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Priya Talwar

Mechanical Engineering (MEng) MEng

Priya undertook at placement at National Grid whilst studying for MEng Mechanical Engineering.

Why did you decide to do a placement while at City, University of London?

Masters in Mechanical Engineering with a Placement Year, just seemed like the right degree choice for me. From day one I knew I wanted to work in Industry. A whole year working as a student undergraduate in a large organisation just felt like the right thing to do. Gaining that experience so early before I graduated was definitely a plus point according to me. Also I was keen on the general break between my studies, I would have considered a gap year travelling however when I got accepted at National Grid on the Student Development Programme I was over the moon.

Where was your placement and what was your role?

My placement was at National Grid, I worked in the Gas Distribution side of the business and I worked in Operations, in Repair, so the teams that actually physically repair the gas main once a gas leak has been reported. I worked on a project which involved launching a technology called KeyHole Technology, which effectively drills a hole in the ground and then a vacuum excavator is used to remove the debris. I had to ensure that the technology will be utilised for repair jobs in London.

What has been the most important thing gained from your placement?

The experience. What are graduates lacking? Unfortunately sometimes it is experience and doing a placement year just ticks that box. Also I applied to National Grid's graduate scheme because I really enjoyed the student programme.

Also just to understand and learn more about the energy industry, doing a placement year reconfirmed my interest. If the placement year didn't go how I expected it to, at least I would understand what I didn't enjoy. However for me, I enjoyed my time at the company and it just made sense to go back.

What did you do after graduating?

I am now on the National Grid Graduate Programme, which lasts for 18 months and consists of three 6 month long placements. My first placement was in Gas Distribution in Operations and working in the Performance and Assurance Team. My second placement was also in Gas Distribution, I worked in Network Strategy in the Network Integrity Team, which was all about how we maintain and protect our gas pipelines underground.

I am currently on my third placement in Corporate Affairs in Media Relations and Communications. I cannot express strongly enough how valuable a graduate scheme is.

Anything else you would like to highlight about City?

City University and my time spent studying there were phenomenal. I really enjoyed being in the centre of London and also studying at a university that takes engineering seriously. I knew City University was right for me at the open day I attended during Sixth Form.

I obtained a Caterpillar Scholarship in my first year at university, bursaries in every year and also I obtained The Frederic Barnes Waldron 'Best Student' Award. City University definitely knew how to recognise its students.

I was also awarded the Emile Al-Uzaizi Annual Prize for Engineering for my Final Year Project during my 3rd year.