Before I formally retire from this role since I’ll be graduating (yay!), I wanted to comment on work experience and the project viva, which is the presentation and discussion that takes place after you submit your final year project/dissertation…
I couldn’t get any internships, I’m screwed!
You’re really not. There are lots of activities you can do that can enhance your CV whilst at uni or during term breaks. For uni, there are part-time positions you can sign up for like student bloggers (me!), the President Ambassador’s scheme, and student caller campaigns. You can check out fellow student blogger Kinan’s experience with those schemes by clicking the hyperlinks. There are also volunteering opportunities like with the Union, RAG, becoming a hall senior, and teaching at schools. You may want to sign up for the Imperial Award to showcase your contribution to society.
You have learning tools like Coursera, edX, and LinkedIn Learning. I myself have been taking LinkedIn Learning courses related to computing and data science included as part of the Imperial subscription. Being at Imperial means you have all these subscriptions to journals, magazines, and software.
As a wise friend I know that has been at Imperial for undergrad and is currently doing his PhD, even though we should always strive to do well, grades don’t matter as much as you might think you do, but rather like other things, such as work experience, they contribute a part but not all of your CV belt nor you as a person. In fact, Forbes business magazine has published that they care about your personality just as much as your university degree or work experience. Your undergraduate degree gives you that stepping stone for getting a job, and you can show off your personality by participating in the 350+ clubs and societies we have at Imperial. If you won’t take it from me, take it from other successful people working in the field 🙂
Dissertation very oof, much scary?
I want prospective (final year) students to know that it’s not as scary as it sounds. Like with every task, we have to approach it like we are already a professional at it to boost our confidence. The more confident and the more we have practised for it. You can read more about effective studying in my previous blog post. After you give a presentation on what your dissertation is about, the examiners marking your dissertation will ask you about anything that piques their interest or clarifies why you’re doing the project scientifically and their broader applications. It’s kinda like a business pitch of selling why you think your project is important but also acknowledging any criticisms against the research. Further reading you do from writing your dissertation and critical thinking you develop from Years 1 and 2 are more than enough for you to get through this assessment.
I hope that most of you found my blog posts helpful and entertaining. Final years: congratulations, you have finished your degree and are going to achieve so much more. First, second and third years: this year has been difficult for all of us but you have already gotten this far, congratulations! Offer holders: best of luck on Results Day and welcome to Imperial :3