Work experience can be extremely useful to you in your future career. As well as helping you make more informed career decisions, you will be given the opportunity to develop new skills. It will also make you more attractive to prospective employers.
If you're interested in pursuing a career that involves chemistry, it is a good idea to get some work experience in an industry that uses the chemical sciences. A good placement can provide a great opportunity to see what it's like to work as a scientist and to learn new skills. It can also give you an insight into how the science you learn in school and beyond can be applied to solve problems and meet demands in the world we live in.
Even if you already know you would like to be a chemistry, work experience is still a good idea because:
- Companies and universities look very highly on students who have the enthusiasm and commitment to take the time to complete a work placement.
- Your application for the next stage of your career will stand out - your CV will be stronger, your skills and experience can be used in interviews and you should be able to get a job reference.
- According to recent studies, graduates are more likely to be employed if they already have work experience, often because they are taken on by the company that gave them the placement. Companies like to employ people they know they can trust.
Finding a suitable placement can be difficult - the internet is the best place to start, but this will require some digging around in order to find a good placement. Other places to look include:
- Family and friends - it's all about who you know
- Local companies
- Your RSC Local Section - RSC members have a wealth of experience and might be able to put you in contact with someone with an opportunity
- Your school careers service
- University research labs
- The Nuffield Foundation offer research placements to over 1,000 students
There are 35 Local Sections throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland
University Courses with Industrial Experience
A number of UK university degrees in the chemical sciences include a year working in industry. This offers the opportunity to gain valuable paid experience working on interesting projects in an industrial environment, and may even lead directly to a job after you finish your degree. It can also help you to decide the type of career you are interested in.
Search and apply for industrial placements and summer internship opportunities on ChemistryWorldJobs
Undergraduate Summer Research Bursaries
The RSC offers undergraduate summer research bursaries in conjunction with the Nuffield Foundation. These fund a 6-8 week summer research projects for undergraduate chemistry students in the middle years of their course to work within a university department.
These will be advertised on the RSC website in the Autumn term.
Nuffield Research Placements
Find out more about work experience available through the Nuffield Foundation
Work experience opportunities
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Contact and Further Information
Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF
Tel: 01223 432221