Help finding placements

Help from Careers Service

You can find further information about searching for and applying for placements through the Career’s Service. They also advertise vacancies and hold careers events. The information is relevant for students from each year of study, including anyone who is looking for a six-month Industrial Placement. 

Please have a look at the Careers Service web pages for all the information and resources that they provide. They offer help on application forms, CVs and interviews. They also have a page about finding jobs and internships. 

Book all appointments and events onJobsLive.  

Access the contact details for the Careers Service. 

Deciding where to undertake your placement

It is important that you research the different industry sectors before you find a placement. You can choose the industry that maximises the benefits for your career. The Careers Service has a wealth of information on career planning and theEEE careers website also has information to help. 

Things to consider: 

  • Would you prefer to work for a start-up, an SME or a large multi-national company? 
  • What location would you be willing to work in? Being as flexible as possible will maximise your chances of getting a placement. Please consider right to work requirements if outside the UK.
  • What sector would you be interested in gaining experience in? This could range from electronics, energy, manufacturing, education software companies, transport and more. 
  • What job role are you keen to explore? Find out more on the on the Careers Service website, or on Prospects.  
  • Have a look at what previous Imperial students have done after graduationto give you some ideas. 
  • Talk to the fourth years about where previous EEE students have gone for their 6 month industrial placement.  
  • Attend the EESoC Careers Fair or Industry Talks organised by EESoC.

Placements within Financial Institutions

Students can  undertake their Industrial Placements in financial institutions providing they are part of a technology function, where their work requires them to apply the technical knowledge gained during their time on the course. Placements within an investment, commercial, marketing, portfolio management or external customer relations setting are unsuitable. 

Here are some examples of suitable placements within financial institutions: 

 Institution: Credit Suisse International 

Job Title: Intern 

Description: We are looking to hire an enthusiastic technologist who will be part of Market Risk Technology team delivering software that is essential for measuring, managing and reporting the financial risks surrounding the trading, banking and investment businesses of Credit Suisse. The candidate filling this role will be working in a highly complex set of applications that is at the core of the Market Risk architecture and performs tens of thousands of risk calculations on a daily basis. 

  • Candidate will be part of the global team that owns the risk calculations platform 
  • An opportunity to work with best-in-class technology focused people working on mission-critical application development. 
  • You will work in a team which focuses on delivering software using agile principles and DevOps mentality . 
  • You will maintain a solid focus on quality, be willing and able to adapt to changes in priorities & requirements and remain open and alert to new technology opportunities. 

Skills required: 

  • Programming Language (Java/J2ee or C++) 
  • Object-oriented programming and multi-threading 
  • Data Structure and Algorithms 
  • SQL 

Institution: Goldman Sachs 

Job Title: Software Engineering 

Description: Transform our business and work across all areas of the firm to design and implement high-quality, scalable and smart solutions. Leveraging both internal and open source services, we design and develop applications capable of building, maintaining, and processing large and complex data sets. 

Ensuring we have the most up-to-date and actionable information, we constantly strive to boost performance and exceed industry standards in order to meet our clients’ evolving needs. We look for ways to improve our operations and enhance our client offerings through internal and external platforms as we build and expand the capacity for data mining, anomaly detection, and business intelligence. 

Advertised vacancies

Finding advertised placement vacancies will be good practice for finding a graduate role as many companies will use the same process. To find placement vacancies you can use: 
JobsLive – the Careers Service vacancy database. Set your profile so you receive email alerts of six month placements. “Summer internships”, “other internships” and “7-12 month placement” notifications are useful as there may be companies that you could approach to extend/reduce this to six months. Start your research and applications early. Closing dates can range from October to January. It is better to apply as soon as applications open so you don’t miss out. 

Your department – Some placement providers send us their vacancies directly. We will advertise all these vacancies on InPlace as soon as they become available.  

Online job boards - there are many job boards such as Step which you can register with to receive email notifications with new vacancies. Googling "graduate recruitment" or "internships" will uncover these sites.    
Company websites – many organisations will have a careers page that lists their placements and how to apply. You may find out about various companies through Careers Service events, graduate employer directories, the EESoc Industry Fair, the destinations of previous EEE graduates, the IET and The Times Top graduate employers.   
Social Media can be useful when hunting for placements. Many companies have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Maintain a professional image when communicating with companies. Ensure that your comments are well written and portray you in a professional light.

Speculative applications

If a company is not advertising it may still be worth getting in touch to ask whether they could offer a placement. Here’s how:

1) Find a company

  • Use your own network of contacts e.g. tutors, alumni, friends and family - if you have completed a summer internship previously perhaps ask them if they would consider hosting you for a longer placement
  • JobsLive - use the ‘Organisations’ tab to find companies to approach. Search by keyword or filter by industry secto
  • LinkedIn – using the companies tab search by keyword. Then filter by location and industry sector. You can also do an advanced search for people (e.g. electrical engineers from Imperial) to find out what companies they work for now and have done previously. If you are new to LinkedIn there is help available on their students page.
  • Exhibition/trade show catalogues
  • Business directories such as ZoomInfoApplegate or Yell
  • You can also use the resources mentioned in the “company websites” section above.
  • If you would consider working for start up technology companies try the Silicon Milkroundabout which run careers fairs and also list tech start-ups that they have previously worked with. Built in London also lists various tech start-ups.

2) Research the company to prepare your application

Visit their website (go beyond the careers pages)
Read the company annual report
Search them on Google news to find out any recent updates
Follow them on Twitter
Find a contact name (perhaps a previous Imperial intern) on LinkedIn to gently approach and ask them about the company. They may give advice on what the company is looking for.

3) Find a contact name

  • Some company websites list staff members. Look for the manager of the team you are keen to work in or perhaps someone in recruitment or human resources (HR).
  • Try an advanced search for people on LinkedIn by putting HR or recruitment in the title and look for someone currently at that company.
  • Telephone and ask who would be the correct person.
  • As a last resort if you are unable to find a name send it to the generic recruitment email address or company postal address and use “Dear Sir/Madam”.

4) Prepare a targeted CV and covering letter

  • Specify the department you would like to work and what you would like to gain.
  • State the time you are available for the placement and show how you can be of benefit.
  • Demonstrate evidence in your CV of the transferable skills that y ou think the company is looking for.
  • Evidence may be from part-time work, previous internships, volunteer ing, societies, sports or your degree.
  • There is advice on writing CVs and covering letters on the Careers Service website

 5) Send your speculative application!

Keep records of the companies you have written to.

Funding for research placements within EEE

Not available from October 2023 onwards.

The objective of the Industrial Placement is for you to gain experience of working in industry. For this reason, it is no longer possible for you to do research placements. 

Careers fairs

You can use careers fairs to find out about companies and make new contacts. Leave the employers with a positive impression. You may be able to follow up at a later date for information or to see if vacancies have arisen. 

We run various other events including lunchtime careers talks, careers forums and employer presentations. Book these on JobsLive. 

Useful websites