• Question: Is work experience an essential when applying for an engineering placement?

    Asked by 778mgrq42 to Shruti, Mark, Faranak, Douglas, Charlene, Alistair on 4 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Shruti Turner

      Shruti Turner answered on 4 Mar 2019:

      I wouldn’t say it is compulsory but it’s definitely beneficial. Work experience demonstrates that you have an interest in the area and starts to give you an understanding of the industry. It might even tell you that you really don’t want to do engineering! If you don’t have engineering work experience when applying, it’s good to try and get any work experience because of the transferable skills that you get from working. If you can’t get that either, you can show your skills and interest in other ways: any hobbies that you have will show you have skills, maybe like commitment, team work and time management if you play sport and get all your homework done well? You can show your interest with the books your read, the subjects you do at school or what you watch on TV. There are many options out there 🙂

    • Photo: Mark Bentley

      Mark Bentley answered on 4 Mar 2019:

      I would say yes it really helps!!

      I have taken on work experience students every year as I know how important it can be, ask around any engineering workshops/companies I suggest even do it off your own back, I have recently taken on an apprentice role and it was through all the experience she had that got her the role.

    • Photo: Faranak Bahrami

      Faranak Bahrami answered on 5 Mar 2019:

      It would definitely help you in two ways,
      1- understand what you like in engineering
      2- stand out more to the employer in comparison to those who don’t have any experience

      However, just remember that is not only about engineering skills that employers care about. there are soft skills which are very very very important as well, so any work experience that can help you to achieve those is also valuable. Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence. So don’t forget these… you can get to very good places by having the combination of technical and soft skills

    • Photo: Charlene Chung

      Charlene Chung answered on 5 Mar 2019:

      It helps a lot, but it’s not essential if you haven’t/don’t manage to get experience.

      If you do get it, you’ll get a taster and feel for if you like the environment, type of work involved and if you can see yourself there.

      If you don’t have any work experience, you can gain skills from other parts of your life, like hobbies you’ve been doing for a long time or what you’re interested in.

      I had work experience every summer from the last 2 years of school and my 5 summers at university.
      Each type of work experience I did was really different from another and helped me figure out what I really liked or disliked and where I could end up being.

      In my company, we take on summer work experience and year long work experience students.
      They all say that they benefit from that time spent there as they are able to learn and work on skills that have or want to have.