• Question: What advise to you give to young kids like me who aspire to be a scinetist or something in the related field?

    Asked by scientific._.Koala to Kathryn, Stewart, Miriam, Laura on 9 Nov 2018. This question was also asked by Aussie.
    • Photo: Kathryn Coldham

      Kathryn Coldham answered on 9 Nov 2018:


      My first piece of advice is to do what you’re doing now…..by continuing to ask great questions! Never be afraid to ask questions, it’s the best (and fastest) way to learn!

      Also, try to get as many work experience placements as you can. A work experience placement is a short period of work to help you see what a typical day in the job is like, so you can see if you like it or not, and it will also give you the chance to gain new skills. Before my first placement at CERN, I didn’t know any particle physicists (none of my family work in science at all) and I didn’t have any previous experience with working in research. So I sent out emails that were attached with my CV (a document that tells people your grades, any work you’ve done, your hobbies, awards, etc) and a cover letter (an A4 letter which is similar to a CV but is instead written in paragraphs and explains why you’d be good for that specific job). This is a great way to try to get work experience as it shows initiative! But try not to become demotivated if you get rejected (I’ve been rejected for way more job applications than I’ve been accepted for), just ask for feedback and keep applying until you get accepted!

      Finally, continue to study hard, maintain a healthy work-life balance (if you’re too tired, you won’t be able to think of great solutions and ideas), meet as many people working in science as possible to ask questions and, most importantly, have fun! Remember, no one is perfect so it’s normal to not know things or sometimes find things hard. The exceptional scientists are the ones who ask for help when they get stuck 🙂

      Hope this helps and please feel free to ask any more questions!

    • Photo: Stewart Martin-Haugh

      Stewart Martin-Haugh answered on 13 Nov 2018:


      Make sure it’s what you want to do, and enjoy it!

      Kathryn’s given some really good advice about how to get work placements. The organisation I work for offers work placements for students:
      https://stfc.ukri.org/about-us/work-with-us/work-experience/
      across the country – this is definitely worth applying for!

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