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SME Intern
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I wasn't sure if engineering was for me, I couldn't see how the academic aspect of it tied into something useful and wanted to get some hands on experience with engineering in action.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Organisation website

Application process

The initial stage was through CV and covering letter, which I checked with the careers service. A couple weeks after the deadline I received an email inviting me to an interview, which involved questions and tasks to test the knowledge that would be necessary in the internship. A week after that I received a phone call offering me the job.

Main responsibilities

Designing a new product for a small company as they were mainly software engineers and had little mechanical or design knowledge

Typical day

Typically I produced 3D CAD drawings to be used in a 3D printer so that prototypes could be tested, but there was a wide range of activities from producing initial designs to visiting universities to access their microscopes to training staff in CAD software

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I enjoyed getting to use new technology, there were a lot of high end 3D printers that I was allowed to use or order things from. I also got to see the software used with CNC machines

Challenging aspects

Learning how to apply knowledge, for example I knew how to read tolerances but didn't know how to determine which tolerances would be best so had to work that out

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

There project I was on required very tight tolerances as the component sizes went down to 0.08mm, I also used some FEA techniques to analyse whether materials were capable of withstanding working forces before prototyping

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

When i started the placement I was considering moving away from engineering completely towards sciences but now I want to stay in the engineering field and move toward bio mechanics

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

When applying for placements try smaller companies as well, they tend to be more personal and less reliant on software to determine who to hire

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Form completed: 01 Sep 2017

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