SEPnet maintains three strands of work in (1) Outreach and Public Engagement, (2) Employer Engagement, and (3) postgraduate training (via its Graduate network, GRADnet). Undergraduate students benefit particularly from the first and second strands, as follows:
The Outreach and Public Engagement programme is led by a SEPnet-employed Director, and each member university has a dedicated Outreach Officer who leads the local implementation of the programme. Undergraduate students can develop professional science communication experience as paid outreach ambassadors supporting their department’s outreach programmes with schools and the public. This activity helps you develop industry-relevant transferrable skills by discussing the science they are studying with broad public audiences.
The major activity within the Employer Engagement programme is the Summer Placement programme whereby students can undertake 8-week paid placements from across a wide range of industry settings. SEPnet sources typically 75 placements per year through the Director of Employer Liaison and university-based Employability Advisors from whom undergraduate students can obtain advice and practical support in identifying, applying for, and successfully completing paid summer placements. The local Employability Advisor also arranges employer visits to speak to students, drawing on SEPnet’s employer network, and provides broader advice to students preparing for job searches and submitting applications.
SEPnet’s large and diverse student body
Being a physics student is an exciting time, as you explore the intricacies of the physics world with an enquiring and developing mind. Historically, physics has not attracted students in representative proportions from all sectors of British society, and this can result in some students feeling like they don’t fit in, but across SEPnet’s universities there are literally hundreds of undergraduates, more than enough to ensure a critical mass of students from many diverse backgrounds. Students who are looking to meet and network with other physics students from under-represented backgrounds, whether on the basis of ethnicity or gender, are strongly encouraged to connect with the internal and external networks highlighted on our diversity page.
Careers & Placements
There’s never been a more important time for students to gain relevant work experience to improve their career prospects. According to High Fliers, the graduate research group, ‘graduates without work experience will struggle to get jobs no matter how good their grades’. Its survey of graduate employers found that one in three graduate posts are filled by people who have previously worked for that company as an intern.
Many SEPnet students have gained further work experience or graduate jobs with their placement organisations or other graduate employers.
Visit our other pages for further information on the SEPnet Summer Internship Scheme, other placement schemes and for where to go for careers information.
“The SEPnet scheme has been incredibly valuable to us. I had a number of excellent applicants for the post and overall experience was very positive. I will definitely be working with SEPnet in future years to take advantage of this scheme again.”
– Phil Edwards, Director, Weald Technology Ltd
“We got the chance to welcome four SEPnet students over the past 3 years and each of them has exceeded my expectations, generating outstanding work, helping us, in some cases, to shape aspects of our research interests. The SEPnet team is extremely efficient, friendly and very professional and I would highly advise any company to engage with them to leverage the tremendous technical skills of their students.”
– Pierre Moinier, Lead Engineer, BAE Systems