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

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Global Engineering Challenge 2016

By Muhammad Shuja

This blog will give you an insight about the Global Engineering Challenge in general, something engineering undergraduates take up in their first year at Sheffield.

This will be the time you realise the impact engineers and engineering itself has on the real-word and how much the world is in need of engineers for various aspects of the industry, all the way from healthcare to agriculture.

Teams of 5 or 6 students from different engineering disciplines will be asked to come up with a solution to real-life problem, which they have to present to an audience of other teams, a facilitator and some alumni of the university. Each team is assigned a work space in a hub where they have a facilitator to guide them through the decision-making progress. This seems daunting at first but a lot of support is offered to students in the form on introductory lectures and first hand help from facilitators since the university realizes that the students haven’t transformed into perfect engineers to come up with solutions to such tough problems after just one semester. The whole point of GEC is to allow you to push your comfort zone through working in a multi-disciplinary team where you work with total strangers from different backgrounds and experiences. You deal with both the merits and hurdles of this situation, a skill which is very necessary after graduation since this is what engineers do a lot. All team members get to be the leader for a day which allows to boost leadership and communication skills as you have to work with people with different leading strategies. There are awards for the "Best Professional Behaviour" and the "Best Communicated Solution" at the end of the week.

Another very interesting part of GEC is the Alumni Day. This is when you get to meet graduates from the University who are working for various firms in the country and get to know their experiences and explore various opportunities for summer placements or industrial placement years. The best thing about this event is that you get to have face-to-face information about a particular company from someone who is currently working there, which allows you to make a sound decision when it comes to applying for placements or even graduate jobs.

To summarize, the Global Engineering Challenge allows you to work in a multi-disciplinary team, work on a real-life project, learn about different branches of engineering, have an experience to talk about in interviews or job applications, and explore various employment opportunities … all of this in just one week!

I’ve posted a link to this year’s GEC website where you can get an idea about the sort of projects students work on and also a video about this year’s GEC.

GEC Website

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