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Rachel Hogg

MEng (Hons) Medical Engineering (2016)
Graduate Trainee Engineer, IMI Precision Engineering, various locations.

Rachel Hogg

Why did you apply to the University of Bradford? What was your first impression of the university and the city, and what did you enjoy most about your time in Bradford?

I applied to the University of Bradford through clearing in August 2011 after not achieving my A Level grades for Dental Hygiene and Therapy.  Searching the UCAS website, I came across Medical Engineering and from reading the course descriptor, I decided to give the course a go as it covered lots of interesting material.

The University is small with a real community spirit which also applies to the city itself with people from all different backgrounds and interests. The thing I enjoyed the most about my time in Bradford was the small class sizes where the lecturers and staff know your name and are all very approachable if you need help and support.

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

Engineering had never been promoted to me despite having an AS level in Physics but reading what the course involved really spoke to me and I believed I would really enjoy it.  Five years later, I am so glad I chose engineering and Medical Engineering, in particular.

The best thing about my course was how varied the content was. The course combines modules involving mechanical, electrical and medical aspects to provide a wide range of understanding as well as many different avenues the course can be taken in for final year projects and employment.

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

Research your course thoroughly. The course may have the same title as another at a different University but look into what modules you will be covering and if they appeal to you.  Come and visit the University, accommodation and Bradford itself; this place will be your home for at least three years, so you have got to be happy here. I lost count of the number of different Open Days I went to, but it shows the University in a way the prospectus can’t!

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

I have had contact with Career Development Services throughout my University career. The team helped me to write a CV and prepare for interviews when I was looking for a placement in my second year. I completed a Summer Internship through Career Development Services in summer 2015, before my final year, which gave me a different experience to working at a large multinational company.  When looking for graduate jobs, Career Development Services helped me again to apply and prepare for jobs and were there to talk to impartially, when I couldn’t decide which job offer to accept.

Tell us about your current job (brief responsibilities of what you will be doing).

This is a graduate programme (starting in Sept 2016) involving four rotations over a two-year period whereby I have a new job role in each rotation. The aim of the programme is to give me sufficient experience to apply the knowledge I have gained at University to become a professional engineer within the team to deliver new and innovative products; potentially in the future I can be a team leader and manager.

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

During my third year at Bradford, I completed a placement year with GE Aviation Dowty Propellers in Gloucester.  This was an amazing opportunity to apply the knowledge I had gained at University as well as being given responsibility for important projects and roles within the business such as the movement of parts and product between the facility in Gloucester and various military air bases.  Most of the things I was involved with at GE Aviation had very little to do with my degree but it was a great experience to be part of a manufacturing facility and understanding what goes on behind the scenes to keep the factory going in a safe and compliant manner.

Between my fourth and fifth years, I took part in a six-week Summer Internship at Gluco Technology Ltd. in Bradford. This internship showed me what it was like to work at a very small business and gave me the opportunity to get more hands-on with machinery and solve problems practically rather than theoretically.

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

Just because your degree has a label of Medical Engineering doesn’t mean that you don’t have the skills to enter another engineering sector; I am about to enter a Precision Engineering company in a Mechanical role and for some subjects you have more knowledge than other engineers in the faculty.  

There aren’t many Medical Engineering jobs out there, so make sure you have as much experience as you can get, this will make you more employable as well as giving you an idea about what you want to do in the future.  In addition, don’t give up hope! Keep applying for jobs and opportunities; there will be one out there you just have to put in the leg work to look for it!