“I am getting industrial experience in the area I am really passionate about, so when I’ll graduate and will look for jobs I’ll be so much better prepared and it’s definitely a plus to my CV”

Oishi Deb_photoOishi Deb is a software and electronics engineering undergraduate at University of Leicester. She has finished her second year and is currently doing a yearlong placement at Rolls Royce where she is enjoying the opportunity to apply her knowledge in real world projects and also learn new skills that will benefit her future professional career.

Tell us about what you are doing in your placement and how did you find it.

I am working in Control – Software Engineering at Rolls Royce. I am part of the software design team for the Corporate, Small and Medium sized Engines (CSME). I am working on various software related work for the aircraft’s engine control system. I am also getting involved with the Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing software and learning more about the aircraft’s engine control system and safety critical software. I am really enjoying this experience and I find it very interesting as it’s very much related to my course.

I started researching various placement opportunities and applied to few companies. On the same time, I started preparing myself for interviews, assessment centre etc. I really wanted to work at Rolls Royce so I applied on their website by completing the online application. Once my online application was accepted, I was invited to complete a series of online tests and once I passed that I was invited to the Assessment Centre. The Assessment Centre was a whole day session which started with the numerical test, presentation, competency based interview, team challenge and finally the technical interview. It went really well and I really enjoyed that experience. Following that, within 48 hours I received a call from them and I was so delighted to know that they offered me a placement role.

What are you enjoying the most and the least in your placement?

So far the experience has been really good because I always wanted to do it and having this opportunity to experience that, is really satisfying. I have enjoyed every bits and piece of the work I get involved with. To be able to get involved with the development process of safety critical software is been a great experience. I am really enjoying the opportunity to see how the theory knowledge learned in University is actually been used in real world practical projects.

Additionally, I volunteered in few STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) events as a Rolls Royce’s representative. These events are targeted to young people to encourage them towards STEM subjects. Following one such event, the head of the Control-Software engineering personally sends me a thank you letter for my contributions to these events. That’s been the best part so far during my placement.

I haven’t found anything that I have enjoyed the least. When I started, everything was quite new so I adapted to that situation, it was more like interacting with people and finding out more about the team and the project work. It took a time to get settle and adapt to everything but I gradually started picking up things. Initially, it was quite challenging to understand the level of work, but I soon started enjoying the experience.

What do you consider to be the 3 most important features of a quality placement?

First feature is the opportunity to be part of such an experienced team, and to experience the real life project work. At university I do so many projects, but not anything like real life project that actually makes an impact to the business.

Second feature is the opportunity to learn different things. I am working with different programming languages and I haven´t used these languages (Ada95 or SPARK) in my university, and they [Rolls Royce] gave me the opportunity to learn different programming languages and various new things.

Finally, it’s great to have the real experience of working in a company. Here they treat the interns as regular employees and they give a pretty much same amount of work. I am going to meetings every week with other team members and in those meetings, everyone talks about what they have done last week and what they will do in the next week. So, they ask me the same thing as an actual employee.

 

Has this experience benefited your professional and educational life?

Definitely, it helped me a lot. The knowledge and the skills I am learning is going to be so much beneficial in future. Moreover, I am developing my transferable and professional skills like adapting to a situation, interacting with new people, meeting tight deadlines etc. The company is a new world, it´s not like the university, it’s a professional work environment. So this experience is really helpful because it’s good to get these experiences while I am still a student. I am getting industrial experience in the area I am really passionate about, so when I’ll graduate and will look for jobs I’ll be so much better prepared and it’s definitely a plus to my CV.

What 3 key pieces of advice would you like to share with fellow students?

I would say definitely gain an industrial experience. It doesn’t need to be for one year, you can do it for one or two months during the summer, but definitely do go for it.

Make sure to do something you are really passionate about then you will be able to enjoy it more. Companies are more likely to hire people who are passionate. They want to see if the person will be willing to learn new things or not. Here in Rolls Royce, I am learning new things every single day and I am so passionate about it.

And the last but not the least do network with people. Talk to your lecturers or career advisors, mention them that you are interested and looking for placements, they might be able to point you in the right direction or they might have contacts with some companies. You never know. So the best way is to start networking with people and don’t give up.