Engineering is all about getting things done in the real world, so adding events to your studies can be a valuable experience.
Engineering and design competitions run across the country for different specialisms and age groups. These events are a good opportunity to let your competitive side out, but they also offer valuable experience and evidence of your teamwork skills for employers – especially if you win. Examples include:
- Formula Student: a student motor-racing competition.
- Rocketry Challenges: The UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge challenges young people from 11 to 18 to build a functional rocket – including raising funds for the project as well as designing and launching it. Winners could go through to the International Rocketry Challenge.
- Design competitions are run by many different organisations. They usually present a specific problem and ask you to come up with a way to solve it. Keep an eye out for competitions that match your interests.
- National Science + Engineering Competition for 11 to 18-year-olds lets you explore the idea that particularly interests you. The finals take place at The Big Bang Fair, a huge annual celebration of science and engineering.
A conference is a chance for academics and professionals to exchange ideas and research and to discuss topics they are interested in.
Conferences are more commonly attended by postgraduates, academics and professionals, but attending as an undergraduate can be useful and interesting. You’ll also have the chance to meet other people in the industry, and attending could demonstrate your enthusiasm when applying for jobs or postgraduate courses.
However, conferences can be expensive: you’ll normally pay a fee to attend, and you’ll also have to consider costs for travel and accommodation.
Universities often organise general careers fairs for students, which can be useful – but you might get even more out of a fair organised by the engineering department.
A careers fair is a good opportunity to find out what’s on offer from lots of different employers – and because they have come specifically to see engineering students at your university, you know that they’re interested in what you have to offer.
Ask your careers service, department or faculty to keep you informed about any upcoming fairs. If you’re not at university, look online for events like the National Engineering & Construction Recruitment Exhibition.
If you’re at university, your department/faculty is a great source for finding events, as are engineering societies. These will usually have an online calendar or email alerts, and you’ll also hear about events through word of mouth.
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- Getting the most out of university careers services
- Make the world a better place with Engineers Without Borders
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