Clare Bodimeade has spent the majority of her working life providing career support and is now championing connections with the university’s Physics department as an Employer Engagement Officer. She works with the South East Physics Network (SEPnet), a consortium of nine universities seeking to inspire a fresh approach to collaboration, teaching and research. Clare sources placements for students and liaises with local bodies for the university.
She studied Pure and Applied Chemistry and Applied Biology at the University of Wales and has a Diploma in Vocational Guidance and Counselling. In a recent role, Clare co-ordinated the Surrey Centre for Excellence in Professional Training and Education, a University of Surrey research project which encouraged students to develop their academic work and professional capabilities through extra-curricular placements and activities.
At SEPnet, Clare is employed two days per week to engage local companies, employer bodies and research organisations with the university’s Physics department, while sourcing work experience and mentoring placements for students. “What I like most about my role is the thought that I’m helping the students to discover what they would ultimately like to do when they finish their degree,” she says.
As part of her role, Clare contacts companies to develop links with the university. Connections can take place in many forms, for example poster sessions where students share their experiences of work placements with employers and staff. Company engagements can also include seasonal or six-month industrial placements, knowledge exchange, consulting or external involvement in a work module.
Physics students can get in touch with Clare if they’d like to explore the options for summer, six-month or work experience placements. Also, she is a point of contact for any companies interested in offering collaboration with Physics students or discussing other aspects such as knowledge exchange. Clare can also source relevant companies for university Physics staff hoping to develop a research bid or contribute to a department module. You can get in touch with Clare using the contact form on this page.
Clare’s advice for students is to get stuck in to activities and experiences outside of their studies, as this background will add to candidates’ employability. She also encourages graduates to not get downhearted if they are having to apply for a lot of placements or jobs. Great rewards can be achieved with persistence and patience.