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Engineering's first year internship success

Students on placement with GKN Aerospace in August 2013

Students on placement with GKN Aerospace in August 2013

Press release issued: 4 September 2013

The first group of first year students to undertake an internship as part of a new scheme launched by the Faculty of Engineering Industrial Liaison Office have recently completed their summer work experience placements in engineering and technology companies.

Building on the many industry links in the Faculty of Engineering, companies were asked to provide work experience placements for students to undertake at the end of their first year. Traditionally companies offer internships to second and third year students, but this scheme has been innovative in developing opportunities for new students. Despite the students’ relative lack of experience, those companies who took part in the scheme were particularly impressed by the enthusiasm and aptitude that the students showed.

Chris Thomas at RWE Npower Renewables Ltd, commenting on the performance of one of their interns working on a range of structural engineering projects, said: “We are pleased with Tram’s performance. Self-motivated and with a desire to succeed in her tasks, she is very bright, cheerful and well presented. 

“Bristol University offers an excellent internship scheme.  It provides valuable work experience opportunities for students where they can gain insight into a successful organisation such as RWE and further develop their aspirations for a professional career. It also provides a very useful consistently high quality additional resource for us as a company. The interview process, organised by the University, was time efficient and effective.”

The scheme aims to help both students and companies. For companies, it offers an opportunity to identify talent early on and develop a long-term relationship with the workforce of the future. For students, it helped a group that might find it difficult otherwise to make contacts in relevant industry and encouraged them to consider engineering and related careers, offering these students an early opportunity to bridge the gap between academic study and working life as an engineer.

Nearly 300 applications were received for the internships. The recruitment and selection process was run by the Faculty Industrial Liaison Office, and provided a supportive environment to undertake what for many students was their first experience of job applications and interviews.

Nick Finney, a Mechanical Engineering student who undertook a placement at LIC Energy UK, added: “I believe that experience contributes as much as academic knowledge to an engineer's ability to make tough decisions and for them to be successful, especially when it comes to corporate projects. My experience with LIC energy I hope will complement my coming academic year and help me to better understand the relevance of my course content to my real engineering projects as well as aiding my own decisive capabilities as an engineer.”

Following the successes of this year’s scheme more companies are being sought to participate in next years’ scheme and interested companies should contact the Industrial Liaison Office.


Further information

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, email

If you would like to find out more about the First Year Internship Scheme please contact Nic Woodhall in the Industrial Liaison Office, email

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