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Tom Syder

MSci Physics and Astrophysics - University of Birmingham

Why I applied

Although I did an undergraduate degree in physics, I decided to do something more business focused after I graduated. I first learned about the scheme when I worked part-time for the University during my degree. It seemed like a great opportunity with the variety of placements on offer and I strongly believe in the aims of the University - educating the next generation and delivering research with far-reaching impact.

Tom Syder

Applying for the scheme

I initially worried that you would need to be an expert in Higher Education, but that isn’t the point of the scheme. They aim to train you up, so you don’t have to know everything when you begin. They are looking for potential over expertise.

I came from a science background and the analytical skills I developed in my degree were very useful. I was able to offer a different perspective and it really helps to have an eye for innovation and openness to technology.


My work on the #wearebrumalum marketing campaign stands out for me; it had a real life result and seeing it come to life was a very proud moment. To deliver something from concept, through delivery, to fruition with a lot of engagement from across departments was a highlight. I saw how bringing people together from various departments led to a solution that produced strong results and created something of value for the whole organisation.


When I joined the Graduate Scheme, I wanted to learn more about the business world after my science degree. I knew that the variety of the scheme - working in different departments and on assorted projects – would help me to develop an array of skills.

Being exposed to the wider University has changed my ambitions; I have seen things from different angles, and I’m more open to different careers and opportunities. This is a definite advantage of the scheme.


  • Marketing
  • Legal Services
  • Business Engagement
  • Strategic Planning

Roles after the Scheme

  • Project Officer, IT Services
  • Outreach, Equality and Diversity Officer, College of Medical and Dental Sciences