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How do students find summer placements?

(28 Posts)
OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 30-Jan-19 09:28:01

Looking for practical tips for dd as she has been trying really hard to find a maths placement for this coming summer. She just can't find anything that is open to first year students at all. When she does find something on a recruitment website that is purportedly open, when she goes on the actual company website it's closed already. She's been looking since before well before Christmas.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
MariaNovella Wed 30-Jan-19 09:55:31

What do you mean by a «maths placement»?

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 30-Jan-19 10:09:22

Ideally something in research as that seems to be where she is heading. Cryptography, or cyber security is also an interest, but from a mathematical point of view rather than as a general coder.

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MariaNovella Wed 30-Jan-19 10:35:17

Has she asked her tutors?

maryso Wed 30-Jan-19 12:32:42

Most of the maths students we know who go onto postgrad spend their summer holidays on a well earned break. Other STEM and medic students may call on research bodies and get lucky, and occasionally they may even adjust trajectories if they break through intransigent areas, are inspired, and the research body wants to deepen the relationship.

A lot of STEM students go for finance internships, but that doesn't sound to be what you're looking at. I know one maths student who dined at GS, BAML, UBS, etc and after looking around decided that they would like several years of holidays before hitting the long days, took up no internships whatsoever and post-degree waited for the right firm for months, presented themselves for testing and was offered the job within hours. Their rationale was it's down to cognitive judgement tests and then whether you're the right sort of human being... so taking proper holidays is the answer to growing both aspects! You may say that's a gamble but maybe it's just clear thinking and not running with the pack unnecessarily.

So I think it depends why your DD wants a placement. If it is research based, maybe call in on the places with suitable reputations that appeal. Nothing wrong with running with pack for IB-type internships either. Maybe the process of chasing placements will clear things up, which would be invaluable and in every sense, job done.

Personally I think our children will have to work so hard after university that any unnecessary theft of those precious few years of holiday is a bit of a shame. It is however down to them how they deal with the demands on themselves.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 30-Jan-19 12:42:33

She has asked her tutor who referred her to the university website. She could ask her supervisors.

That's good to read maryso. So much you read seems to suggest that summer placements are really important, but if they aren't then that's good. She's working really really hard. It would be nice if she could go off traveling or do some interesting voluntary work if that's what she wanted.

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Sophiesdog11 Wed 30-Jan-19 12:53:38

Op, is your DD thinking about a year in industry placement eventually, or just summer placements?

My DS is doing a Year 3 placement at a niche company that take STEM students, its very much analytical research but not in the cyber security or cryptography areas. Is she specifically set on those areas of work?

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 30-Jan-19 12:57:06

Just summer placements Sophie. She's not at all wedded to those interests, she does have a pretty wide interest range. She's not interested in banking.

OP’s posts: |
maryso Wed 30-Jan-19 13:04:35

I think it's important for them to find out what they want. So a summer of data review (along with effectively learning relevant parts of another course to make sense of the work) may inspire her, and the results may make her invaluable to the research team, opening up a one-off opportunity. Likewise a summer of 12-16 hour days running errands in a corporate environment may suit some... Even looking at what there is will give a sense of what she prefers. But I would say never do something no matter how celebrated if it doesn't make you feel it's worth your while. Highly respected research departments at a more local uni may be an option, as may corporate research departments.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 30-Jan-19 13:09:50

I'll feed back what you say. Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
sunsalutations Wed 30-Jan-19 14:22:43

Go straight to the websites of FTSE 100 companies and contact through there. I've managed a number of summer placement students for a big FTSE. They are a joy! She should be prepared for workshop type interviews.

ShalomJackie Wed 30-Jan-19 15:52:24

A lot of them are for 2nd year students.

GCHQ do a maths one but for 3rd year student which would sound perfect for her. I wonder if it is worth her approaching them anyway?

BubblesBuddy Wed 30-Jan-19 16:42:23

I think she is narrowing down what she wants far too early! If she wants decent experience to put on a cv, then volunteer or try and take a local job. It’s very difficult to focus an internship or summer placement in the y1 vacation!

The skills you learn from any job or volunteer placement will be getting along with others, time keeping, taking instruction and coaching, variety if you are lucky and lots of other soft skills. My DD volunteered for the National Trust. She greeted visitors, learnt room information, learnt and delivered a specialist talk on a unique area of the property, helped compile a new inventory, translated the visitor guide into two languages, helped re design the children’s area and design a quiz and - got a brilliant reference! She was asked about her time there at interviews! So, look for experience in soft skills because her maths goals might be more difficult at the moment. She could also volunteer in a school near the university to help with maths and look for charity work that might interest her. A job would be great too.

Apply for suitable internships for y2 onwards. However I would be a lot more flexible in what she might want. Something is better then nothing!

ErrolTheDragon Wed 30-Jan-19 18:24:31

I've just PM'd you with a STEM volunteering thing that might be of interest, OYBBK

Serin Wed 30-Jan-19 18:34:49

Would she consider something in the field if medical informatics at a local hospital? That might combine gaining experience alongside doing something "worthy"

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 30-Jan-19 18:51:44

Lots of useful suggestions, thanks! I'll pass them on to her smile She is looking at volunteering too and has volunteered with some stuff in the past.

GCHQ have closed their summer placements for this year. She was looking, it wasn't open and then bam it had opened and shut.

I'll take a look Errol smile

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Puzzledmum Sat 02-Feb-19 10:54:38

Kitten,
Has your DD thought about doing a research summer project with one of the professors in her area of interest in her uni or another uni? If she manages to get something like this, I think it could be equally useful as working in industry.

Stillabitemo Sat 02-Feb-19 11:03:54

Could also look into being a STEM ambassador?

Racecardriver Sat 02-Feb-19 11:07:40

Careers fairs. Or look on Targetjobs. For first year students it’s typically insight days rather than vac schemes which tend to be used as part of recruitment so are reserved for penultimate year students. Alternatively she can contact companies directly if they don’t have any information on their websites

thesandwich Sat 02-Feb-19 11:08:23

Hi kitten has your dd considered working on a headstart programme or MEI course for sixth formers? Has she contacted the uni outreach team as they often run taster days etc.

OhYouBadBadKitten Fri 08-Feb-19 22:22:03

shock this fell off TIO, I'm so sorry for not seeing your replies!

She's investigating research opportunities at her university but none have come up yet. It's a good idea for her to look into outreach or something like headstart. She is getting involved in some term time outreach. Lots of ideas now smile

Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
LoveVelo Sat 09-Feb-19 11:39:31

Hi OYBK, would something like this be of interest:
http://www.ccfe.ac.uk/student_placements.aspx
Closes 28 Feb

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 09-Feb-19 18:21:58

Definitely!!! Thanks LoveVelo that would be right up DDS Street.

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EdWinchester Sat 09-Feb-19 18:26:01

Ime, it's really hard for a first year. My ds had no luck with internships or placements, but got a paid internship relatively easily once he had done another year. They are taking him back this summer too.

lljkk Sat 09-Feb-19 18:58:36

Are these paid positions or voluntary?

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