Supporting the future generations of engineers is something I personally enjoy.
I am fortunate to have several good industry connections at the University of Southampton and it's thanks to Professor Geoff Merrett that ITDev were invited to the Careers Fair session of the ECS Taster Week on Tuesday evening. The ECS taster week is an opportunity for year 11 students to experience a one-week residential course in either Biomedical Engineering (Electronics) or Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.
The Careers Fair offered year 11 students the chance to learn more about industrial opportunities upon graduation and gain some early careers guidance. Ben Clark had fired up the students in the previous session on the opportunities for entrepreneurs with Future Worlds at UoS. After taking a pit stop to grab some food, the students were hungry (sic) to network with the exhibiting companies.
This was the fun part of the event. Meeting enthusiastic students, keen to know what opportunities lay ahead of them. Many had technical questions on the products we had on display, whilst several wanted to know if module selection or degree choice were important after graduation. Interestingly I was asked a few times about degree apprenticeships, a choice I feel will become more common for students wanting a more vocational choice.
Additionally I spoke with existing undergraduates, who were attending as helpers, to ask questions on graduate opportunities and internships. Great to see several have created LinkedIn profiles for networking already.
My key messages for the evening, were:
• Look for industrial experience like internships
• Don't feel pigeon holed by your choice of degree, experience or first job
• Engineering is a great career and, with a proven aptitude for learning, you can pivot to whatever path interests you
I'm looking forward to seeing how some of this cohort of students have progressed at future ECS events.