Future Female Engineers

Flora Charbonnier

Why you should attend Future Female Engineers, by an engineering placement student

Student civil engineer Flora Charbonnier explains…

As a penultimate year civil engineering student looking for summer placements, I was excited to hear about the range of companies attending the Future Female Engineers event. I hoped to learn more about the positions I could apply to by talking to insiders – human resources teams, graduate engineers, and women in managerial roles. The event gave me these opportunities and more.

The benefits of having a selective application process

I had not realised how competitive the process would be, from the online application which sought to learn more about my profile and motivations to the phone interview during which I talked further about my experiences and vision of engineering. This interview was a friendly conversation with Justine, the Female Future Engineers event project manager. However, it was great to feel like we were personally selected, and looked after throughout the event.

The fact that we went through a selective process meant that the employers attending would be personally interested in us from the start; this really increased the appeal of the event. I often find that careers fairs are useful to find out about what companies do and are looking for, but this event allowed more in-depth and personal conversations with the right people who could give us specific pieces of advice and insights.

What to expect on the day of Future Female Engineers

On the day of the event, it was very encouraging to be surrounded by like-minded students from throughout the country who were in the same position and who shared similar aspirations as me. We got to know each other better throughout the day, via empowering talks, group challenges and networking sessions. Recruiters, graduate engineers and more senior women with inspiring engineering careers were happy to answer our questions and encourage us to pursue impactful careers. The event was thus really helpful for me in understanding what I wanted for my summer internship and how to maximise my chances of obtaining the position I wanted. It encouraged me to envision an ambitious career.

Since the event, I’ve kept in touch with Justine, whom I had met in person at the event, as well as with the other attendees. Through attending this one-day event, I became part of a network of ambitious young women engineering students, who could seek advice from more experienced engineers if needed.

How the Future Female Engineers led to my placement

The event made the application process for Summer Placements a lot less daunting and impersonal, as I could speak directly to someone I had met. It also encouraged me to be more daring, thanks to the personal encouragements of representatives of different companies (they had told me about the projects I could take part in, if I were to join their teams).

Passionate about water management and infrastructure, I was able to contact the right people from the AECOM water team. Having met members of the world-renowned infrastructure design consultancy, I was a lot more comfortable throughout the process. I took part in an interview at their offices. This resulted in summer placement offer. I can’t wait to see what impactful project this opportunity will enable me to take part in this summer!

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