A Physics student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is starting a career with their “first choice” of employer before graduating this summer, thanks in part to a £100 Employability Award.
Sam Sayer starts work at CVI Infrared Optics - specialists in designing and manufacturing high-performance optical components for use in lasers - this June, just one week after their last exam.
The 21-year-old said: “I started the job hunt early to get my CV and name out there, but I didn’t actually expect to get a job this soon. It’s worked out perfectly too, as CVI Infrared Optics was my first choice.
“Knowing I’ll be leaving DMU with a job in the bag is a big weight off my shoulders. The Employability Award definitely helped as I put the £100 towards a smart suit and travel costs for the interview, which paid off.”
Based at the company’s Whetstone plant, Sam will be working in the labs where advanced infrared components are manufactured for high-profile clients across industries such as defence and aerospace.
Starting out as a Coating Technician, Sam will be applying solutions to substrates (underlying layers such as glass and silicone) according to client specifications. If their potential is met, Sam then has the opportunity to progress on a three or five-year plan to become an Optical Engineer.
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“I'll be playing a part in creating thin films, which are layers of materials ranging from fractions of a nanometre to several micrometres. As well as being used for optics, they are also found in things like TVs, mirrors and solar panels, allowing conductivity and so on," said Sam.
"My employers were impressed during the interview when I said I was doing a thin films module as part of my course. My tutor Iulia Salaoru has made the module really enjoyable and that’s what encouraged me to look for a job in this area. It's exciting to be at the cutting edge of physics."
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Sam was also able to draw upon other DMU experiences in their interview, such as a recent visit to Siemens Magnet Technology and a four-day trip to a mobile stars planetarium in Mitcheldean.
They said: "Astronomy is a new module at DMU so it was great to be able to take new equipment like telescopes, sun filters and cameras down with us.
"We had lectures during the day and at night we set up and calibrated our telescopes. It was brilliant putting theory into practice and getting to see the moon and a couple of constellations."
DMU has had positive personal effects on Sam too, who said: “Moving away from home and becoming independent helped me confront major social anxiety. My tutor Marie Bassford has supported me with this from the very beginning and I’ve gone from visibly shaking at the thought of giving a presentation to not getting that nervous anymore.
“I’ve loved DMU from day one. My parents took me to see lots of universities, but they said my body language was different at the DMU Open Day. They said I was buzzing and they were really surprised that I was chatting away to lecturers despite my social anxiety.
“I was just so impressed. Unlike any of the other universities I visited, DMU showed me where I would be working as an undergraduate and not just the facilities for postgraduates. It was very exciting to picture exactly where I would be learning."
Posted on Wednesday 12th April 2017