International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

What to do with my Mechanical Engineering Degree?

What to do with my Mechanical Engineering Degree?
Written by: Birju Galaiya

In this blog I will explore the career paths a Mechanical Engineering Student can follow once they have finished their degree. Apart from the degree the University offers you, they support you in every possible way they can to perhaps help you find a part-time job, build your skills or apply for a graduate scheme.

Have you ever thought about what you’re really going to do once you have gained a degree? Which would be your ideal company? What you want to specialize in and what is going to be the future trends in the engineering industry? Well, most of you wouldn’t have given deep thoughts but I don’t blame you- you have enough on your plate at the moment focusing on passing exams. I was the same.

But I think it’s really important to have a plan on what your aspirations are. Yes, you will study for 3
or maybe 4 years. Then you need to look for a job. This I believe is the hard part. Mechanical Engineering is the broadest kind of engineering where you could end up working in the aerospace industry, building services, energy sector or in the transport and automotive sector. It’s really up to you which industry you are interested in! Personally, I am keen in joining the energy sector and the rail industry. In the end whichever industry you want to join- they want the same thing from you: a good set of skills that supplement your degree. In order for you to do this you need to create a CV- a profile of your achievements and the type of skills you possess.

The Careers Service at the University of Sheffield supports students in their quests for jobs in a number of ways. They help you develop and perfect your CV by facilitating a one-on-one session with a careers advisor who guides you through the process. Furthermore, throughout the year, they have talks and workshops targeting a particular group of students. For example they would have a talk about how international students can get part-time jobs and what they need to do in terms of visa restrictions. The talks are very helpful, especially for international students. Other talks include ways on improving the way students fill in job application forms. Also, you can undertake workshops where you can, including others, improve on your communication, presentation and interpersonal skills.


When it comes to the tests and interviews most companies now have, it is important for you to be prepared for them thoroughly to increase your chances of success in a competitive job market. The Careers Service frequently carries out mock tests and interviews which you can use to prepare yourself. I have taken few of these tests and I can say that they build up your confidence and give you hints about what you need to put more effort in.

Once you graduate, you have to apply for a job. Without much industrial experience this becomes much harder and for that reason many students now try supplement their studies with real industry work experiences such as a summer internship and a year out in industry. The university makes it a bit easier for you as they advertise many internship opportunities available for students rather than you having to search online (hassle!). Every semester, the university hosts a careers fair for all types of courses (not only engineering) where employers come into campus and advertise their vacancies. These fairs are important as you not only make good contacts with the recruiters but you can ask them whether the job would suit you or any other job related queries. These fairs are really popular and the number of students that turn up for them is incredible.

Recently, the Careers Service introduced a mentoring scheme where current students are put in contact with Alumni in industry. I just finished this scheme and having a former student talk to you about how you can develop your career is really helpful especially because they have been in your shoes so they can advise you on what you can do.

I hope I have not scared you guys by talking about your future careers but it’s a worth a thought. The University has been very supportive in this regards and has made it much easier for students like me to explore their potential. If you want to know more about a career in Mechanical Engineering, please feel free to ask me. J

1 comment:

  1. Tks very much for your post.

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