Amefish
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I'm trying to look for placements/work experience for summer or otherwise. I'm a first year undergraduate at the moment and I know most places want students in their penultimate year, but I'd still like to get something done.

Pretty open to the sector, I'm studying Environmental Science so would like to go somewhere to do meteorology/atmospheric physics (I've looked at the Met Office, it's too far), ecology, geology, or I'd even go do work with something like rivers if I could.

I'm going to book an appointment with the careers guy at my uni after Christmas break, but I really want to get looking for opportunities now.

The main restriction for me is that I would want something fairly nearby that I could get to, whether this means around Nottingham or Manchester.

I just don't know where to start looking at all!
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Student-95
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See if there's anything in gradcracker. I believe there's a filter for roles that accept first year students.
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Amefish
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(Original post by Student-95)
See if there's anything in gradcracker. I believe there's a filter for roles that accept first year students.
Thank you, I'll give it a look :five:
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by Amefish)
I'm trying to look for placements/work experience for summer or otherwise. I'm a first year undergraduate at the moment and I know most places want students in their penultimate year, but I'd still like to get something done.

Pretty open to the sector, I'm studying Environmental Science so would like to go somewhere to do meteorology/atmospheric physics (I've looked at the Met Office, it's too far), ecology, geology, or I'd even go do work with something like rivers if I could.

I'm going to book an appointment with the careers guy at my uni after Christmas break, but I really want to get looking for opportunities now.

The main restriction for me is that I would want something fairly nearby that I could get to, whether this means around Nottingham or Manchester.

I just don't know where to start looking at all!
Another vote for Gradcracker - but the first year filter is pretty shite sometimes. I've seen quite a few companies that don't accept first years even if you've selected the first-year filter.

If there are any companies in your area that fit the description you've given - send them your CV for a speculative application. A big insurance company in Edinburgh used to use this type of application for internships, rather than publicly advertising them.
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Amefish
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(Original post by Blue_Cow)
Another vote for Gradcracker - but the first year filter is pretty shite sometimes. I've seen quite a few companies that don't accept first years even if you've selected the first-year filter.

If there are any companies in your area that fit the description you've given - send them your CV for a speculative application. A big insurance company in Edinburgh used to use this type of application for internships, rather than publicly advertising them.
Thanks! I looked on Gradcracker, it's mainly just engineering stuff that I could find. I've been looking for companies close to home, I'm just not really sure how to find them is there a directory of companies in the sector or anything like that? Kinda lost!

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Tagging in Plagioclase and Leviathan1741 in the hope that they can share their experience and knowledge :crossedf:
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by Amefish)
Thanks! I looked on Gradcracker, it's mainly just engineering stuff that I could find. I've been looking for companies close to home, I'm just not really sure how to find them is there a directory of companies in the sector or anything like that? Kinda lost!

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Tagging in Plagioclase and Leviathan1741 in the hope that they can share their experience and knowledge :crossedf:






I got a research placement as a first year and I did it by asking my professors. I asked around and I actually ended up with two opportunities before long, ultimately doing a research placement in physical oceanography (which, whilst not (yet) producing anything publishable, was a very valuable experience indeed). Even if it's not possible to do something in your department, your professors may have contacts with other universities or know of other schemes you can apply for. So I would 100% recommend trying to chat to some people in your department/university who do things you're interested in and see if it's possible to do something with them (I'd particularly recommend this since you say you want to stay in the Nottingham-Manchester region, when I expect a lot of the more formal summer placement schemes may require you to travel further).

Can you program, and how good are you at maths? Particularly for anything physical (e.g. meteorology/atmospheric physics etc.), this is going to be important. If you don't already know how to program then you should try to learn as soon as possible because good programming skills will be essential for any research role in that kind of field down the line, and it will give you a good advantage over the people who can't.

Modern Earth Sciences is a very broad field indeed and you may well find that there are areas you never knew about that are (1) really fascinating and (2) more accessible for someone who hasn't got an undergraduate degree in Physics or Maths. I make this second point because, despite having done Further Maths and (in my opinion) challenging first-year maths and physics modules, I still felt very under-prepared for my first-year research placement which, to be honest, wasn't even that complex given the field. When I was applying for university I asked a professor at Imperial whether I can go into meteorology with a degree in Earth Sciences; she told me "probably, but a physics degree would be better". I don't regret my choice of degree but she was right. It is an unfortunate fact that I have to come to accept that it is very difficult to get into a very physics-intense area of research without actually having taken an undergraduate degree in physics or maths. And fortunately, there are many other great areas of Earth Sciences/Climate Science that are a little bit less daunting than pure meteorology or physical oceanography (if you want some ideas, PM me because I've been busily writing up research proposals over the past few months for various climate-science related projects).

If you're looking for an industry placement rather than a research placement then I'm afraid I don't have a lot of experience there, sorry!
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Amefish
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(Original post by Plagioclase)
So I would 100% recommend trying to chat to some people in your department/university who do things you're interested in and see if it's possible to do something with them (I'd particularly recommend this since you say you want to stay in the Nottingham-Manchester region, when I expect a lot of the more formal summer placement schemes may require you to travel further).
That's a good idea! I'd like to do a research placement, I've already spoken to my first year coordinator who does atmospheric physics, but I'll ask around others too.

Can you program, and how good are you at maths? Particularly for anything physical (e.g. meteorology/atmospheric physics etc.), this is going to be important.
We did a module using MATLAB, so I'm familiar with that. I found out how important programming is for this area just this semester, so I'll get into more of that (someone recommended CodeAcademy? but my dad also teaches Computer Science). Which programming languages would you recommend? Maybe Java?

The good thing is that I achieved 93.79% in a problem solving module, which is mainly maths and MATLAB. Obviously first-year undegrad, this is relatively simple, but at least it's a good start?

I asked a professor at Imperial whether I can go into meteorology with a degree in Earth Sciences; she told me "probably, but a physics degree would be better"
I definitely see where you're coming from there, but it's going to be the same for anything I want to go into - I do modules in geology, ecology/biodiversity, and I even do some modules which are explicitly atmospheric physics; however, if I try to go into geology, it's likely that students with a geology degree would be preferred (and advantaged), same with biology and physics. The thing I like about my degree is how many disciplines it covers, but that can also be a disadvantage! I'm just going to work with what I've got and go for every opportunity I get at this stage

Thanks a lot for your advice, you've helped a lot :five: I'll do some asking around and see what's available
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by Amefish)
We did a module using MATLAB, so I'm familiar with that. I found out how important programming is for this area just this semester, so I'll get into more of that (someone recommended CodeAcademy? but my dad also teaches Computer Science). Which programming languages would you recommend? Maybe Java?
If it's research you're interested in, there's no point in learning Java. The main languages you will probably be working with in academia are MATLAB and Python (and possibly R). These languages are quite slow (i.e. computationally expensive) but they have great functionality, are easy to use and are good for presenting data (particularly MATLAB) which is why they're so widely used in research. If you're proficient in MATLAB then you shouldn't have too much difficulty in adapting to the other high-level scientific programming languages so by all means continue with MATLAB if that's what you're comfortable with. If you did end up getting involved with high-performance computing (e.g. developing/modifying complex climate models) then you might need to work with other languages such as Fortran but this isn't something you need to be worrying about at the moment. If you can use MATLAB or Python, you're in a good place.

I definitely see where you're coming from there, but it's going to be the same for anything I want to go into - I do modules in geology, ecology/biodiversity, and I even do some modules which are explicitly atmospheric physics; however, if I try to go into geology, it's likely that students with a geology degree would be preferred (and advantaged), same with biology and physics. The thing I like about my degree is how many disciplines it covers, but that can also be a disadvantage! I'm just going to work with what I've got and go for every opportunity I get at this stage
This is true to some extent but I do feel like there are some fields that are genuinely more accessible to people with a broader scientific background like us, than others. For example, with the scientific training that I have, I can get through literature on geochemical proxies for climate or sea-level reconstruction without too much difficulty, but it might take hours to work through a single paper on fluid dynamics. There are some fields that just require a good general scientific mindset, but for really physics/maths intense stuff, if you haven't perfected your maths, you're stuck. Again, I'm not trying to discourage, I'm just saying that this is a roadblock that I've come across and I feel like you may end up feeling the same way too.

Anyway, best of luck!
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