Muhammad Sarmad Sadiq
BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering Sandwich Course (2015) Graduate Engineer, Continental Automotive Trading Ltd
Why did you apply to the University of Bradford? What was your first impression of the university and the city? What did you enjoy most about your time in Bradford?
When picking my university, I was eager to focus on a university which was renowned to produce graduates who have gone on to work for some of the most reputable engineering companies in the UK and abroad. The University of Bradford has long-standing relationships with companies that are involved with the university for Research and Development as well as recruiting graduates. Also, diversity is something that is definitely at the university and being an international student that was very appealing to me. The city itself is very multi cultured and no matter where you are from, there is always a part in Bradford where you feel right at home.
Why did you choose that particular course? What did you like and enjoy most about your course?
I chose my Mechanical Engineering as I was always a car enthusiast. I wanted to make my passion my profession, and with the in-depth course structure breakdown available on the university’s website, I was easily able to pick this course. For my optional modules, I picked up modules which were more relevant to the automotive industry. I really enjoyed the practical aspect of my course. The focus was really on understanding the theories taught in the lectures and its implementation which meant we spent a fair amount in the labs. This helped me better understand the engineering principles and more importantly, how to use these principles in the industrial environment.
What tips would you give to prospective international students (about the course at University of Bradford and the university itself)?
As an international student, you can look forward to being introduced to an environment where you will be learning together with people from different backgrounds and culture. The university’s website provides a lot of support in terms of helping you find the right course for you so make sure you make full use of it as chances are you may not be able to visit the university in person before the start of your degree.
How did Career Development Services support you during your time at University?
The Career Development Services (CDS) for me is hands down as the best facility available for university students. The help they provide boost your chances of securing a placement/graduate job exponentially! I was very eager to secure a placement as part of my course and then a graduate job in my final year and both times I turned to CDS for guidance. The Careers Team consist of people who have been recruiters for multinational companies in the past and provide individual feedback on students’ CVs. The Adviser linked to my School/Faculty not only helped me write a professional looking CV, but also helped me prepare well for the assessment centres. They hold regular workshops and mock interviews to help students increase their employability chances. With the help of CDS, I was able to secure a placement with Vauxhall Motors after my second year. Furthermore, I had 2 graduate job offers even before I finished my final year studies, one of which was from Europe’s largest engineering company, Siemens.
Tell us about your current job.
As I mentioned that I am passionate about cars, I accepted a job offer from Continental Automotive Trading and will start in August 2015. Continental Automotive Systems is a division of the German Continental AG and is a brake and electronics supplier to the automotive industry, supplying systems, components, electronics, lithium-ion batteries and engineering services for vehicle safety and powertrain performance. I have been recruited as a Graduate Engineer and will be working for one of continental’s customers (Bentley, Jaguar, McLaren) delivering turnkey projects and working on the launch of new vehicle models. The company is also currently seeking to add Lamborghini Automobili and Bugatti Veyron to its customers list.
What action did you take to improve your employability whilst at University?
In today’s competitive market, no matter what degree you graduate with, you need something on your CV that makes you stand out from the crowd. During your years in university, work on gaining experiences that are related to the career you wish to pursue. One of the best ways to achieve this is by securing an industrial placement to gain practical experience in industry. This will act as a great advantage once you graduate as you will be graduating with a degree, as well as a year of industrial experience which is of immense importance to the companies looking to hire graduates.
What advice would you give to current students wishing to enter this type of career?
The automotive industry is currently on the rise and a big focus is on electronics and making the roads safer. Also, the automotive giants are working towards making the future generation cars more reliable, sustainable and eco-friendly. Hence, in your final year, it will be to your advantage to pick up modules like Sustainable Energy and Reliability Engineering even though the titles might suggest they are not automotive centred modules.