Why did you apply and how did you prepare?
I have undertaken my work experience placement as part of my Computer Science degree at the University of Bath. I applied to Boeing after seeing an advertisement on the university’s placement opportunities board.
I brushed up on my programming skills for the technical part of the interview. I researched the company to get a better idea of the kinds of projects I could get involved in.
I used the university’s career services to ensure my CV was up-to-date and spoke to lecturers about what I could expect.
What did you do?
Since I started I have been working on a number of highly engaging and enjoyable projects, all in a defence context. Primarily I have been working on research projects, spending a lot of time exploring new concepts and ‘the art of the possible’ stemming from new, innovative ideas.
The Advanced Systems department benefitted from the input of someone new to the environment, who is also still studying, offering additional opinions on decisions and bringing fresh ideas. In gaining another member of the team there is also an opportunity to relieve some of the pressure of deadlines and workload.
What did you gain from the experience?
My experience at Boeing has already been incredibly worthwhile and has set me up for my final year at the University of Bath. I have gained relevant experience of putting theory into practise at university.
I was thrown into a project from the start which meant I had to think fast and learn new business vocabulary, technologies and development processes. I would not have gained this knowledge without this placement.
In what ways has the experience had an impact on your career path/ambitions?
I will be able to include this experience on my CV and talk about it in interviews, which will put me ahead of candidates who do not have any relevant industry experience.
It will also allow me to share learnings with friends and lecturers, which will hopefully encourage more undergraduates to undertake similar programmes.
Organisations need to make themselves visible to students by engaging with students at careers fairs. It is also good to provide a detailed job description as well as examples of past student’s experiences. Organisations could also hold open days to allow prospective interns to visit their sites.
Boeing has a reputation amongst universities for offering reliable opportunities for work experience placements, which helps when recruiting new students.