• Question: Do you have any advice for people who want to be a engerneer?

    Asked by wilson to Rain, Kayleigh, Bill, Andy, Grant on 12 Mar 2012. This question was also asked by wainwrh01.
    • Photo: Andrew Hearn

      Andrew Hearn answered on 12 Mar 2012:

      I hated being told what to do at school! I really did! I just wanted to do stuff that I find exciting (who doesn’t)!

      But I knew I had to prove to employers that I can do creative stuff, and that meant I had to get the boring stuff out of the way first like getting assignments done and handing them in on time (jeez) – after a while I found out that if I did the assignments how I wanted to do them, like treating it as something to blast away with top marks, it became less boring and doing them got easier and easier, and I got left alone to do the fun bits of my courses (victory to me!).

      The only advice I can give is to enjoy what you do, whatever it is that you want to create, that the boring bits of anything are always necessary (groan) and to do them first, so that life gets much easier (I tried to do it the other way round sometimes, and everything got so much harder – a no-go)!

    • Photo: Rain Irshad

      Rain Irshad answered on 12 Mar 2012:

      Go out and make it happen. If you’re interested in something, read about it, look it up on the internet, find out more. Think about what kind of engineer you want to be – for some routes you need a degree, for others an apprenticeship is better and sometimes you can find a course that lets you work while you learn. Which would you prefer?

      One thing that did bother me at school is that I picked all maths and science a-levels because I thought that’s what would get me into university. It turns out that, for my course, I only needed Physics and Maths. If I’d found that out earlier, I could have studied a third subject I really liked, rather than one I thought I needed. Find out what you need to get you where you want to be, then do something you enjoy. It’ll make the work feel more worthwhile, and it makes you a more well-rounded person.

    • Photo: Bill Price

      Bill Price answered on 12 Mar 2012:

      Hi Wilson, You might like to look at the range of engineering topics you could get involved with. All the engineers in this programme (not just High Performance) are doing very different things and they are all very excited about what they do. You could think about what you get excited about and then wonder who made it or designed it. If you really like Xbox or your bike or your trainers you will find engineers have been involved with their creation and success. Of course doing things economically, making money and being able to invest are also very important business skills connected to engineering.

      You could also try doing some reading. There is a book called ‘Why things don’t fall down’ by J E Gordon which is a fun read and explains some of what lies behind what I do for example.

      Hows that?

    • Photo: Grant Cairnie

      Grant Cairnie answered on 12 Mar 2012:

      Get involved and try as many different areas as you can before commiting to the route you want to take. The pure academic route is not always the best way to go. Most companies will be happy to take you on for a few days or even a couple of weeks so that you can see how things work in a specific industry or a specific company. Try and get this experience first before you decide on which area you want to specialise in and try to maintain the contact with these companies during your studies.

      You will still have to complete some form of Higher Education but it will be much easier if you know where you are going at the end of it. Getting experience early will also help you get a real job at the end of your studies.

    • Photo: Kayleigh Messer

      Kayleigh Messer answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      It depends what you would like to do within engineering really.

      Generally I think a-levels in maths and physics are a good idea, and then studying an engineering degree. If you want to be more hands on and get some practical work experience whilst learning, apprenticeships are often a good idea.

      If you can get any work experience within a company then that’s a good idea – it’ll give you a bit more of an idea what you’d really like to do (or what you really don’t want to do!).

      Good luck 🙂