Author: Achala Sharma, third-year Beng(Hons) Chemical Engineering student
As the first semester kicks off, there's a lot on your plate: maintaining a lively social life, acing your studies, and juggling numerous placement applications. It's quite the rollercoaster, so take a deep breath! Placements are your gateway to hands-on experiences that a lecture hall could never provide. But where to begin? The initial steps might feel overwhelming with so many options and little guidance on securing that first role. Here are some pointers to help you navigate this journey!
Research, research, research
Before diving headfirst into the world of placements, it's crucial to familiarise yourself with potential companies and their cultures. Think of it as gathering ingredients for your favourite dish – you need the right mix for the perfect outcome.
Don't just set your sights on the big, renowned global firms. Ensure the role you're eyeing up truly resonates with your aspirations. If any job description feels unclear, always reach out for more information. This simple step can save you from ending up in a position that doesn't suit you.
Your CV: the blueprint of engineering
Hand it over to the placement team without delay. They're busy, but they're here to help. Crafting a standout CV is much like drafting a detailed blueprint for an architectural marvel. Spotlight your projects, achievements, and skills with clarity. Make the most of all resources, and don't hesitate to connect with peers who've already been through placements. And yes, those CV samples on Moodle? They're gold!
The application journey: game on!
Cast a wide net with your applications, akin to trying out various game levels. Each application is a learning curve, making you more adept for the next.
Interviews: your time to shine
Consider interviews as your grand act on the engineering stage. This is where you display your passion, knowledge, and unique personality. Be genuine and let your engineering brilliance sparkle.
- Question 1: "Tell me about yourself?"
Your answer is like the opening scene of a captivating film. Give a concise introduction, emphasising your academic journey, enthusiasm for engineering, and significant experiences that make you stand out to be the right candidate they are looking for.
- Question 2: "Why do you want to work with us?"
Treat this question as an invitation to share your admiration for the company and the team you are keen to join. Highlight specific projects, values, or innovations that resonate with your engineering spirit and vision.
- Question 3: "Describe a challenging project you've worked on."
You're in the director's chair for this one. Describe the hurdles, the strategies you adopted and implemented, and the triumphant outcome. Showcase your problem-solving prowess, determination, and perseverance.
- The closing act: time for your questions!
Now, turn the tables and ask the interviewer. Prepare thoughtful questions about the company's vision, team dynamics, and upcoming projects. Show your genuine interest, leaving a memorable impression. A post-interview 'thank you' email, sharing your interview experience and anticipation for their feedback, can be a game-changer. Trust me, it's a move that can make all the difference!