Hi, my name is Liam, I’m a fourth year MSci Physics student, I just got back from studying abroad at The University of Miami and I’ve got a place on a graduate scheme with Schroders.
I feel like I really made the most out of my time at university. In my first year I joined the boxing team and the physics society. In my second year I started my own business, became social secretary for the physics society, the president of the surf club and a competitive swimmer for Queen Mary. That summer I networked my way into work experience with The Met Office, where I wrote writing a path finding algorithm for them. Although I had some programming experience from my degree, I taught myself a lot in order to get this job. In my third year I studied in Miami, joined a fraternity and a financial investment society (TAMID Group). During this summer I did two internships back to back over sixteen weeks when I cam back, I don’t think I could’ve possibly managed this without my work experience at The Met Office. The first was working as a data analyser for a trading team in an energy company, Good Energy. The second was working as a database analyser with Hilger Crystals. All of these positions and jobs taught me a lot about time management, software development, data analysis, communication skills and leadership.
This year I joined the executive board of the first fraternity in London, focused on my academics and finding a job. From the minute I got back to London in September, I arranged to have a careers appointment. I got a few brief tips on my CV and a lot of resources regarding what companies offer graduate schemes. I was mostly applying for companies which offered roles relating to data analysis, software development, consulting and technology. Despite having studied physics for the past four years, I had very little interest in pursuing further education or becoming a scientist.
Finding a job is stressful, it takes up as much time as one and doesn’t pay you anything. I went through hundreds of pages of different companies that the careers team provided me with, applying to each and every one. My first few applications took up most of my day, but once you get into the rhythm, it becomes a lot easier. If I had a whole day, I could do a video interview, a couple of phone interviews, a few psychometric tests and four applications. I think the hardest part was finding enough jobs which my skill sets were suitable for.
My top tips would be to apply for as many as you possibly can. Most of your applications will be rejected almost immediately by their CV sorting algorithms, so I am a strong advocate of quantity over quality. Always make sure that you’re writing well structured answers to the applications, but don’t spend a whole day worrying about one cover letter. Make sure you know a lot about the company if they’ve offered you an interview and be a team player at assessment centres. Remember that if you don’t get a graduate scheme, it’s not the end of the world, I know loads of people who found their jobs shortly after graduating. So long as you’ve got perseverance and charisma, you’ll get a job.