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Work experience in Physics

  1. Apr 17, 2016 #1
    I desire to study physics at university and thus I am required to participate in work experience. The issue, however, is that I am ignorant to what work experience would be extremely valuable on a person application for studying physics. Any help would be very much appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2016 #2
    Why would you need work experience to study physics at university? Many students come straight from high school and never worked before.
  4. Apr 17, 2016 #3
    What aspects make up an outstanding personal application for physics?
  5. Apr 17, 2016 #4
    You do not need work experience to go to university for anything. I am studying physics at university currently. There is absolutely no job you could get before college that would be considered relevant to physics.

    Are you referring to a work study requirement for your high school? If so, that requirement is to graduate your high school, and has nothing to do with any college's requirements, other than the requirement that you must finish high school.
  6. Apr 17, 2016 #5
    You don't think that a high school internship at a national lab would be worth anything? Are you sure that working at a university before graduation and being a co-author on a paper or two wouldn't help at all? I know several high school students who are in these positions... you cannot tell me that this will not help them with university admissions in any way.
  7. Apr 17, 2016 #6
    I'm not the one that can benefit from this information. Sure, speaking in absolutes, there usually winds up being a contradiction, or untruth, in certain particular cases. Feel free to expound on those particular cases for Einstein's cat.
  8. Apr 17, 2016 #7
    Do you mean that you are required to become an intern somewhere?
  9. Apr 18, 2016 #8
    I'm not sure what kind of work is "required" for OP, as they haven't really stated what requirements need to be filled. Since the first thing that I mentioned is a summer job, and the second thing I mentioned is usually not considered a "full-time" job for work-study purposes, I'm not sure how useful that information would be.
  10. Apr 19, 2016 #9
    I would like to indeed, but where I am ignorant to
  11. Apr 19, 2016 #10
    But it is not REQUIRED. That's what we're all wondering.
  12. Apr 19, 2016 #11
    It is not required although any personal application would be better with it so what suggestions do you have?
  13. Apr 19, 2016 #12
    Are you thinking summer internships? During the semester, you are probably limited to research at your own university for which funding can be limited. Do you need a job for money? If not, that's your best bet, otherwise you may have to get a job outside the field.

    During the summer, apply for REUs (which is where you do research at another university), or lab internships (like the SULI program)... these are both (usually) 10-week programs that give research experience and, though competitive, pay quite well.
  14. Apr 19, 2016 #13
    Sorry for the confusion I cause but I am actually a high school student; what suggestions would you have for high school students who would want to study physics at university? Thank you
  15. Apr 19, 2016 #14
    Sorry, I just assumed you were a senior.
    High school physics internships are pretty hard to come by, but I know people who have done this one at Fermilab:

    Typically high school internship programs are somewhat limited to geographic areas... would you mind sharing what state you're in? Also, there are plenty of opportunities found online just by googling "high school physics internships". Did you not find one by doing this?
  16. Apr 19, 2016 #15
    I am not from North America but Southern England and thank you for the advice.
  17. Apr 19, 2016 #16
    If you need to build a resume to help you get into a college I also suggest taking some classes online at places like coursers or edx.org. You can pick and choose the subjects that you need and build a portfolio.
  18. Apr 20, 2016 #17


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    Opportunities for students who are doing their A levels (I assume this is the level you are at?) are probably even more rare in England than in the US; and unless you know someone who e.g. works at a university and would let you shadow him/her for a few days you are very unlikely to find something.

    There are places (including where I work) that offer students the chance to spend a few days in e.g. a research lab; but competition for these are fierce and you basically need to be very lucky. Moreover, I seriously doubt that this would matter at all for your university application. The purpose of these programs is mainly to get people interested in STEM, not to give students work experience. Moreover, H&S rules tend to mean that you are not actually allowed to do much actual work.

    The good news is that this also most definitely means that work experience is not something that is required for a university application; at least not in the UK
  19. Apr 21, 2016 #18
    All of my work experience during g high school and undergrad was in restaurants or manual labor on construction sites. Working allows you to interact with adults who aren't your parents or teacher s. Plus you learn a lot about the real world and what hard work is. IMHO that's more important than an internship a normal high school kid is likely to get. But my experience was a long time ago and the world is a different place now.
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