MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering
What have you done in addition to your degree to enhance your employability and what you do you feel you have gained from this?
Since I joined Queen’s, I’ve been involved in a lot of things outside of the daily timetable of the course. There’s lot to do, and lots of opportunities for personal development!
In first year, at a very early stage I became aware of the IET through their Power Academy, and through older students telling me about it. The IET has a young members group, the Young Professionals, and with this group I went on a few tours and to different events. I loved these, because I got to see inside some factories and facilities you otherwise never would! It let me see the other side of the course, and relate some of the stuff we were studying, to the real world. Given my farming background, my favourite was a trip to Fane Valley Feeds state of the art factory outside Omagh, where they make livestock feed. It was brilliant!
Since then, I’ve taken a more involved role in the IET, from signing people in at events, to helping run them! I’ve had the chance to travel to the UK and represent Northern Ireland on multiple occasions, I’ve established “IET On Campus QUB”, a group that provide more focused assistance and support to students, and I now run the Young Professionals group in Northern Ireland. The IET has helped me gain really useful industry contacts, lots of experience running events, meeting people, and networking. It has also helped me develop my public speaking skills and confidence, something I wasn’t very good at before!
Apart from that, I’ve been involved in other Queen’s Groups. I’ve been a Peer Mentor since second year, helping students in lower levels with any academic or social problems they encounter. I’ve also got involved with the students union, where I run the Triathlon Club and the Photographic Society. For a bit of craic, I joined the gliding club, and progressed from it to powered flight. I’m now only a few weeks from my pilot’s licence!
Being involved in these clubs has been so beneficial to my studies, and my professional development. They have given me experience of leading large teams, developing training or education programmes, managing issues as they arrive, marketing skills, meeting people, learning lots of new skills…. The list is endless! They’ve also let me interact with employers and build up a really good list of contacts!
Making use of Careers, Employability and Skills at Queen's
I found the alumni mentoring to be really beneficial. Getting involved with the IET, clubs and societies etc… was mostly down to encouragement from the mentors! Hearing them talk about it, and tell us what was involved, really made me want to join. They were also there when the going got tough with coursework, and were great at helping us see an easy way to solve a question, or finish an assignment.
Advice for current Queen's students
Get involved! You won't regret it!