Woolyungah hosted an employability workshop for engineering students this September. The hour-long panel took place on Zoom and featured representatives from local firms, as well as UOW graduates now employed in the engineering industry.
Students ranging from their first to their last year of study attended the online session and were able to ask representatives from Laing O’Rourke, Fulton Hogan, BlueScope, and the UOW Faculty of Engineering questions. These ended up being about their current studies, what opportunities there are to get involved in the workplace while studying; the reasons a student might undertake postgraduate engineering study and the transition from university into the workforce.
While Woolyungah runs broader employability services to help students with interview preparation, resume and cover letter writing, and putting together a LinkedIn profile, we’ve also recognized that each area of study is different, and there’s strong value in connecting students directly with the industry.
“Speaking with a lot of students, even final year engineering students, they don’t know what the first step is when they graduate. They’re very very focused on getting through this degree, but what happens after uni? We don’t know,” WIC’s Caitlin Stuart said.
A first-year engineering student might not even know which discipline they want to major in yet. With the knowledge and guidance that comes from speaking with those within the relevant industry, students can gain the clarity to better navigate the remainder of their degree.
“The engineering session was so beneficial. To be given the chance to listen to UOW staff and UOW alumni speak of the opportunities available to us through engineering really showed how many future pathways there are. It really inspired me to fine-tune my engineering degree so that once I graduate I can begin my career right where I want to,” one student said after the event.
Woolyungah also collected additional resources such as recruiters’ contact details and grad programs from each of the organisations involved and distributed them to the students who attended.
WIC has plans to host more employability workshops for students in other areas of study, with a Medicine workshop confirmed for later in 2020.