Electronic and electrical engineering internships and placement years
Some relevant work experience in electronic and electrical engineering is becoming more and more important when it comes to securing graduate jobs. Having some experience on your CV will greatly increase your chances of getting hired after university but it’s also a no-brainer for a few other reasons. You will:
- get some hands-on industry experience and a feel for what working life is like
- develop invaluable technical skills and soft skills such as teamwork and communication
- explore a particular engineering industry and figure out if it’s an area you’d like to work in after you graduate
- start to build up your own network of industry contacts
- return to university with a practical understanding of some of the topics you’ll study
Which engineering employers offer work experience?
Most of the big engineering employers that offer electronic and electrical engineering graduate schemes also offer paid work experience opportunities. These tend to be either a placement year (also referred to as a year in industry or industrial placement) or a summer internship. Head to our beginner’s guide to engineering work experience, where you can find out more about your options.
We thought it would be useful for you to have a list of employers that offer internships and placements. Click on the link for our article ‘Which engineering employers offer summer internships or industrial placements?’.
It’s not just the bigger employers who can offer you work experience, though. There are lots of small- and medium-sized enterprises out there who are willing to help. Here are ten good reasons to look for work experience with small employers.
Applying for electronic and electrical engineering internships
If you’re applying for work experience with a larger employer, the application process will usually be the same as, or at least very similar to, the recruitment process for its graduate schemes. It’s likely to include an online application form and an interview, but it could also involve completing psychometric tests, games-based assessments or a video interview, for example. This is another great reason to apply – it’s good practice ready for applying for graduate jobs.
For help with the recruitment process, here are a few of our advice articles:
Will an internship or industrial placement lead to a graduate job?
While it isn’t guaranteed, it’s not uncommon for employers to recruit the interns that impress them during their time at the company. Some employers will let you skip some of the recruitment process for their graduate schemes, for example, by putting you straight through to the final assessment centre, and others will simply give you a job offer straight out.
It’s also possible that your employer may sponsor you for the rest of your time at university, which typically includes some form of financial support.
Other ways to develop the skills that electronic and electrical engineers need
While work experience is undeniably useful, it’s not the be all and end all. There are plenty of other ways to develop the transferable skills that successful electronic and electrical engineers need.
You could increase your hands-on understanding of engineering in other ways, such as completing a week or two of unpaid work experience or creating your own project, or develop an impressive list of extracurricular activities, including membership of sports clubs and societies, part-time jobs and volunteering. Get more inspiration by reading our article on how to spend your summer if you can’t find an engineering internship.
If you’re a female electronic and electrical engineering student, don’t forget to apply to attend the TARGETjobs Future Female Engineers networking event. You will meet a number of engineering companies, who will all receive a copy of your CV, and you’ll take part in skills sessions and team challenges.