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Ayodeji Balogun

BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering (2015) Graduate Engineer, WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff, London

Ayodeji Balogun

Why did you apply to the University of Bradford?  Please include the following: What was your first impression of the university and the city?  What did you enjoy most about your time in Bradford?

I came to the University of Bradford through Clearing; I had not achieved my expected results and on results day, I started looking into universities I could get into. It was through my search that I discovered the University of Bradford; after doing some research, I found out the university was a great university for the course I planned on studying.  Some of the lecturers had done a lot of research work in their field of study, this assured me that I would be in great hands and encouraged me to apply.

One of the best things I enjoyed about the University was the warmth and friendliness of students and staff, the cultural diversity and the social life. It was really easy to make friends and have a nice time at the university, so you never really felt like you were away from home. As someone who was into sports, I enjoyed a lot of the sports activities the university had to offer, most especially the American Football Team, which I was happy and proud to be a part of. 

Why did you choose that particular course?  What did you like and enjoy most about your course?

I loved technology and computer games whilst growing up and have been fascinated to learn how the devices I loved and used on a daily basis were designed and created. It was this love for technology that spurred my interest in Electrical and Electronic Engineering as it provides me with the concepts behind these systems and the knowledge and skills required designing and building them. Along with the fact that a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering had great career prospects as the demand for Engineers in this industry currently outweighs supply. 

What tips would you give to prospective students (about the course at University of Bradford and the university itself)?

Enjoy every single moment of your university experience but don’t leave your work behind. Do this and your years at the university will be a breeze! All of the staff and even Student Officers at the university are there for you, if you ever need help or are stuck, don't feel shy to ask, you will find everyone is eager to help and assist. Overall, be engaged with the university, take advantage of all it has to offer and you will have a wonderful experience.

How did Career Development Services support you during your time at University?

Career Development Services (CDS) was very influential in the building of my CV. I was given one-to-one help and constructive feedback with my CV to ensure I had a CV which employers would look at. There were lots of different workshops to help with job applications; in my case I struggled with the psychometric tests as a lot of employers now use these online tests to filter candidates, and with the help of the CDS, I improved on my weaknesses. During my first year, through the CDS, I got on the then University Work Register and was involved in different roles at the university; this provided me with valuable work experience and different skill sets which I later added onto my CV, along with a nice wage to help me get through student life.

Tell us about your current job.

From Sept 2015, I work for WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, a leading UK station design consultancy, with extensive experience of taking schemes from inception through to completion for a wide range of public and private sector clients. In my current job role, I will be working within the telecommunications and systems engineering team of about 15 people, involved with the design and delivery of the telecommunications systems at London Bridge and Bond Street Crossrail Station (currently undergoing work for the £15.9 billion Crossrail Railway Line that will see a boost to the UK economy). In line with my responsibilities, I will be working towards attaining Chartered status at the end of the three year graduate programme.

What action did you take to improve your employability whilst at University?

The activities I took to achieve employability were non-stop, with every unsuccessful application or interviews, I always looked at ways on how I could improve myself; learning from my mistakes and feedbacks.  

This involved constantly enhancing my CV and Covering Letter to ensure they stood out from the crowd, highlighting my skills and experience and making sure that they were targeted and matched the jobs I applied for.  I also do extensive research on the companies I applied to, not stopping at sending my application but also following up by calling to speak to the recruiting managers or sending an email, as well as practicing and practicing psychometric tests, interview and presentation skills.  I also keep my LinkedIn profile professional and update it regularly.   

A lot of work went into my pursuit of employment, all of which has been worth it now. Applying for jobs may be tiring and seem stressful but the key is never giving up and continually improving and developing yourselves.

What advice would you give to current students wishing to enter this type of career?

Go for it! It is so wide and vast; it reaches into different fields, some of which are even yet to be discovered. It is constantly developing and there will always be demand for people like you as technology and its applications are constantly progressing.