Monday, 29 July 2013

Internships and Employability

My summer intern from Nottingham (Jessie) is doing an excellent job.

Without a great deal of support from me, Jessie, (who has just finished her second year) has been to site alone to take and analyse effluent samples, identified and in some instances quantified problems, produced enquiries for new plant, and produced professional quality drawings of the plant in situ based on supplier data.

Last year's summer intern was also excellent. Giselle (like Jessie) was self-starting, capable of independent work, and had good judgement for when to ask for help. Giselle has gone on to be a highly sought-after engineer in her home country, as I am confident Jessie will.

However, unlike Giselle (a Master's student who already had a few years of experience) Jessie is a product of our new Year 2 Plant Design module. That she is an employable engineer with useful professional skills at the end of the second year of our degree is greatly encouraging, when so many chemical engineers graduate from UK universities without such skills.  

The skills I am looking for chime with those other small to medium sized process engineering contractors tell me that they are are looking for. BP may have the time and money to train someone for a year or two before they want them to do any useful work, but smaller outfits want people who can hit the ground running. These skills are more important to SMEs than degree classification (though both Jessie and Giselle are also academically excellent).

For any potential employers reading this, there's plenty more where these came from...

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