Friday, May 12, 2017

You miss every shot you don't take! Jemma Hart shares her experience at Future Female Engineers event and securing her dream graduate job with Arup.

My name is Jemma Hart and I am in my fifth and final year of a Masters of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. I attended the 2016 TARGETjobs Future Female Engineers event, held at the Atkins office in Bristol.

I applied for the event online by submitting my CV and answering some straightforward questions, mainly focusing on my desire to attend the day. After passing this stage, I received an invitation for a telephone interview. I was asked again about why I wanted to go to the event and also which companies appealed to me and why. This stage of the application process was very relaxed and I was encouraged to be myself. Because of this, my passion for engineering shone through and I was able to convey my enthusiasm for the event. 

The day kicked off with a welcome talk which set out the busy day arranged for all of the attendees. We received a speech from the keynote speaker Roma Agrawal and a guest speaker Caroline Norris from Atkins. The speakers discussed their accomplishments during their working careers and shared their true opinions of being a women in a predominantly male industry.  Following this, we were given the opportunity to chat to recruiters about the application process. This really opened my eyes to exactly what employers look for in a CV and I definitely saw an improvement in my own CV after applying their advice. We were put into company teams based on one of the employers you had shown a particular interest in. This was a fun way of getting noticed by employers and also gave us a taste of what to expect at recruitment assessment centres. The rest of the day was spent chatting to graduates, established female engineers and company representatives were available throughout so it’s a fantastic way to get a better idea of each company (and for insider tips!).

I initially applied for the event as I knew it would be an effective networking opportunity, helping me in my applications to graduate jobs. However, I was blown away by how inspired I was by the event. Before the event, I had started applying for graduate jobs which is a lengthy process; I was lost on what job I really wanted and where I would be best placed.  After some time it’s easy to lose momentum, but I found this event gave me the fire I needed to apply for the opportunities I have been working towards for years. In February this year, I was offered my dream graduate job with Arup which I accepted and I will be starting this September. The TARGETjobs Future Female Engineers event helped give me the confidence to apply to roles enormously and helped me to stand out from the crowd.

Sometimes it’s important to remind yourself that you miss every shot you don’t take. In applying for the TARGETjobs Future Female Engineers event, I gained a rare opportunity to propel my career forward and gain valuable knowledge from inspiration people. As a woman just starting my career in engineering, the day removed any concerns I had about being in the minority by introducing me to strong female role models who are established in the engineering field. The event is an unmissable opportunity for any woman with a passion for engineering. 

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