Future female engineers

Katie Bennett

Katie Bennett

Katie Bennett secured a placement with Arup by attending Future Female Engineers!

I had been interested in Arup as a company since starting my second year at university and being encouraged to secure an industrial summer placement. My interest was spiked when seeing some of the hugely prestigious projects that Arup had been involved with. One of them was very close to home, being the engineering building that I have studied in for 90% of my university career: The Diamond, an £81m multidisciplinary engineering facility for the University of Sheffield.

Around the same sort of time, my university was advertising the Future Females Engineers event, which was conveniently going to be hosted at Arup’s HQ in London! The application for the Future Female Engineers event was a straightforward example of what to expect from a placement application. This was really useful as an opportunity to practise for the real thing. The telephone interview was also very straightforward; there is no need to stress as long as you have prepared! I researched all of the companies attending and concluded that I was most interested in Arup and Wates. This was asked about in my interview and I was put with these two companies on the day of the event.

At the event, my team’s mentor for the team building exercise was Aman Gill, a recruitment officer who works for Arup in London. She told us a lot about the recruitment process at Arup and what they value from their potential employees. I took Aman’s email address and contacted her subsequent to my application for a summer placement opportunity with Arup in Sheffield. Aman was in contact with the Sheffield office supporting my application.

I was so pleased when I got the confirmation of an interview for the placement and was so grateful that I had been able to attend the event. I also mentioned attending the event to my interviewer at Arup and they seemed to be impressed with my efforts. What I took from the event was the importance of demonstrating your interest in and passion for a company. I was really interested in Arup before the event and I made this clear in my application.

The placement itself has been really interesting! I’ve been working in the MEP building services team as an electrical engineer and I’ve been travelling to Nottingham and Liverpool with my team for meetings and site visits. I’ve been working mostly on a high-rise residential building in Liverpool developing the schematics for all the electrical systems inside the building. For example, I’ve been working on the telecommunications schematic and fire alarm treatment drawings, doing lighting calculations and working on containment layouts. Arup is a fantastic company to secure a summer placement with; the support from everyone is great and the facilities are impeccable.

I was inspired by all of the female engineers that I met at the Future Female Engineers event, whether they were just aspiring or qualified engineers. I had never experienced such a friendly and positive atmosphere at a networking event before. I was also pleased to see that my team at Arup was very balanced in its representation of women, which was so refreshing to see in such a big engineering consultancy.