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

Friday, 6 February 2015

Engineering You're Hired Week 2014 - 2015

By Vimanyu Beedasy

Engineering You're Hired is similar to the Global Engineering Challenge, except that second year engineering students take part in it while GEC is only for the first year students. It is an intensive week where students from every engineering discipline get together to work on a project which they have to choose beforehand. Our project title was 'Scavenging Energy from Sewers', one which I chose since it is related to another project I am currently involved in with Enactus Sheffield.

During the week, we had to get up early to reach the university at 09:00 from Monday to Friday. EYH differs from GEC in a way that we are left very much on our own during the day as we work in a team of 6 people towards finding an optimum solution to our project. We were placed in a hub where there were a total of 6 groups, all working on the same project individually.

Our hub room, one large enclosure which lacks oxygen flow, but still one where many laughs were heard across the walls...

The first day, we engaged in some activities to get to know the other members in our hub. I recognised a few faces from the Mechanical Engineering department as well as some other people who I met during other extra-curricular activities, so I knew that I was on track for a pleasant week. I was glad to learn that in our group of 6 people, 3 of us were mechanical engineers and the other 3 were from either the Chemical Engineering or the Civil Engineering department. All of them were very friendly and quite enthusiastic for the project.

Brainstorming - the only limit is your imagination and creativity.

We started our project and had some crazy ideas at first but at the same time we were having a good time talking and getting to know each other. The first day was spent mostly talking about ourselves and our course, and deciding how we wanted this week to go and what we aimed at. After every day we had hub boardroom meetings to discuss about the progress of our project. Our board directors were quite strict and harsh with us the first day, but we were told it was for a good cause – not often do interviews go pleasantly.

Our storyboard - Summary of our project plan for the whole week.

In addition to boardroom meetings, as a group we were given a question to answer every afternoon. These questions came directly from the website of some companies who are recruiting students or people to work as part of their application process. One of them was: “Describe a situation where you had to negotiate with and convince an individual/a team of people to see a different point of view or develop an idea they were not initially in favour of. How did you communicate your point of view and go about convincing them?” As someone who is still currently applying to some companies for internships, I believe that it will be very helpful to those who will be applying in the future.

Our hub director, going through the questions we answered in the afternoon and spotting what could be improved. And the much needed coffee for the 09:00 every day.

As the days went by, it got tiring to wake up early and stay at the University until 17:00, but in the end I believe that it was worth it as it was a new experience where you meet people from different backgrounds and departments. Additionally, it helps build up your team working skills as well as your communication and presentation skills.

Towards the end, on Thursday we had to submit our final report of the whole project. It was a task which put some pressure on the other members of the team but altogether using online software such as Google Docs, we managed to work efficiently to finalise the report. On Friday, we had to present our final solution to some industrial experts as if we were to sell our idea in the real world. It was a different way of presenting a solution as this time we needed to be even more convincing and be ready to fight-off every drawbacks.

Snapshot of the presentation and the industrial mentors paying attention to the group presenting - they were harsh.

Even though some of us thought that this week would not be so useful, we were quite pleased with the outcome in the end. In some way or the other, we had learnt something which will be helpful to each one of us in the future and, best of all, we broadened our network of friends. I asked a couple of my team members about their experiences and they said:

“I was initially sceptical about the whole week, especially after finishing exams a couple of days back, but I actually enjoyed it.” – Kyle Farrell

“It offers people with a chance to improve their application to placements and also improve their group working skills.” – Alexander Hesketh

“Awesome." – Lik Hang Hugo Tse

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