Press release issued 23 August 2013
Engineering and computer science undergraduates at the University of Bristol are being paired up with mentors at over 70 companies to give them a taste of working life within the industry.
This year, over 70 engineering and IT companies – mostly from Bristol but also from further afield - have volunteered 170 staff members to lend their support and expertise.
The objective of the scheme is to help new students to develop ideas about future career paths, to receive support from someone working in a relevant sector and to ultimately enhance their employability after they graduate.
In the context of a growing national shortage of engineering graduates, and increasingly effective recruitment campaigns from non-engineering sectors to target these students, the scheme has been developed to encourage students to engage early with careers relevant to their degrees.
Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: “The many companies who are involved with the mentoring scheme demonstrate how keen organisations are to engage with our Engineering students.
“I’m confident that the opportunity to see at first-hand - and so early in their degree programme - the realities of the workplace will inspire students to embark on careers in engineering and IT.”
Engineering students first meet their mentor at an informal dinner at the University before being tasked with arranging follow-up meetings to find out more about the industry and organisation they were matched to. Students will then attend specially organised visits to company sites and offices to see for themselves what the day-to-day life of an engineer is like.
When asked why he had participated in the scheme, David Gatland, an engineer working for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), said: “Providing future engineers with an understanding of the sorts of jobs that they may want to do is important to keep their interest and motivation in the subject and encourage them to work within engineering.”
Civil Engineering student Leo Youngman said: “I have had two very valuable meetings with my industrial mentor which I thought were extremely beneficial in helping me see where my degree course is taking me and putting it in the context of a real job and real life engineering projects.”
The scheme links into the Faculty of Engineering’s professional engineering unit to help students develop a professional engineering mind-set. As students progress through the scheme, they complete a simple personal and professional development plan to help them reflect on their experiences as they develop more awareness of the workplace and the range of industries they can work in.
About the Industrial Liaison Office
The Industrial Liaison Office manages and develops relationships with the Faculty of Engineering's many industrial partners across a range of activities. If you would like your company to get involved in working with the Faculty, please contact John McWilliams, Industrial Liaison Manager on email@example.com.
If you would like to find out more about the Industrial Mentoring Scheme, please contact Nic Woodhall in the Industrial Liaison Office on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty of Engineering students engage with their industrial mentors
The many companies who are involved with the mentoring scheme demonstrate how keen organisations are to engage with our Engineering students.