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Phillip Chateya

BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronics Engineering (2014)
Graduate Application Engineer with Cummins, Peterborough

Phillip Chateya

Why did you apply to the University of Bradford and why did you choose your course?

The university of Bradford course structure suited my career needs. The School of Engineering is highly ranked and has a high graduate employment ratio.  In addition, Bradford is a diverse environment which is friendly to international students.

What did you like and enjoy about the University and your course?

I enjoyed meeting a variety of people, with a range of different backgrounds and experiences. Being involved in clubs and societies always offered something to learn about our different backgrounds and experience. The university also has a 24hr library and within walking distance of safe convenience stores around the university. The course was very practical; however, we also had the opportunity to do management and commercial modules like Six Sigma which are now coming in very handy in my day-to-day work.

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

The Career Development Services (CDS) helped me create a CV that stands out from the others.  CDS also provided various sessions such as CV Clinics, assessment centre training, and to avoid being caught by surprise, Career Development Advisers helped me with mock interviews for my part time job, placement and graduate jobs. They also have good contacts and can “recommend” you to employers.

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

I made use of the services provided by Career Development Services very early in my first year and attended periodical workshops on employability and one-to-one appointments to discuss career options and opportunities for International students. CDS advised me to join professional organisations (such as IET) which helped me in keeping up-to-date with developments in my discipline. I was also actively involved in sports and societies to improve my social skills and improve my general awareness.  In my second year, I held leadership role in Adventist Youth Society to improve my leadership and team skills.

To gain industrial placement experience, I took a year out on industry placement in my third year and worked for ARUP and Hoare Lea, in London.  During the placements I established good connections with my managers and colleagues and stayed in touch after my placement. They came in handy, as they provided good references when I applied for my graduate roles. During my placement, I was also involved in social activities with colleagues and also developed online connections.  In my final year, I worked hard to deliver a successful innovative Final Year Project and excelled in my overall academic studies and graduate with a first class honours.

What advice would you give to your fellow international students about improving their employability?

I would advise them to get involved in non-academic activities, become members, and attend professional organisation meetings such as IET.  I would also highly recommend them to gain practical experience whether it is a year out in industry (sandwich placements) and to further develop their transferable skills through part-time jobs and getting involved in societies.  The university has a diverse range of students from all over the world – it is always good to get to know them as they could be your network contacts in the future!

Lastly, as stated earlier, do take advantage of the services provided by Career Development Services. The Advisers are there to help you be successful in your graduate applications and your future career.

What did you enjoy most about being an international student at the University of Bradford?

Being an international student was a great experience as it provided exposure and opportunities due to the abundance of resources at my disposal. Meeting and interacting with people from different walks of life and backgrounds made me aware and improved my emotional intelligence as well as adaptability skills.  With a lot of activities to be involved in, a platform to make irreplaceable friends was created.

What would you say about the University of Bradford and the city to prospective international students?

As stated in my previous answers, the city of Bradford is a great and friendly environment. In addition, Bradford is home to the National Media Museum, a fabulous free museum devoted to film, photography, TV, radio and the web. It is filled with fun educational exhibitions, three cinema screens including the IMAX 3D cinema and galleries. There is something for anyone from any background to be involved in.

Tell us about your current job…

I am now working as a Graduate Application Engineer with Cummins since September 2014. My role is to provide technical application support to customers in a prompt, professional format and to match the products needed to their requirements. Each day is different and with different challenges; which encourages me to learn more.  As mentioned earlier, I am also involved in six sigma projects.