The application process was made up of a series of written questions based around why I would like to attend The Future Female Engineers event and what I wanted to gain from the day, followed by a telephone interview to gauge my interests in greater detail. Although the application process was longer than expected, I found it to be a helpful first practice at a phone interview. A pre-interview email outlining the types of questions I could expect eased my nerves and the call itself was more friendly and relaxed than I had imagined.
Shortly after the interview, I was offered a place on the event and was added to a Facebook group. This group allowed me to chat to the other students attending; I was surprised to learn that some were from my year at my university and was able to meet up with them in advance, and arrange travel plans together.
Due to the long distances some students had to travel, the event started late morning allowing me to arrive in London in plenty of time. After introductions, we were informed the day would be split into several parts. These were made up of a range of networking opportunities, a team challenge where we had to protect pasta wrapped in tissue paper from a drop, two CV ‘masterclasses’ and a Q&A session with leading female engineers. In my opinion, the most beneficial of all the tasks was the CV building session. Students were split up into groups of ten and assigned to a company - I was with Kier where we could ask questions about placements and hear how we could make our CVs stand out. This is one of many examples in how the event helped me to secure a role.
In the weeks following the event, our CVs were distributed to the companies that attended. This made it much easier for me to contact them about potential summer placements. As a result of the day, I have been fortunate enough to secure an eight week placement with Kier.
I would definitely recommend the event to other students looking to pursue a career in engineering, particularly first years. Although not all of the companies in attendance offer placements to first-year students, there are many other opportunities available, and the event helps to put your name out there, which will be of a lot of use in a couple of years time when looking for my year in industry. An additional benefit of attending early on in your degree is the opportunity to gain advice from older students in attendance, and get a leg-up from your peers.