Applying analytical skills to real projects
In my role, I'm undertaking various aspects of building structural engineering design and analysis. This involves completing load take downs, structural element design such as beams and foundations, building 3D analysis models and preparing structural drawings.
So far, my favourite project has been building a 3D structural steel model for a healthcare centre, using engineering analysis software. It helped develop my understanding of how a structure comes together, how it's designed and analysed to ensure safety and stability.
Using analytical software and working with Eurocodes for design and analysis has helped me develop good technical skills on placement. I’ve also improved my personal skills such as interpersonal communication, better work commitment and willingness to learn.
The short and long-term benefits of a placement
So far, my placement has helped me understand the importance of what we learn at university, and especially when applied in the real engineering world. I believe that when I return to university, I'll be more focused and motivated to complete my studies.
The technical, management and personal skills I’m developing will make me a more valuable team member. Overall, a year's placement experience will serve me the biggest advantage. It will help me secure a graduate job as experience is one of the things that employers are looking for the most.
Improving your chances after graduation
I chose to study at Bath because the teaching and research is unmatched, especially for my degree. The course content was exactly the material I wanted to study and explore, focusing especially on the structural and design aspect of my degree.
Throughout my second year, we received regular lists of companies looking to hire placement students. The Faculty placements team also had a range of resources and guides to help us through the entire process. From first-draft CVs to interview preparation, the support was there.
I'd tell any student thinking about a placement year "go for it!". There are so many benefits for your career that stem from doing a placement, so take the risk and just apply to places! It may feel daunting or unnecessary, but you’ll be putting yourself at the top of the pile when it comes to graduate employment.