Is there any point in pursuing a career in engineering if...

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Obsidian440
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If you have a 2.1 in Chemical Engineering and were unsuccessful in obtaining internships, placements and work experience opportunities and you have no family or close friends who work in any technical area.

Am I right to feel graduate schemes only take on people who have worked as an intern or placement students.

I am extremely sad because I always said yes to try new things, volunteer and enrich myself to achieve my high ambitions to find the people who didn't bother with being more than your degree are more successful than me and now all my experiences are irrelevant to these graduate schemes.

Now I feel I have to apply to jobs I could have applied to through apprenticeships and after my A levels. Honestly I just feel university is the biggest scam, it was meant to help my family to progress out of poverty not stay in it and help me achieve my dreams I wanted to do something extraordinary.
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Student-95
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Experience helps but it's not essential. Also, graduate schemes aren't the only entry level positions.

How many positions have you applied to and how many interviews have you had?
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Obsidian440
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(Original post by Student-95)
Experience helps but it's not essential. Also, graduate schemes aren't the only entry level positions.

How many positions have you applied to and how many interviews have you had?
Roughly 600 and only 1 interview, 3 video interviews, 5 online tests and 1 telephone interview since first year at university ranging from gradcracker, company sites, speculative letters, linkedin, indeed, reed, cv library, targetjobs, part-time jobs, recruitment agencies and most my applications have been to entry level positions.
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lightningbladex4
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which university did you go to
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ParagonProxy
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(Original post by Obsidian440)
Roughly 600 and only 1 interview, 3 video interviews, 5 online tests and 1 telephone interview since first year at university ranging from gradcracker, company sites, speculative letters, linkedin, indeed, reed, cv library, targetjobs, part-time jobs, recruitment agencies and most my applications have been to entry level positions.
Hello Obsidian440,

Sounds incredibly tough. However, those numbers look a bit odd, if you are applying to internships and grad schemes they usually automate initial applications onto the testing stage,-- shouldn't you have done far more than just 5 online tests and 3 video interviews?

If you have made 600 applications and are still not managing to obtain a position, that would most definitively indicate that it is your application which is in the wrong here. Have you got it checked out by a professional or a senior with some years of experience in the field?

Don't give up hope, and definitely do not compare to people who focused very hard on their studies - be happy they did well. Your experiences definitely count for something and I would strongly encourage you to apply for graduate schemes once they open this year.

Kind regards,

Paragon
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Student-95
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(Original post by Obsidian440)
Roughly 600 and only 1 interview, 3 video interviews, 5 online tests and 1 telephone interview since first year at university ranging from gradcracker, company sites, speculative letters, linkedin, indeed, reed, cv library, targetjobs, part-time jobs, recruitment agencies and most my applications have been to entry level positions.
As above, with those numbers your application is no good. There is a CV help forum here where you can upload your cv to get another perspective.
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Obsidian440
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(Original post by Student-95)
As above, with those numbers your application is no good. There is a CV help forum here where you can upload your cv to get another perspective.
I have uploaded my cv on student rooms helper yesterday and been working on it today. I just feel like a failure and don't know why I exist anymore. Its my 4th year of applying for getting my first technical work experience.
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Obsidian440
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(Original post by lightningbladex4)
which university did you go to
Bradford its ranked 3rd for my course in the 2019 year of my graduation according to the guardian. Besides I know plenty of people who went to my uni and are on their 2nd work experience who weren't as active as I was in the extra curricular areas.
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Bazyli
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(Original post by Obsidian440)
Bradford its ranked 3rd for my course in the 2019 year of my graduation according to the guardian. Besides I know plenty of people who went to my uni and are on their 2nd work experience who weren't as active as I was in the extra curricular areas.
Unfortunately this is a case of where the uni you went to really matters unless you have A LOT of experience. How come you didn’t apply to work experience placements from year 1 of your course? So many people sit on their laurels until graduation rather than sorting well-rounded applications early and fitting in a good amount of work experience before they graduate. You could have used the careers service at your uni for example to help you
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Obsidian440
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(Original post by ParagonProxy)
Hello Obsidian440,

Sounds incredibly tough. However, those numbers look a bit odd, if you are applying to internships and grad schemes they usually automate initial applications onto the testing stage,-- shouldn't you have done far more than just 5 online tests and 3 video interviews?

If you have made 600 applications and are still not managing to obtain a position, that would most definitively indicate that it is your application which is in the wrong here. Have you got it checked out by a professional or a senior with some years of experience in the field?

Don't give up hope, and definitely do not compare to people who focused very hard on their studies - be happy they did well. Your experiences definitely count for something and I would strongly encourage you to apply for graduate schemes once they open this year.

Kind regards,

Paragon
Not all 600 were graduate schemes half of these are entry level jobs only wanting a CV, majority of the application don't even reply to let know you failed, I found it incredible frustrating only getting passed the initial for the number of fingers I have on my hands, between 30/50 per year were the online forms from gradcracker, most of the applications I applied to required CV + CL, I avoided the likes of BP, GSK...etc because I knew the competition would be too high, I focused on SMEs and made speculative applications to places where I had links to or seen passed students from my uni succeed at.
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Obsidian440
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(Original post by Bazyli)
Unfortunately this is a case of where the uni you went to really matters unless you have A LOT of experience. How come you didn’t apply to work experience placements from year 1 of your course? So many people sit on their laurels until graduation rather than sorting well-rounded applications early and fitting in a good amount of work experience before they graduate. You could have used the careers service at your uni for example to help you
I applied to internships in my first year and second year, placements in my 2nd and third year while juggling 10 different roles to enrich myself at uni and completing my chemical engineering course. I started working on CV in the 3rd week of uni booking my first careers appointment, each year I regularly contacted the careers department and seeked helped on applications I was most invested in.

I suffered a lot mentally and now there is no reward or show for all my hard work and I am in £50K in debt because I come from a poor background it just seems like i was better off aiming low and doing an apprenticeship from 16 that way I could be supporting my family at home.
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Bazyli
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(Original post by Obsidian440)
I applied to internships in my first year and second year, placements in my 2nd and third year while juggling 10 different roles to enrich myself at uni and completing my chemical engineering course. I started working on CV in the 3rd week of uni booking my first careers appointment, each year I regularly contacted the careers department and seeked helped on applications I was most invested in.

I suffered a lot mentally and now there is no reward or show for all my hard work and I am in £50K in debt because I come from a poor background it just seems like i was better off aiming low and doing an apprenticeship from 16 that way I could be supporting my family at home.
Life’s hard, what can I say
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Obsidian440
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(Original post by Bazyli)
Life’s hard, what can I say
You are right, life's hard, I am just not cut out for it, all those who mocked me were right about me all along, I feel so stupid for trying, dreaming and believing I could change my life around.
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Obsidian440
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(Original post by ltsmith)
1 interview, 3 video interviews, 5 online tests and 1 telephone interview

you've been given some very bad advice by careers advisors if those are your response rates.
I have tried to check out what top unis advice are for career help and read engineering careers advice in magazines.
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Student-95
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(Original post by Obsidian440)
You are right, life's hard, I am just not cut out for it, all those who mocked me were right about me all along, I feel so stupid for trying, dreaming and believing I could change my life around.
Don't be silly, you've just been going about it the wrong way. You have plenty of good experience to include in your applications but your old cv was written poorly so nobody knew about it. Finish fixing your cv then get back to applying. Drop the self pity for when you get to interviews.
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(Original post by Obsidian440)
I applied to internships in my first year and second year, placements in my 2nd and third year while juggling 10 different roles to enrich myself at uni and completing my chemical engineering course. I started working on CV in the 3rd week of uni booking my first careers appointment, each year I regularly contacted the careers department and seeked helped on applications I was most invested in.

I suffered a lot mentally and now there is no reward or show for all my hard work and I am in £50K in debt because I come from a poor background it just seems like i was better off aiming low and doing an apprenticeship from 16 that way I could be supporting my family at home.
I think you may be 'trolling' in the wrong pond. Consider firms that do engineering overseas. Right after graduation [in 1969], i went overseas for 3 years, and bought a house with some of the proceeds when i returned. In order to make money working overseas, you have to go somewhere where nobody wants to go. They have to bribe people to get them to go there.. Everyone wants to go to London, Paris, D.C., Madrid... To get a 'bonus' you have to go to north africa, malysia, Egypt, Lybia, those sort of places. I lived in places in the near east, that i couldn't believe - and still can't. The money was good though. I'm an electrical, so i'm not 'tuned in' to chemical engineering, but i'm sure you could find some place that you'd fit in. Try the local chemical engineering society [in the Uk], and ask them for some help. Make some contacts, and ask them to refer you to firms that are hiring. Something like "Monster.com" on your side of the pond. Best of luck!!
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alex282
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(Original post by Obsidian440)
If you have a 2.1 in Chemical Engineering and were unsuccessful in obtaining internships, placements and work experience opportunities and you have no family or close friends who work in any technical area.

Am I right to feel graduate schemes only take on people who have worked as an intern or placement students.

I am extremely sad because I always said yes to try new things, volunteer and enrich myself to achieve my high ambitions to find the people who didn't bother with being more than your degree are more successful than me and now all my experiences are irrelevant to these graduate schemes.

Now I feel I have to apply to jobs I could have applied to through apprenticeships and after my A levels. Honestly I just feel university is the biggest scam, it was meant to help my family to progress out of poverty not stay in it and help me achieve my dreams I wanted to do something extraordinary.
Graduate schemes are very competitive. Even with a 2.1 MEng EE degree from a good university and 3 different work experiences I've had no chance on all the bigger company schemes I applied to
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0le
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This is definitely about your CV and cover letter. Is it possible you can post some of the bullet points from your CV so we can have a look? Please keep it anonymous so that there are no identifying details. Maybe we can offer suggestions because we all have an engineering background.
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Obsidian440
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(Original post by 0le)
This is definitely about your CV and cover letter. Is it possible you can post some of the bullet points from your CV so we can have a look? Please keep it anonymous so that there are no identifying details. Maybe we can offer suggestions because we all have an engineering background.
Name:  Screenshot_20210620-165611_Word.jpg
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Size:  224.3 KBName:  Screenshot_20210620-165633_Word.jpg
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Size:  246.3 KB here is my CV 1 year on
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0le
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In my view there is a lot that is good but some things which can be improved with your CV. Regarding the good - you seem to have a lot of experience across a wide range of activities. You therefore have the content to write a good CV. In my view however, the style, format and tailoring the CV is lacking.

First of all, I would never add a link to a LinkedIn profile. The recruiters are unlikely to click on it. For many application forms with large sized companies, there is often a place to state your LinkedIn profile. It would be far better to link to a portfolio website which showcases work or GitHub profile of your repositories. If these are not available, then don't worry.

Your education section goes into a lot of detail. In my opinion you should just state your education and move on. It isn't necessary to give a summary of each education, nor all the modules. If there are any important projects/ modules you need to mention since they are relevant, then they should appear in the experience section.

You should merge the "employment history" and "relevant experience" sections. They should go in reverse chronological order and also include any relevant projects and experiences for the job posting.

A skills section as listed is not helpful for the recruiter because they do not know how you used that software. Instead, in your experience section, describe the software you used and for what project. What was your part in the team? What was the outcome? Etc. So for example, how did you use MATLAB? What project was it for? What toolboxes did you use? What were you trying to achieve with MATLAB? These are more interesting things to include on the CV rather than just stating MATLAB. Similarly, the creativity, problem solving and team work skills should just be dedicated parts in the experience section. For example, have a part in your experience section which is titled "Treasurer" and then include the details about the treasury role which highlights creativity (or other skills).

In my view you have far too many interests. I suspect that "reading" and "travelling" will not be relevant for most jobs. I would personally remove them. The mentoring and student rep are good, but are not really interests. They should actually form part of your experiences higher up in your CV.

Professional memberships is fine, as long as it is necessary for the job. So for engineering roles? No problem. But other roles? maybe not.

Your grammar needs to change as well. You should not say "I would" or use "I" or "We" etc. Just say instead "Reported this...", "Created a book...", "Mentored 150 students".

The above is just my advice based on my own experiences but others may have a different view. I would strongly recommend that you use the free TSR CV help forum and get some advice as well from people who have a better understanding in these areas:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=339
Last edited by 0le; 3 months ago
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