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    I am currently in lower sixth and have decided to apply to read chemistry at university. I am just wondering, is the Year In Industry very beneficial? Also if anyone has any experience with a placement as such could you let me know? I am wondering, when you get a placement subject to interview and you start the following year, is it near the university? Could you still possible stay on uni accommodation or will you need to find accommodation near to the workplace, and organize this beforehand? Will I be disadvantaged for not having a car or drivers license?

    Thanks for any help!
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    Do it.

    Just finishing/finished my placement (extended my contract over summer for more £££). I've got experience which is going to help me dramatically when I graduate, and better yet i've met some good contacts in a major international chemical company. Not to mention it's generally much more engaging than sat in lectures.

    Placements - it will depend on the university exactly how they run, i've heard of universities that try and set you up with places themselves. Most universities though operate in a "go forth and apply, come back when you have something" manner. So, you just go and apply like any other normal job. Companies have specific programs for industrial placements usually, or with smaller companies it might be less rigid but you can always enquire with a speculative CV if there's something you're interested in. The university will offer some support in getting your CV sorted during first or second year/go and see the careers service.

    Placements are everywhere and anywhere, so depends where your university is located. If you're really desperate then just apply to the ones nearby, but let's face it, you're heavily limiting your options. Get out, see another part of the country, and then you have the freedom to apply to the areas that most interest you (i.e. organic synthesis, polymers, analytical chemistry...).

    You get paid, but try and save a few hundred quid in second year for a deposit or initial rents, for somewhere to live. Once you're there then your rent comes out of your wages easily enough. Rather than renting, i'm just a "lodger" in someone's home, and it's way cheaper and easier for me. I got paid minimum wage [Derbyshire], but my housemate brought in 19k [Oxford] - slightly higher living costs, but even still, there's a range of salaries. Out of ~13.2k or whatever it is, i've saved about 3k, so don't worry about it not being enough.

    You will be at a disadvantage not having a driver's license for some companies. Lots of chemical companies are based just outside of cities, or industrial estates away from the main routes. If your parents are in a position to help (or you have savings) then i'd consider doing driving lessons during A2. I think there's a whole bus an hour where my company is. If not. just be smart about where you can live, i.e. get something that's walkable - OR, a colleague of mine can't drive but he really enjoys cycling. If you're willing to cycle or something then that's one way you can spin it to not be a concern.

    The accommodation can vary depending on the company. I had to just sort mine out. Couple of places where course mates have gone have provided little cottages or houses where all their students on placements are living.
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
    Do it.

    Just finishing/finished my placement (extended my contract over summer for more £££). I've got experience which is going to help me dramatically when I graduate, and better yet i've met some good contacts in a major international chemical company. Not to mention it's generally much more engaging than sat in lectures.

    Placements - it will depend on the university exactly how they run, i've heard of universities that try and set you up with places themselves. Most universities though operate in a "go forth and apply, come back when you have something" manner. So, you just go and apply like any other normal job. Companies have specific programs for industrial placements usually, or with smaller companies it might be less rigid but you can always enquire with a speculative CV if there's something you're interested in. The university will offer some support in getting your CV sorted during first or second year/go and see the careers service.

    Placements are everywhere and anywhere, so depends where your university is located. If you're really desperate then just apply to the ones nearby, but let's face it, you're heavily limiting your options. Get out, see another part of the country, and then you have the freedom to apply to the areas that most interest you (i.e. organic synthesis, polymers, analytical chemistry...).

    You get paid, but try and save a few hundred quid in second year for a deposit or initial rents, for somewhere to live. Once you're there then your rent comes out of your wages easily enough. Rather than renting, i'm just a "lodger" in someone's home, and it's way cheaper and easier for me. I got paid minimum wage [Derbyshire], but my housemate brought in 19k [Oxford] - slightly higher living costs, but even still, there's a range of salaries. Out of ~13.2k or whatever it is, i've saved about 3k, so don't worry about it not being enough.

    You will be at a disadvantage not having a driver's license for some companies. Lots of chemical companies are based just outside of cities, or industrial estates away from the main routes. If your parents are in a position to help (or you have savings) then i'd consider doing driving lessons during A2. I think there's a whole bus an hour where my company is. If not. just be smart about where you can live, i.e. get something that's walkable - OR, a colleague of mine can't drive but he really enjoys cycling. If you're willing to cycle or something then that's one way you can spin it to not be a concern.

    The accommodation can vary depending on the company. I had to just sort mine out. Couple of places where course mates have gone have provided little cottages or houses where all their students on placements are living.
    Thanks for the help, you have definitely convinced me to take this option! May I ask, what university are you going to, and what are your career ambitions?
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    (Original post by randlemcmurphy)
    Thanks for the help, you have definitely convinced me to take this option! May I ask, what university are you going to, and what are your career ambitions?
    Good The biggest piece of advice I can give: don't stop trying to get a place. The application phase can be demoralising when companies don't respond, or you go through a couple of months of interviews only to not get a place. Some companies will advertise early (~October) and some won't hire until April time, so there's always something around if you look hard enough. Also, looking at potential places during your first year/summer to give you ideas is helpful.

    I'm at the University of Sheffield right now, the department is really nice. Worth a look I only went to see it because of my mum pushing me, the thought of Sheffield was just a kind of...drab, industrial city. It's actually so nice, full of greenery, and a really relaxing place to be. Type of university is preference, but I honestly couldn't live somewhere like London etc.

    Not really sure what I want to do yet. I definitely want to go back and work in industry, although partially debating about a PhD to specialise in more materials-side of things, or whether I just try and get out there. I've been working on polymers (polyurethane elastomers specifically, which is amazing because they're used in so many places so it's been dead interesting to see lots of different things). I actually make things I can physically hold, rather than some random looking powder.

    The role i've been involved in is technical service and development, so it involves being in the lab and developing products but also providing support to the people who buy our systems. I've loved the customer facing aspect, and it has lots of opportunity to travel. I actually spent a week in France during in March! I think i'd quite like to find a role like this again, as it seems a bit more exciting than R&D. I had no idea polyurethane existed, what it was, or this type of job existed, before I did a placement. I've worked closely with the chap that does analytical and testing work at my place, and i've sort of figured out that I don't think I could do analytical chemistry as a career. I kind of figured it was always a good fall back area to go into, but I think now it would just bore me the more you know!
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
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    I was considering to apply to Sheffield! To me the information on the website conveys their efforts to give you the best standing in getting a placement (I especially think the employability skills workshop is great and what other universities do not offer/mention about) and seem to genuinely care about your interests and what you to receive the best possible outcome.
    On another note, may I ask how do you recommend going about writing the personal statement? I have loads of things which interest me in chemistry and have a read a few books, I am just thinking what would be the best to include, for example we have recently been learning about the equilbrium constant Kc, however we just went into the mathematical side i.e. calculations instead of understanding its derivation, I recently watched a video explaining its derivation, should I definetely include this to show I have gone into further detail outside of the specification, also we are not taught about Kp, should I state I have been learning about that too?

    You have been a great help, I cannot express that enough!
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    (Original post by randlemcmurphy)
    !
    Whew, PS, errr, I can't even remember what i'd written in mine. Sheffield do interview quite commonly though, so be prepared to discuss a little on what's in there. The interviews are really quite informal, it's just a chat, and usually you do a couple of problems (based on something you like etc.) as I mentioned I really liked organic chemistry, in passing, so he had me draw mechanisms for stuff like ester hydrolysis or something, I think. It's just to make sure you're on the right course, really, as chemistry is notorious for drop out. I think the department here as one of the lowest dropout rates, probably because they make sure beforehand.

    You're doing maths, presumably? As that sort of interest is a way to link your maths skill into it. A desire to know why things work as well as being able to use it etc. I remember talking about a couple of books, and largely stuff like what skills I had that fit with chemistry (how my other subjects help). I suspect I just waffled a lot I might have put something about career aspirations, not sure what exactly, as not every course I applied for had industry. I applied twice at Sheffield, one for study in Europe, and the other for industry..
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    (Original post by randlemcmurphy)
    I am currently in lower sixth and have decided to apply to read chemistry at university. I am just wondering, is the Year In Industry very beneficial? Also if anyone has any experience with a placement as such could you let me know? I am wondering, when you get a placement subject to interview and you start the following year, is it near the university? Could you still possible stay on uni accommodation or will you need to find accommodation near to the workplace, and organize this beforehand? Will I be disadvantaged for not having a car or drivers license?

    Thanks for any help!

    At my uni we had a 3 month industrial placement that i did . i found it very useful and the experience is a great thing to talk about. I agree a lot with everyone else recommending it strongly.

    My placement was 40 minutes motorbike ride away from my uni so i stayed at the same place and commuted.

    Car licence definitely helps but some places are commutable by train etc.
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    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    At my uni we had a 3 month industrial placement that i did . i found it very useful and the experience is a great thing to talk about. I agree a lot with everyone else recommending it strongly.

    My placement was 40 minutes motorbike ride away from my uni so i stayed at the same place and commuted.

    Car licence definitely helps but some places are commutable by train etc.
    May I ask what university you went to, and the specific name of the course?
    Thanks for your opinion! I definitely think I will apply for experience.
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    (Original post by randlemcmurphy)
    May I ask what university you went to, and the specific name of the course?
    Thanks for your opinion! I definitely think I will apply for experience.
    Sussex uni Mchem. I did the usual course.

    The placement was with Novartis but since that Novartis building is being shut down they don't run the course anymore. We have a different industrial placement year course though as well.
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    Without doubt do it!

    I am a 4th year Chemistry student at the university of Strathclyde and I am currently about to finish my placement in France!

    Placement is the most crucial part of university. It’s all good and fun knowing how things work and the theory behind everything and doing basic experiments in your labs. But Placement shows you what industry is like and how it runs. It will also give you a good idea on what your next step will be when you finish your degree, do you do a PhD or do you find a job?

    My time in France has been amazing. I had the chance to expand on my language skills (I still suck) meet some amazing people and I also got the chance to travel round mainland Europe and as a result travelled to about a dozen places! Of course the main benefit is experience which I have obtained in plentiful.

    When it comes to doing or not doing a placement it’s a no brainer. The experience is invaluable and future employers will be looking out for this type of experience.
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    (Original post by Stevelee)
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    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    S.
    Thanks for the information. Do you know if the level of course (eg MChem or Bsc) has any effect on the likelihood of a placement? I can't decide between an MChem or a Bsc but the thought of 5 years at uni is pretty scary.
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    (Original post by Connorshield)
    Thanks for the information. Do you know if the level of course (eg MChem or Bsc) has any effect on the likelihood of a placement? I can't decide between an MChem or a Bsc but the thought of 5 years at uni is pretty scary.

    I'm not sure but i know at least at my uni the MChem with placement year is still 4 years.

    You do distance learning in third year alongside your placement and come back to do exams and do some problem sheets etc.
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    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    I'm not sure but i know at least at my uni the MChem with placement year is still 4 years.

    You do distance learning in third year alongside your placement and come back to do exams and do some problem sheets etc.
    yeah I realised it's the same thing for me Sounds like a lot of work and pressure but worth it in the long run, I really can't decide :/
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    (Original post by Connorshield)
    Thanks for the information. Do you know if the level of course (eg MChem or Bsc) has any effect on the likelihood of a placement? I can't decide between an MChem or a Bsc but the thought of 5 years at uni is pretty scary.
    Whichever way you do it, the first two years of your course are the same. Employer's won't see a difference in the knowledge or anything like that, because you've studied the same whether you're on the BSc or the MChem.

    Slight difference is a project - depends how some companies feel about this. Some of them will want a project writing up etc. which is required for the MChem course so it's dead easy to tailor that around things. With a BSc you don't have to do that, as they don't credit you for the year academically, but to be honest I doubt that makes any difference. If an employer has hired you and wants a project writing up, then you do it, credit or not.

    The self-study stuff sucks. It really does. Nothing like working 40 hours and then coming home to more work (that for me, was completely irrelevant to my placement, so that made life harder). That said, you get a Master's in 4 years, with experience, or you get a Bachelor's in 4 years, with experience. If you want/need a Master's then though I guess you have to go and self-fund it.

    Also, check the universities. You may not have exams for third year, as I didn't. Some places do it, some don't.

    I would sign up to the MChem now, you can change later. Some places don't necessarily let you sign up for a BSc with a year out, they only actually do it when you're on the Master's, have secured a placement, and miss the grades to continue onto it (or I guess, protest you no longer want to do the Master's but are keeping the placement).
 
 
 
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