What to expect if you attend Future Female Engineers...
The application process for the Future Female Engineers event was thorough, with online forms followed by a telephone interview. We were required to demonstrate our passion for engineering and justify why we should be selected for the event in the online forms. The telephone interview had a similar tone, with more detailed questions on how we would make the most of the event. Although the selection process was more extensive than I expected, the written content I provided has been useful for covering letters and it was beneficial to experience my first telephone interview.
The event was held at the sophisticated Arup headquarters in London. We were welcomed in the foyer, signed in and given lanyards. We were then shown to the cloakroom and we had our photos taken. The day began with an inspirational talk about personal branding in which the speaker encouraged ice-breaking activities and interesting conversations.
After a delicious lunch, we were separated into groups of around eight students. We were assigned to groups in relation to our preferred companies as ranked in our post-offer form. I was put in a group with Siemens, the company ranked second in my form. We were given the challenge of designing and making (with limited resources) a contraption to prevent the breakage of a packet of pasta and each group demonstrated their efforts in a competition.
Afterwards, we had the chance to present any questions to Louise and Charlotte, the representatives for Siemens recruitment. They gave us informative booklets and tips with regards to summer internships. After taking our emails, we were invited to attend a female speed assessment day, which I later attended in February and, ultimately, I was offered an exciting summer internship with the aeroderivative gas turbine team in Warwick after attending the group assessment and interview-based day.
For the next part of the Future Female Engineers event, we were put into new groups – this time I was with AECOM. This was a similar informal Q&A session with a representative who was happy to explain the branches of engineering available for placements and graduate programmes and their respective locations. After this there was a panel Q&A session with some top female engineers; we had the opportunity to quiz them on their experience and their opinions on how women can succeed in the world of engineering.
In between and after these group sessions there were opportunities to network with current graduates and employers too. With wine and refreshments, it was a wonderful way to end the day after a brief wrap-up talk. Upon leaving the event we were given a large bag filled with brochures and merchandise from each of the companies present.
I gained several things from this event including the opportunity to build on my teamwork skills and to practise approaching fellow students and potential employers. The most valuable thing that I took away, though, was the network of contacts that I started to build through LinkedIn and especially by passing my contact details on to the Siemens focus group leaders, who seemed particularly keen to keep us in the loop and to help us through our applications. Being selected to attend the event shows that we are passionate about pursuing a career in engineering and being put in their group shows a particular interest in their company.
I would strongly recommend this event to students who are interested in engineering because there are so many people in one space who have the answers to your questions: fellow students, current graduates, senior engineers, managers and recruitment representatives, as well as the TARGETjobs Events team. Furthermore, it will allow you to increase your opportunities to gain experience and potentially obtain a placement or graduate role.