The year 2018-19 saw over 20 applications sent out in order to secure a placement opportunity, within my industry. A few interviews, many Noes and one YES.
The year 2017 was a year of risk. I took the risk to study Civil Engineering at university without a fully comprehensive outlook of the bigger picture. My time at college studying general ‘Engineering’ however, set me up for various specific Engineering sectors if I choose to go down the road of an Engineer. First year at university came and went with ease. The second year kicked off and that’s when I felt the need to reconsider as I was blasted and bombarded with challenging modules to name a few: soil mechanics, structures, BIM, Civil Engineering applications etc.
I sought out the need to polish my CV – with the help of my university careers team and employability advisors. I was coached on how to write covers letters along with recommendations on where to apply for placements – Gradcracker, indeed, Linkedln etc. The need for such urgency was I wanted to know if I’ve made the right industry choice. Securing a placement is a bridge between either a change of course or a passage to the industry.
Being a STEM ambassador and having visited schools and conversed with students has given me a change in perspective. Some students have an idea of their choice of course, some don’t and a few dropouts after their first year. A feeling of Deja Vu surfaced when having these conversations with students.
The solution to such dilemma is the search for placement. By taking such steps it allows you to gain a full understanding of the industry along with networking. I came out of my yearlong placements feeling secured like that of a bolt and nut encompassed with reassurance and purpose.
Returning back to university to complete my final year was the easiest of all my academic phases. Equipped with experience and energy. Sometimes all you need is a break – that could be a placement year or a gap year. Ignore the adrenaline rush of time and age – do it at your own pace.