Thursday, 7 December 2017

All those hours playing FIFA and Battlefront II ARE useful

Thanks to my colleague Lucy Everett, who passed this on to me:

One of the latest trends in graduate recruitment is gamification - essentially testing for competencies, behaviours, and potentially replacing psychometric testing, through online games rather than traditional assessments.
Barclays did a talk covering this, "Understanding new recruitment technologies", at the Careers Fair this year, where they explained that there are two types of "games", one that is more immersive and realistic "role-playing" of the job, designed to give candidates an insight into the role, whilst testing how they would perform in real situations, and the other is more abstract but still testing job skills. The main message was that students shouldn't get too caught up in which "system" employers use to assess candidates as they are all still using it to test for candidates demonstrating skills, competencies, behaviours required for the job or company overall. Students should just focus on demonstrating their motivation and the skills/competencies/strengths from the job advert/description. 
Interestingly, gamification is being used by some agencies and employers as a tool to increase diversity and encourage applicants from minority or disadvantaged backgrounds (women, Black and Ethnic Minority and Widening Participation). Test anxiety has been identified as a key barrier for these groups and Network Rail have been promoting their case study showing some very positive results from radically revising their recruitment process, including gamifying their Situational Judgement Test.
There was a blogpost from the Institute for Student Employers recently  "Deciding whether game based assessments are right for you" gives some insights on how employers make choices about changes to their recruitment process. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is data to suggest that "gamers" (students who are well practised at playing games) get better results in gamified assessments.
This is all still relatively new within recruitment, and is being used in different ways by different employers, but worth being aware of when you are applying for jobs.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Chemical Engineering graduate destinations in 2016

This post contains employment and further study destinations information for Edinburgh undergraduates from the 2015/16 DLHE survey. It features data for the following awards: BENG Chemical Engineering and BENG Chemical Engineering with Management, MENG Chemical Engineering, MENG Chemical Engineering with Environmental Engineering, MENG Chemical Engineering with Management. This data is collected 6 months after graduation. The total is based on the number of responders rather than the number of graduates.

Number        (%)
26               (54%)
Further Study
12               (25%)
Time out/Travel/Sth else
6                 (12%)
4                  (8%)
48 (19 BEng, 29 MEng)

Job Title
Process Engineer
Wm Grant & Sons
Process Engineer
Jacobs Engineering
Management Consultant
Unknown Consultancy
Supply Chain Management Trainee
AB InBev
Supply Chain Management Trainee (2)
Production Engineer
Brand Manager
Process Support Specialist
Project Engineer
Impact Solutions
Project Co-ordinator
Marshall Aerospace & Defence
Process Engineer
Compliance Technologist
Accounts Support Co-ordinator
SJD Accountancy
Investment Analyst
Intern Developer
North Capital Management
*Remote Tracking Technician
Pure HM (Canada)
*Process Environmental Engineer
Barrick Gold (USA)
Bank of China (Hong Kong)
*Sales Team Leader
Kurnia Mas (Indonesia)
Deputy Manager
A bar
General Assistant
John Lewis
General Assistant
Marks & Spencer
General Assistant
Au pair
A family

(* = International Graduates)

Further Study

Further Study
MSc Finance
U of Bath
MSc Sustainable Chemical Engineering
U of Newcastle
MSc Brewing & Distilling
Heriot Watt University
*MSc Sustainable Chemical Engineering
U of Newcastle
*MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering
U of Edinburgh
*MSc Chemical Engineering
U of Leeds
*MSc Chemical Engineering
National Uni of Singapore
*MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering
Imperial College London
*MSc Global Management
University College London
*MSc Materials Engineering
U of Toronto
*MSc Finance
U of London
PhD Engineering
U of Edinburgh

(* = International Graduates)

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Internships in the Energy Industry (Wood Mackenzie)

Wood Mackenzie are currently recruiting for summer internships,  including Edinburgh based ones. Closing date 31st January
The Wood Mackenzie UK Internship Programme is open to 3rd (AND I presume 4th) and final year undergraduate students/ final year postgraduate students  in a numerate or analytical discipline. 

Based in their Edinburgh, London and Guildford offices, the programme will provide invaluable experience for anyone considering a career within a research or consulting environment and who wants to find out more about the Natural Resources industry

Find out more here.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The chemical supply chain - Univar Case Study

If you are thinking ahead to your options after graduation, I am sure you want to reap the benefit of having all that knowledge from your chemistry/chemical engineering degree. But what if you don't want to BE an actual chemist or engineer? Thought about chemical supply chain?

What IS it?

Sheila Mowatt, the vice-president of Univar (a chemical supply chain company) defines it like this:
 "A supply chain in an organisation is the entire process of making and selling commercial goods. It includes every step it takes to get product to the end customer, from the supply of raw materials, manufacture of finished products to their final distribution and sale"
Supply chain management is a crucial process, an optimised supply chain results in lower costs, a faster production cycle and better customer service. It is often referred to as a Value Chain. The most expensive part of the cycle is the Raw Materials extraction and procurement - most of which come from oil in the chemicals industry.

Business to Business Supply Chain

Univar is a  US-owned Business to Business supply chain company - which means that the don't produce their own products (other than the food colourings for M&Ms bizarrely!), though they do add ingredients, change packaging and labelling and provide quality analysis. Their prime aim is to provide support to other companies, such as BP, Exxon, BASF with their supply chain. 

Univar is the largest chemical distributor in USA and the second largest in Europe (Brentagg being the largest).  It's end markets are myriad, including food, toiletries, pharma, automotive, detergents. They have 2 graduate streams - commercial and operational and a 2 year rotational graduate training programme. Sheila points out that, unlike some graduate training schemes, there WILL be a job at the end of the 2 years (unless you are a complete dingbat). The number of graduates they take on varies and they advertise vacancies on their website and on a range of graduate sites such as Prospects, TargetJobs and Gradcracker.

Sheila herself has a degree in biochemistry and she said it would have been very difficult to do her job without it - speaking to suppliers and manufacturers about raw ingredients and quality issues is a crucial part of the job.  

In house Supply Chain

Note that Univar is a business to business organisation -  they provide supply chain services to a huge range of companies. Many of Univar's customers have their OWN in-house supply chain division, but they may need specific services in the chain (eg bulk buying) that the likes of Univar or Brentagg can provide faster or cheaper. They can then opt in to whichever link in the chain is needed. The list of the (in-house) Top 25 Supply Chain companies in 2017 has just been released by Gartner -  Unilever tops the list, other scientific companies include Colgate-Palmolive, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, BASF, L'Oreal, Samsung, Diageo. 

What does the future look like for Supply Chain?

Three key trends in supply chain for this year (Gartner):

1. Digitalization of Supply Chain

The past few years have seen a massive shift in companies creating digital connections within and across their supply chain operations. Technologies include solutions combining Internet of Things sensors, cloud computing and advanced analytics. Simulation and optimization capabilities have moved into the mainstream and now cognitive computing capabilities, including machine learning, are in the labs of the most advanced supply chains. 

2. Adaptive Organizations and Capabilities

Some of the more impressive supply chain organizations have created a modular supply chain service model that allows for variants of functional capabilities to be combined into "plug-and-play" segments, such as make-to-stock, configure-to-order or engineer-to-order manufacturing profiles. This approach allows them to more quickly and flexibly support different business needs.

3. Developing and Fostering Healthy Ecosystems

 Leading supply chains focus as much on ethical sourcing and supporting customer well-being, as they do on talent acquisition and development. Environmental sustainability is another priority for top supply chain organizations that set ambitious stewardship goals in the areas of emissions, water and other natural resources. Companies that are further along in developing mature corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices tend to have moved beyond mere regulatory compliance and are linking these efforts back to support for their underlying corporate strategies. 

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Locations - from Khazakstan to Japan.

For the last couple of years, Chemistry World have been publishing dozens of really interesting short articles about the chemical industry in a range of locations throughout the world. Some places are exotic, some not so much,  some of them a lovely holiday destination (eg South of France, Tarragona in Spain, San Francisco, Melbourne). All of them are worth a read to find out which companies operate in the area and the health of the jobs market for the city/country.

Some places I had never even thought of as being particularly active in the chemicals industry. For example..........................

South Korea:

Samsung, Hyundai and LG are giants of the technology sector. These conglomerates, or ‘chaebols’, and others such as Lotte and Hanwha have varied interests across the chemical sciences. Nanomaterials and lithium-ion batteries are research areas that currently attract significant investment.

To Seoul’s west, Incheon has become a centre of biosimilar research and is home to Celltrion Healthcare. Hanmi Pharma and Samsung Bioepis are other major players in South Korea’s burgeoning pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

Further afield, Daejeon is the location of Daedeok Innopolis, a research and development hub comprising seven universities, sixty major research institutes and more than 1600 companies. Ulsan is the home of the world’s third largest oil refinery and attracts an array of chemical companies and multinationals, including Solvay and BASF.  See Chemistry World's Global Chemical Industry.

If you are keen to stay a bit closer to the UK though, there is a good website called the European Chemical Parks, which outlines all (or at least many) of the chemical parks across Europe - you can click and see which companies are in each area, then look at the company websites for vacancies an information. The one that caught my eye was the quaintly named Chemiepark Knapsack near Cologne!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

More opportunities in Japan!

Bit of a theme developing here. The Vulcanus programme consists of industrial placements for EU/COSME* students. The whole programme takes place in Japan (unlike the Daiwa programme in my previous post). It starts in September and ends in August of the following year in order to accommodate the academic year, in EU/COSME countries.

The objectives of the programme are to get acquainted with the range of advanced technologies employed by a leading Japanese host company (eg Mitsubishi Chemicals), to learn Japanese and to understand and appreciate Japanese culture with a view to an enriching one-year experience abroad, to provide an opportunity for students to interact with Japanese business and people.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE ?  You must be a science or engineering students and you need to apply anytime between your 4th year UG and penultimate year of a PhD. Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic record and the opinion of their tutors, their knowledge of written and spoken English, their motivation, their attitude to EU-Japan relations and their ability to adapt to a different culture.

WHO PAYS WHAT ? This programme is financed by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and the Japanese host company. The EU / COSME students are awarded a grant of 1.900.000 Yen to cover the cost of travel to and from Japan and living expenses in Japan. There is no charge for the language course and seminar, and accommodation is provided free of charge during the language course and the company traineeship.


* A list of COSME countries

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Looking for something different? How about Japan ?

The deadline for Daiwa scholarship applications is fast approaching (7th Dec).
Over 20 months, the scholarship allows you to learn Japanese,  stay with a Japanese family and undertake a work placement in Japan (these can be scientific/engineering placements).

You need to be a graduate or graduating in 2018 to take part. You also need to be British. See for further details.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Nanotechnology - what does the future hold?

The U of E Chemistry, Physics and ChemEng societies have invited researchers from the Nano DTC at Cambridge University to give an interesting talk on Nanotechnology and where it might lead you in a career. 

The breadth and depth of science that may be explored in the field of nanotechnology is limitless, so this is a chance to get a feel for it and see where your interests fit in, as well as to find out more about opportunities for PhD study in this area.

This event is open to all years but with particular interest aimed at 3rd-5th year and postgraduate students. 

*Some* refreshments will be available - JCMB Lecture Theatre B at 4pm on Friday 27th October.

Friday, 20 October 2017

VACANCIES in AstraZeneca and GSK

You ARE popular this week! Both AstraZeneca and GSK have been in touch to say that they have vacancies for chemists and engineers for 2018 and are keen to attract Edinburgh students......

AstraZeneca looking for chemistry degree 2.1 or above. Based in Macclesfield. Closing date 20th November 2017. Angus MacMillan from AZ will actually be in JBB Friday 27th October to inform you about the role of a PROCESS CHEMIST. T100 1-2pm. Sign up on MCH

Angus is also having a more general discussion about working in a multinational pharma company with students 12-1 in G69 JBB. This is relevant to biology, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering students as well as chemistry and chemical physics students. Sign up on MCH

There are currently over 100 jobs advertised on AstraZeneca's website, for all disciplines. 

GSK is advertising a wide range of opportunities but the two that caught my eye are the Future Leader Programmes for ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY and  PROCESS ENGINEERING -  looking for a 2.1 degree in Chemistry and Chem Eng respectively. There is no deadline for these at present, but I spoke to GSK today and they said to get applications in quickly, because once they have enough, they will put a tight deadline on it. There are lots of other opportunities of interest too - eg Supply Chain, Enterprise Resource Planning (I don't even know what that is - must find out).

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Summer vacation research

It's a great idea for chemical engineers and chemists to get some research experience over the summer, either in the UK or abroad. 

This might be of particular interest to chemists: as there's a new Year Away system in Chemistry, now most MChems are planning to apply for industrial placements/year abroad in their final year rather than their 4th year. This has the delightful benefit of freeing you up for a summer placement between your 3rd and 4th year. So where can you go? What can you do?

If you are thinking of abroad:

IAESTEInternational Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience.  Usually 8-12 weeks in summer, your destination could be any of 80 countries. Chemistry and Chemical engineering accepted. Note that the global IAESTE site is a bit hard to navigate, so I have given the UK one above. If you have a non-EU/non-commonwealth origin, you need to apply through your own country's IAESTE site

Saltire Scholars - this Internship Programme matches high-potential undergraduates from Scottish universities with leading global and entrepreneurial companies, charities, social enterprises, and small and medium sized enterprises - from Glasgow to San Francisco to Singapore. See the blogs from chemistry and chemical engineering scholars of previous years.

RISE Germany - Research Internships in Science & Engineering. I like this site, much easier to navigate than most. RISE Germany offers summer research internships in Germany for undergraduate students from USA, UK and Ireland. In their internships, students are carefully matched with doctoral students- whom they assist and who serve as their mentors. 300 scholarships are available each year. German language skills not necessary.

Amgen Scholars - can be in UK, Europe or Japan (or USA if you are from USA). Since it is focused on biotechnology, both chemistry and chemical engineering are highlighted as areas of research.

Erasmus - a source of funding you can apply for if you find an internship abroad. There is also a erasmusinterns website with vacancies listed, 40 in science right now.

Many individual universities run their own programme for undergraduate summer internships eg University of Tokyo or University of Paris-Sud. If you know which country you would like to work in, it's worth checking some of the good research universities' websites individually.

You can also apply for your own funding for university research through a research council/learned society/member organisation such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, Carnegie Trust, BBSRC, EPSRC, Biochemical Society, MedicalResearchScotland. These bursaries are administered in myriad ways - sometimes it is YOU who applies once you have found a willing academic (eg RSC), sometimes the participating academic (medicalresearchscotland).  Sometimes there are restrictions - many of these will require you to do the research in the UK. The Royal Society of Biology in particular is easy to navigate and has a list of funding opportunities (not all of them biology related!!).

The Careers Service has a very good section on Finding Internships, at home and abroad. If you need any help of any description, please do book an appointment with me or any of the other careers consultants.