MEng (Hons) Mechanical & Automotive Engineering Placement with Meritor, Cwmbran, Wales (August 2017 – August 2018)
Why did you apply to the University of Bradford?
I applied to the University of Bradford after talking to people in my neighbourhood who attended the university. They told me good things about its teaching, facilities and links to leading engineering companies. In addition, I contacted others who were on the course I wanted to study (MEng in Mechanical and Automotive Engineering) to get an idea of what it was like; I had a really positive response and was excited and looked forward to attending the course.
When I first got to the university, I didn’t know what to expect but after seeing the campus and meeting different people I knew I had made a great choice! It wasn’t long until I was settled and it became my second home. One of the best things about Bradford is the various numbers of places to eat!
Why did you choose that particular course? What did you like and enjoy most about the course?
I chose to study MEng (Hons) Mechanical and Automotive Engineering mainly due to my appreciation for mathematics and car design. It was a great way for me to combine the two and make a career in the automotive industry. Also it being an IMechE accredited with respected lecturers and opportunity for practical experience in the course, I was driven to study the course at the University of Bradford.
A big plus for me was the automotive laboratory which had a test vehicle and the braking research laboratory. I knew they were equipped in giving a great amount of valuable knowledge and practical experience which would help me in my career.
Studying this course, I have enjoyed the practical work and group projects (e.g. Transporter Challenge) the most, as well as doing the CAD work.
What tips would you give to prospective students about the course at the University of Bradford and the university itself?
This is a great university to study at, as it is always improving and an even better place to be if you are looking for a career in the automotive industry. It has specialist lecturers and facilities to help implement the theory of lectures into practical work. I was one of the few students who went to the Ford Lommel Testing Track in Belgium; this shows the contacts the department/faculty has with top engineering companies. The trip was thoroughly enjoyable and a great experience for us all.
What support have you received from Career and Employability Services / Placement Staff?
The Career and Employability Services have supported me from the beginning. Using their resources, I built my CV and covering letters; I had no idea where to start but they helped me every step of the way.
When preparing for the interviews, they provided me with excellent assistance giving me the confidence to be successful. I can honestly say without their help I would not have been successful in obtaining this placement.
What action are you taking to improve your employability whilst at University?
Whilst at university, I am taking part in different projects to help charities and build cohesion between my neighbouring communities as well as taking up a part time job. I am attending the Employability workshops available at university which help and advise us in getting a placement.
What advice would you give to your fellow students about finding placement and work experience opportunities?
The advice I would give is to apply early and take all the opportunities available. Build and update your CV and get it checked as soon as possible so you can confidently apply to all vacancies. I would also advise making a “template” covering letter and then tailoring it to the job role you are applying for; that way you have a different/unique covering letter for each vacancy. Use the specialist engineering website, Gradcracker and the university careers website which advertises vacancies.
Talk to staff in Career and Employability Services who will always be there to help you, and make sure to talk to other students in the year above for advice and information.
Tell us about your current placement …
My placement as Student Engineer is at Meritor, Wales, a leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. The overview of my job role is, to work as part of the global braking engineering team responsible for the development of latest technology braking systems for heavy commercial vehicles and passenger service vehicles.
How will the placement year benefit you when you return to study at the University of Bradford?
The placement year will be hugely beneficial as it will give me the practical experience needed in the industry as well as a chance to be involved with experienced engineers on a day-to-day basis. I will be able to learn a lot and gain an insight into how an international company operates.
I will also be undertaking different projects and be involved in the designing, developing and testing. Hopefully, this will help me massively in my final year project and in finding a graduate role after university!