Author: Ollie Macmullen, fourth-year MEng Aerospace Engineering student
Instead of completing the Group Business Design Project (GBDP) like most people on my aerospace engineering course, I chose to apply for an EIP (External integrated project) at Rolls-Royce. This would give me an opportunity to work at one of the biggest engineering companies in the world as part of my fourth-year studies. The EIP is where the University of Bath, an engineering company, and a student liaise with each other to create a project and deliverables that meet the same standard as that of GBDP. My EIP has me working at Rolls-Royce Defence in Bristol, as part of a long-standing relationship between Rolls-Royce and Bath where Rolls-Royce consistently take students each year. The main differences between the EIP and GBDP come from:
- the timings: an EIP lasts from February to August whereas the GBDP lasts from February to May.
- the work: the GBDP is a student-led project proposed by the University, where you work with other students, whereas the EIP is industry-led, proposed by the company and involves working with full-time employees.
As of writing this, I’ve been at Rolls-Royce for just over three months so I am now over halfway through my EIP. The work I have done so far has been using systems engineering to overcome gaps in processes to provide solutions within Rolls-Royce to problems that have been found to exist within processes. This has included work across several engine programmes looking at various improvements and what the potential benefits and savings can be for the company. This has also allowed me to meet lots of people throughout the company in varying roles of superiority, which in turn has led to more experiences and opportunities becoming available to me, through the likes of tours, site visits and opportunities for more work projects.
The real benefits of an EIP
There are also some real benefits for choosing to do an EIP. Firstly you may have the opportunity to get paid during your internship, as well as being able to book holiday as and when desired, as you will be treated like a full-time employee in that regard. Finally, it looks great for your CV if you can put more engineering companies and more experience down to help with future employment opportunities. The benefits of working at Rolls-Royce have come from the great environment that exists within the company, including the AA (Apprentice Association) which is where lots of the interns and grads come together to take part in events which helps you meet plenty of people in the company. This allows you to settle into the company much faster than you might previously be able to.