How/why did you apply and how did you prepare?
I quickly discovered near the end of my first year at university that I would require a year in industry as a majority of what I learnt was very theoretical. I would need at least a year of work experience to have more opportunities when I graduated. The more research I did, the more I realised the importance of a work placement and the benefits that would come with it - a year in industry would empower me to acquire key skills which will help me develop into a more rounded engineer. I specifically transferred to Sheffield Hallam University as they have the largest number of students in industry, and one of the best internship / work placement support schemes.
What did you do?
Throughout my internship I gained the following skills: ability to read and analyse engineering drawings, knowledge of mechanical components, system and manufacturing processes, Advanced Quality Planning and final release of purchased parts ensuring process stability throughout, supplier technical meetings, interpersonal skills such as multi-tasking, communication with multi cultures, time management, team work, planning and organisational public speaking, improved understanding of different types of boilers i.e. oil / gas, wall hung / floor standing and how they work, problem solving skills e.g. Concessions and analysing, Work office behaviour, VSDiA (Value Stream Design in Indirect Areas), initiative and attention to detail skills and commercial purchasing.
What did you gain from the experience?
I became more employable after completing my internship not only because I had gained experience from an international organisation but also going through the interview processes at internship stage. This allowed me to perform better and be more assertive in the graduate scheme interviews.
I was also able to complete my final year project with Bosch, allowing me to apply what I studied with what takes place in industry. This was a great opportunity for me as I was able to show my capability and initiative to Bosch for any upcoming job openings.
- Organisations should request students feedback at the end of their work placements.
- Students should be tasked to create a complete handover to the new students i.e. create a booklet, student guide etc.
- Incentives i.e. bonuses based on performance or puctuality etc.
- Create a forum for the top performing students that year and keep in touch with them so in case there is a job opening the organisation can reach out to them so the investment in the students is returned.
In what ways has the experience had an impact on your career path/ambitions?
Because of the work experience placement, I am still working at Bosch as a full-time employee despite receiving three other offers for work when I graduated from university.