Placement Workshop 3

Professional Development:
Employability Workshops
Dr Vikki Carolan (Placement Tutor)
Workshop 1:
11-12 29th September
Workshop 2:
11-12 6th October
Making Applications
Intro to Careers Service
Workshop 3:
11-12 13th October
Interview Preparation
Workshop 4:
11-12 20th October
Recent placement experiences
Professional Development Portfolio
Evidence of placement or employment activities
To include (amongst others):
statement of placement / employment goals
up to date CV
application form and covering letter
list of practical, professional & personal skills
reflection on professional development including career
What is employability?
‘a set of achievements - skills, understandings and
personal attributes - that make graduates more
likely to gain employment and be successful in
their chosen occupations, which benefits
themselves, the workforce, the community and the
Yorke 2006
What is employability?
‘The possession by an individual of the qualities and
competences required to meet the changing needs
of employers, and thereby help realise his or her
aspirations and potential in work’
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
Employability Workshop (1)
Ways to improve employability:
 get a (science) degree
 develop transferable skills
 get work experience
Develop transferable skills
 Use subject specific employability profiles /
transferrable skills to identify your strengths
BMS - take BMS profile
Biology - take Bioscience profile
Human biology - take Bioscience profile
Biochemistry - take Bioscience and chemistry sheets
Biotechnology - take Bioscience profile
Pharm Sci - take chemistry sheet
FAS - take Forensic and chemistry sheets
FBS - take Forensic and Bioscience sheets
Why get work experience?
The 2008 ABPI Industry Skills report* states that:
'most industry employers would only consider hiring
graduates who had at least completed a summer
*Skills Needs for Biomedical Research, ABPI, 2008. p15
One way to improve employability....
.....spend year 3 on placement
What is an industrial placement?
fantastic, exciting, daunting opportunity
work experience
chance to try a job
opportunity to improve 'transferrable skills'
 48 weeks of employment
 starting summer 2012
It could:
 influence your career choice
 be a year long interview
 let you (hopefully) earn some money
 give you experience of 'working life'
 develop new skills - practical, academic & social
 improve your final degree classification
It will:
 Improve your employability
Students on all Biosciences courses can choose to do a
work placement in their third year
Support available from:
 Placement Team
 Careers team (SLS)
 Academic Tutors
Common Worries:
 Will I be up to the job?
 I won't know anyone!
 I don't want to leave:
Sheffield / my boyfriend/girlfriend / my dog!
 Can I afford it?
 Where will I live?
How do I get a placement?
 impressive CV
 apply!
 well thought-out application / covering letter
(JA will check first application forms/cover letters)
 prepare for interview
 final draft should be completed and with Joanna
 it should show your strengths but be to the point
 make it reader friendly
 get someone to proof read it
 update it
 difficult to apply for a placement without a CV!
 Placement opportunities on Blackboard - once enrolled,
check daily
 Look at job spec and match with your course / interests
 Think of evidence of transferable skills
 Note deadlines - companies set these not us
 Do what they ask
 Don't wait for the 'ideal placement'
Prepare for interview
 guidance in workshop 3, also use Careers service
 use 'The Interviewer'
 think about possible questions
 how can you demonstrate key skills (evidence)?
 what attracts you about the company?
 be prepared for technical questions
 practise psychometric tests
Contact with company
 may contact you directly
 check email regularly
 ensure voicemail / ansaphone messages are appropriate!
 keep Joanna informed of application status
Follow the Placement Process Regulations
Keep a placement file!
(Keep copies of applications / job descriptions)
What to do next?
 Ensure 'final' version of CV and covering letter are
sent to Joanna
 Look on blackboard - and apply!
 Many good placements are already being
advertised, with some imminent closing dates
Oct - Jan busiest placement period; slows down after this
Applications will be monitored
General Items:
 Health & Safety
 Hep B Vaccination
 Animal Testing
Health & Safety:
 Info in placement booklet (provided in Y1)
 Approved by SHU before placements commence and risk
 Consider 'disclosing' a disability
 Discuss any health problems at interview
 We do not inform employers of any issues
 Companies may insist on a medical / drug test
 H&S discussed further in S2 workshops
Hepatitis-B Vaccination:
 Recommended if you are likely to be working with blood /
blood products
 Offered by Student Medical Centre – free service but
appointment necessary
 Course of 3 injections followed by blood test – course takes
about 8 months
 Hep-B serious disease; vaccination requirement for some
Animal Testing:
 Need to be clear of your views
 Look at questions in placement booklet
 Various levels of involvement:
Company may deal with data from animal studies done elsewhere
Analysis of samples from animals e.g. urine, faeces
Collection & analysis of samples from animals
Analysis of tissue from animals e.g. biopsies, liver
Collection & preparation of tissue samples from animals e.g.
dissection, preparation of sections
 hands-on work with animals
Next time.....
....making applications

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