An industrial placement develops your skills and knowledge from a new perspective

Bradley stood in a mountainous area in front of a river or lake
Bradley Barton
Undergraduate Student
Chemical Engineering with an Industrial Placement Year
Bradley is a third-year chemical engineering undergraduate student currently spending a year in design & product development at ITM Power as part of his degree - gaining real-world chemical engineering experience.
Bradley stood in a mountainous area in front of a river or lake

Why did you decide to do an Industrial Placement Year?

I have always been keen to work, and I felt the best way to know how I wanted to progress with my course was to get hands-on experience. It also seemed like a great way to develop more skills and knowledge from a perspective I may not have been exposed to whilst studying. So far, what I’ve enjoyed the most is just being able to apply my academic knowledge into a practical environment.

What was the application process for your placement?

I was required to send the employer my CV and a cover letter. This was then followed up by an interview which required me to answer questions surrounding academic knowledge along with skills I have developed throughout my life. The university Industrial Placement Year team were really helpful throughout the entire process, and they are still supporting me whilst on placement. I utilised several appointments where they helped me improve my CV from being a very generic one into a CV which was much more tailored for roles I would be applying for. I also regularly checked the newsletters that are frequently emailed from the team - that’s where I found my placement. However, this was not the only one I had applied for! 

What are you gaining from your placement?

I have worked with people from a multitude of different engineering backgrounds which has allowed me to gain knowledge on topics I may not have covered within my degree. It has also helped me further my understanding of topics within my degree allowing me to know what parts I enjoy and may want to progress into further. I have also gained soft skills alongside receiving training for technical knowledge.

How has your placement influenced your plans for your future career?

It allowed me to understand how roles within teams work within an industrial company and that I don’t need to look for something as finely defined by my degree as currently I work with a team largely composed of mechanical engineers. This role uses knowledge gained from my degree to help the understanding of how a component may work within the system. This has definitely broadened the roles I am now considering undertaking upon finishing my degree.

What advice would you give to future students interested in an Industrial Placement Year?

I think the main thing is just keeping your motivation when searching for a placement. You may not find the right one for you to begin with, and you may not secure a job first time, but in the end the effort does pay off.

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