Industrial Placement Interview: Nick (21), Mechanical Engineering Student

industrial placement
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How did you first find out about doing an industrial placement and when?

I first started doing work experience when I was 16 and worked for Williams F1 Team. I think I heard about them from my school which encouraged us to go out and look out in industry.

How did you go about researching an industrial placement? Any tips you would give people looking for one?

If you are unsure of what you want to do, or on the fence for a particular industry I would definitely recommend doing an industrial placement. It is a great opportunity for you to find out if you like a certain career or not!

What were three bad things and three good things about your industrial placement?

Good things:

– I feel much more comfortable and confident in myself after my industrial placement year.

– The ability to work in a professional environment has taught how to interact in a team in a productive way which will help at university and in my future career.

– I was able to make some fantastic connections and meet great people.

Bad things:

– I would have looked harder for a different industrial placement over the summer for a change to develop and learn new opportunities.

– I should have asked for details on my role before starting it and done some research before starting.

– I should have worked harder at trying to develop my technical knowledge over the course of the year.

Was working in an office different to what you thought it would be? And why?

I wasn’t particularly sure about what to expect from the office to be honest with you. I was expecting much more corporate suit and tie style but was pleasantly surprised.

How long is the perfect industrial placement?

I think 1 year is a good opportunity to develop and engrain good skills and develop a good relationship with the whole team as oppose to a 6week summer internship which will fly by.

Was it a valuable experience and why?

I have learned skills which are not possible to teach in a classroom and they have proved to be invaluable and can be used in all walks of life! I am certainly still using them now that I am back at university.

What % of your university class went on an industrial placement?

My University likes to push for placement years and therefore there is a large proportion of people who have gone on placement. This number varies from university to university. Some universities do not value it as much as others. For instance, I do not believe Oxbridge encourage/allow a year out.

Looking back in hindsight would you have done anything differently?

See bad things!

If you have any questions about a year industry, or want to hear more from people like Nick, I’d love to hear your comments or send me a message!

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To read my other interviews with work experience students, click on the below

Josue, Economics Graduate

Sushila, Neuroscience Graduate

Sajni, Business Economics Graduate


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