News From The Fair

I’m now back from the Engineering, Science & Technology Fair in Manchester, which was buzzing as usual.

Here are comments from a few of the employers I talked to:

Victrex – maybe not the name on everyone’s lips, but a worldwide polymer company, headquartered in Thornton Cleveleys, in North West England. They do take chemists, chemical engineers but were particularly searching for a good control engineer. If that’s you, get in touch with them.

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Tata Chemicals – you must have heard of Tata, one of the biggest names worldwide in many sectors, but did you know they had a base in Northwich, in Cheshire? Refreshingly, they were looking for any science or engineering discipline for their graduate training programme, which will give you experience in strategic planning, business development, operations and specific business projects.

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National Grid – they were also open to any discipline, including non-science and engineering for their commercial graduate schemes. You might also be interested to know that they do pay more (£1K) for a Masters, and were shocked to find out that others generally didn’t. So, an organisation which really values postgraduate study.

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Contact Singapore – if you fancy experiencing life outside the UK and are interested in relocating to Singapore, this organisation wants to hear from you. If you have the kind of skills or degree which are in demand in Singapore, work visas don’t have to be a headache – and they are particularly interested in researchers, either for PhD scholarships or research posts based in Singapore.

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Balfour Beattie – not just the largest construction company in the UK, but also a provider of consultancy services on major infrastructure projects, since acquiring Parsons Brinckerhoff a couple of years ago. It was really encouraging to see one person on the stand (let’s call him “Gary” – not the one pictured!) who eventually admitted that, in spite of the suit and looking like he had loads of experience, he was a PhD who had only joined the PB part of Balfour Beattie a couple of months ago. That’s another good reason for postgrads to go to graduate fairs – you never know who’s got a postgrad degree lurking in the background.

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Bioscience Careers – no, not an employer, but recognition from all the biological science learned societies that very few bioscience companies go to careers fairs. This was your chance to quiz them on the bioscience employment market. Lots of great bioscience careers and labour market info on offer to reassure you that although bioscience companies may not be at the fairs, they are still recruiting. For example, much of the cutting edge research in bioscience is now done in smaller companies, often spin-outs from universities. They’re much too small to want a stand at a general careers fair, but a targeted speculative application with a relevant postgraduate degree might be exactly what they need.

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