Placements should be valuable to both the individual and the organisation. They may be integrated into your degree course as industrial placements, or you may do them outside of your studies as summer placements.
In some cases you can receive bursaries and grants in order to support your placement. The Society no longer offers Undergraduate Research Bursaries, but many of our Member Organisations offer support for research based placements as undergraduate studentships.
They can also offer support in the form of bursaries and awards to attend conferences related to their discipline. These allow students to further explore areas of biology which they have an interest in by allowing students to attend talks by leading experts in their fields.
Placements help you to demonstrate your commitment to your degree subject, as well as providing an excellent opportunity to develop the practical and transferable skills that employers really value.
Benefits to Students
They can provide you with:
- Exciting challenges
- Hand-on experience
- New knowledge
- A more informed insight into a specific career path
- Experience of a work environment and work ethos (i.e. 9-5 in an office and not staying awake until 2am and then waking up at 11am to watch TV all day...)
- More coherent ideas about how organisations work which will stand out in interviews with potential future employers
- A great addition to your CV
Why companies/organisations offer placements
- To complete projects which wouldn't otherwise happen, or would happen a lot later in the future
- For you to understand the organisation - its aims and how it operates
- Potentially hire you when you graduate - if you impress during an internship then they might think of you when the time comes to recruit new staff - especially if the work you have produced is to a high standard during your time with them
What do they look for in applicants?
- Enthusiasm. It is a must!
- The abilitiy to add something to the project
- Will they gain something themselves from the project if they hire you?
- If (from your interview) you will fit into their work environment