I think NTU has surpassed my expectations, especially in terms of student life.
More about Jose
Why did you choose NTU and your course?
I chose NTU because I felt that it was a good mix of a great student life and great learning facilities. It also helped that my friends were going to go to NTU as well. I chose my course because I always wanted to become an engineer.
Have you been involved in any live projects of briefs on your course and if so, can you talk a bit about one you really enjoyed?
Civil Engineering is great because of the number of projects that they let you get involved in. The one I enjoyed the most was the surveying project in first year in the Lake District. It was great to finally put all the theory that we learnt in the lecture halls and apply it into practice on the field
Could you please explain more about your current / recent placement, and what you did during this time?
I’m doing a placement at a contracting engineering firm called VolkerFitzpatrick. Currently I’m working as an ITP Engineer, shadowing one of the senior engineers on site. I’m learning the main duties of a contracting engineer, such as setting out tasks, managing health and safety, and quality assurance.
How did you source your placement? Did you get support from NTU?
I was fortunate enough to find my placement job from the careers fair through NTU. From there, the Employability Team has gone above and beyond to make sure that I got enough support through my interview/recruitment process as well as throughout my placement year.
What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on during your placement and why?
I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to work on two sites (Wembley & London City Airport), both posing its own challenges. Personally, my favourite of the two has been Wembley, it was the very first project I was placed on and the team that I was with made me feel very welcome.
What skills have you gained by completing this placement?
I have become more aware of the industry I’m working in. I’ve also learnt a lot in terms of industry standard technology, methodology which sometimes doesn’t get picked up in university. Most importantly, I have learned key interpersonal skills which has come in useful when interfacing with other subcontractors/engineers. These skills I have learnt will help my employability because the experience I’ve gained is immeasurable. I’ve learnt skills that can’t be taught in university, such as quality assurance and management of health and safety on site.
What advice would you give to an NTU student about to begin a placement?
Don’t be nervous! I think that would be a useful bit of information to anyone beginning their placement. Don’t be scared to ask the silly questions in the back of your mind, it is always better to not know and ask than not know and guess. Most employers should understand the position you’re coming from and happily help you.