Students on the Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Biomedical Engineering courses have the opportunity to undertake a year’s placement or a summer internship. These are the experiences of four students who undertook a placement during their course.
Harriet – Biomedical Engineering student
I started my placement year at the Royal Brompton Hospital as a Trainee Clinical Technologist covering maternity leave. I spent most of my time in the Intensive Therapy Unit problem solving the equipment or servicing in the electronics room. A key skill was communicating with doctors and nurses to ensure we coordinated our jobs with their needs. At Christmas I moved to Great Ormond Street Hospital as a ventilator technician. Again, to cover a maternity leave post. This was a similar role to that at the Brompton, but specifically working with ventilators and involved more servicing. I hope to continue to work here while completing my MSc in biomedical engineering with healthcare management.
I was unsure about what I wanted to do as a career after my degree, and thought experience in the work place would give me some time to work it out. I learnt more about being a part of a team and about the needs of the hospital with regard to equipment. I also met a lot of people from the companies that make and repair some of our equipment, and realised the importance of actually having been in the work place rather than just a degree when applying for jobs.
Burak – Electrical and Electronic Engineering student
Transport for London
I visited some Depots including the Earls Court signalling room. I looked at complex issues e.g. failures in Depots Platform CCTV improvements and Cyber Security. I was helped to understand safety procedures and practicalities with the Safety Team. Most importantly I learnt about subjects that were aligned with my current studies.
It has been a brilliant experience. I looked forward to coming to work everyday and this is how I would like to feel throughout my career.
Florin – Electronic and Electrical Engineering student
Merit Soft is one of the “hottest” 50 companies across Europe in the Fintech space in 2015. The application process was not very long. I had to send 3 programming projects I had done and after that I had a technical interview followed by a personal interview.
At the beginning I had 2 weeks training and after that I was involved in a variety of projects. Then I moved into more demanding work where I had to manage my own projects. I had to gather and understand the clients’ requirements and start planning my work. The role was a mixture between analysis, development and support. Among other things, I was responsible for providing regular updates of project progress to the manager or the relevant project group leader.
I found the internship experience excellent due to the nature of the projects and because I enjoyed a high level of independence and responsibility. I loved the team that I worked with and I found everyone really supportive and engaging.
My time as an intern definitely paid off as I was offered a full time role after the internship. I really encourage everyone to apply for internships.
Sophie – Electrical and Electronic Engineering student
The skills I learnt during my 1 year in industry are invaluable to me. One particular area is fault finding, there isn’t much emphasis on this at university, and you learn how things should work but not what to do if they don’t.
My personality has changed a lot as well. I had a lot of pressure in my job and because of it I am much more confident and more resilient.