I first heard about the Future Female Engineers event from the university careers service. We all get a lot of emails from the university, but sometimes they can actually be useful! As I was in the midst of applying for year in industry placements, I thought it would be too good an opportunity to miss – particularly as a number of the companies in attendance were ones that I was interested in applying for. The application process was straightforward, with a few questions online followed by a phone call with someone from the TARGETjobs Events team. This allowed me to demonstrate my passion for engineering and why I was a good candidate for the event. About a week later I was delighted to receive an invite to London for the event.
In the run-up to the event, I researched placements available at the companies I had in mind, as well as their values. I also prepared specific questions that would give me an advantage in the application process (such as specific attributes they are looking for). The TARGETjobs team also got in touch to discuss any questions we had before the day.
The day started off with a keynote speaker – Kate Taylor – who talked about creating your own personal brand, followed by a networking lunch, where it was nice to speak to other female engineering students as well as the recruiters. There was a team challenge event which was like something you would have to do at an assessment centre, and ‘How to get hired’ sessions where you could speak directly to the recruiters from the companies. As there were multiple companies I was interested in, I did not get to participate in sessions with all of them; in the networking time, I intentionally used the opportunity to ask questions to those companies I had not previously spent time with. Speaking to AECOM’s recruiters was particularly useful as they gave me some key information that was not available on their website.
Later in the day, there was a panel Q&A session with senior female engineers from each of the companies. This was really inspiring, and it was great to get tips from them, as well as hear about how their careers developed. There was also an opportunity to speak to recent graduates working in the companies, which gave me a good feel for what it would be like to work in each of them.
Participating in the Future Female Engineers event encouraged me to have confidence in my own engineering ability, and it also gave me invaluable first-hand advice for my applications. The TARGETjobs team also followed up with me after the event, and throughout my placement applications process, giving me support and pointing me in the direction of helpful resources. I am grateful to the TARGETjobs team, as I do not think that I would have secured this placement with AECOM if I had not come to the Future Female Engineers event.