haven’t written for a while as I recently moved to Exeter for a summer internship in Met Office. If you’re interested in what the research here involves, check out my popular science blog. However, my Exeter adventure involves way more than work.
While London and Imperial are as international as it gets, Exeter has a very British (or rather English) feel. Today I spent ages queuing for cream tea and discussing with English colleagues what being British actually involves. Here’s the list of very British things I experienced only today.
- Queuing. I come from a Central European country, where your place in the queue depends pretty much only on how cunning you are.
You may have seen a company called TeachFirst around Imperial during the year. They are a charity that helps schools combat educational inequality due to different backgrounds, (i.e. children from homes with lesser financial background). So why am I talking about them?
For students, they offer 2 programs, an insight program and a graduate scheme. Last April, I got into their insight scheme which consisted of 2 weeks:
- One week training
- One week placement in a school
This was, without doubt, one of the greatest experiences of my life. I understand that many at Imperial/elsewhere look down upon teaching, but hear me out.