Research has shown that graduates that
the three factors
which were most important to achieving a positive outcome from your studies
work experience whilst at University
a career plan on leaving University
focused applications while studying.
So the message is to
start your career planning early and get work experience.
You could therefore
use your first year to explore different career options and try and different
experiences to see what does and doesn’t appeal to you. You will then be a good position to make
well-informed decisions in your second year and applying for work experience and
preparing yourself to make informed decisions and high quality applications in
your final year!
Gain work experience
While your degree might be considered to be the key to unlocking
employment doors it is your work experiences – and associated skills – that
will help to push those doors open.
Part-time work will bring in much-needed money during your
degree while enhancing your teamwork, time keeping, flexibility and customer
service skills as well as increasing your
commercial awareness and overall professional attitude.
Placements, be they year -long placement or summer internships
can dramatically boost employment prospects; in some cases, placement employers
either offer students a graduate role or fast-track them through the
recruitment process. Anecdotal evidence
also suggests that students who have completed a placement significantly
improve their academic performance in their final year leading to higher
grades. Well worth thinking about!
Some of the employers that our maths students have secured
placements with include;
- BMW (UK) Ltd
Electric Medical Systems Ltd
- Home Office
- National Air
- Office for
- Thames Water
- Vocalink (a
All of the mathematics programmes incorporate a placement year
and/or work-based learning option and our Placements team will support you with
identifying and applying for placements.
You can research the opportunities with larger organisations on the
specialist STEM careers website, Gradcracker.
Summer placements are a great short-term option for students to
gain a brief insight into an industry and working culture. In 2019, students took up the following
- accounts assistant at the local company JP Concrete Products
- software developer at BAE Systems
- statistician at the University of Maryland, Centre for
- analyst in the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL),
in the Homeland Security and Technical Analysis Team
- data analyst in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local
Voluntary work is a great
way to develop and enhance your professional skills and build confidence. You can also contribute an organisation or
area that is important to you and make a real difference to the local
community. The University of Plymouth
have excellent links with local organisations and promote opportunities at
their Volunteers’ Fair and on their web pages.
Clubs & Societies
Engaging in a
sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it
also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills.
Committee members develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and
will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion
You may choose to join
a society that
is specifically linked to mathematics such as MathsSoc or take the
opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can
help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.
Tutor and academic support
Your tutor and other
academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development.
They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach
them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will
ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study
applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person