CAREERS PORTFOLIO CAREERS@UNSWENGSOC.COM
UNSW ENGINEERING SOCIETY
TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction
2. Presidential address
3. The Recruitment Process
3.1 Where to search for jobs
3.2 Resume + cover letter
3.5 Application writing
3.7 Psychometric testing
3.8 Assessment Centres
3.9 Technical tests
4. Engineering Disciplines
5. Opportunities for students
5.1 Careers events
5.2 UNSW services
1 INTRODUCTION Welcome to another year with UNSW Engineering Society. We are excited to have you join us for this year ahead. For many of us, we will be emerging from a year of isolation into an unknown and unfamiliar world. However, we are here to support you by navigating you through the numerous career pathways and obstacles that stem from an engineering degree. Created by our Careers and Publications teams here at EngSoc, this Careers Guide will guide you through your professional journey ahead. It will highlight the numerous opportunities available to students and provide helpful tips and tricks to conquer the competitive recruitment process. Through this guide, we hope that we can open the doors to your career journey and assist you in choosing the career path that’s right for you! As the umbrella society for the engineering faculty, EngSoc is dedicated to empower and inspire all students. Our main goal is to ensure that students are well equipped with the confidence, skills and guidance needed to make an impact on the industry. We aim to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and teach you skills beyond the walls of a classroom. Whether it is our careers events or our social events, we hope to provide you with opportunities to grow into well rounded individuals. We’re excited to see what the new year brings for EngSoc and we hope that you will be here with us to experience the best chapter of our journey yet.
On behalf of the UNSW Engineering Society, I welcome you to our 2022 Careers Guide! As an engineering student who spent my third year applying to dozens of internships only to receive rejection after rejection. I know exactly how daunting and mysterious the recruitment procedure can seem. It’s an extremely complicated process where there are often many factors at play which we can’t see or understand. Hence why in alignment with EngSoc’s mission to support the development of well-rounded engineers and help open doors to the various opportunities out there. We have curated this Career’s guide, with the hopes of demystifying the recruitment process and providing you helpful information and advice to further your professional development. The journey of studying as an engineer is certainly a longer path than most, and as a society run by students for students, we feel you on that. We hope that throughout this time, whether you are still deciding on which degree is right for you or looking to secure industrial training, that EngSoc can provide the assistance you need to reach your career goals and dreams. I would like to give a big shout out to our Careers and Publications portfolios for taking on the substantial work required to publish a guide like this, making sure the content is relevant, clear, and impactful for the engineers reading it. I would also like to thank all our industry sponsors for assisting EngSoc in our mission and providing opportunities that may illuminate previously unexplored avenues for our students. To all the students currently working hard and preparing themselves for the workforce. All the long hours you put into studies, refining your resume, networking, applying for jobs and interviewing will come together soon. Don’t be discouraged by rejection, because as long as you’ve learnt how to work hard then success will be waiting for you at the end of your path. We wish you all the best of luck in your 2022 endeavors and are excited to see this become your greatest year yet! Geoffrey He UNSW Engineering Society President 2022
The recruitment process. A long and tumultuous journey that has most students and recent graduates shaking in their boots. Fear not! This guide is going to give you the ins and outs of the entire process. Applying for a role, whether it be a graduate or an internship opportunity, is often a lengthy journey with multiple steps involved. A thorough understanding of the recruitment process will be key to successfully navigating the path towards gaining your dream role. What follows will be a series of articles that will bring you that much closer to employment at your dream company.
3.1 WHERE TO SEARCH FOR JOBS It can be quite daunting to search for a job or an internship, especially when you’re doing it for the first time. Well, luckily for you readers who have stumbled across this guide, there are numerous avenues at your disposal to point you in the right direction and give you that necessary head start in your job hunting adventure.
UNSW Careers and Employment UNSW provides students with free online and in-person career consultations and employability tools such as Resume Checkers.
Company Websites You can find requirements and recruitment windows for specific companies on your radar and learn more about their culture and values on their websites.
Society Careers Events Connect with industry professionals to develop your soft skills and learn more about the internship and job opportunities they offer.
Job Seeking Websites Employment sites such as Seek and Indeed provide listings from a wide range of engineering companies. Be sure to make use of the filters so that the jobs are tailored to your needs.
Graduate websites Websites like GradConnection and GradAustralia give you the chance to explore all the different pathways you can take with your degree.
3.2 RESUMES AND COVER LETTERS Resumes
Contact details and a self-introduction Give the employer a feel for your strengths and values. Remember to keep your resume original and true to yourself.
Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of a resume is to land you an interview, not to get you a job. In this way, it gives the potential employer a brief overview of your past experiences and skills that are relevant to the position at hand. Your resume must act as a sales pitch for yourself, highlighting your strengths and your overall suitability for the role.
Employment and education history Remember that employers value a stable work history, so be sure to highlight this. Relevant skills, certifications and experiences What skills have you finetuned that set you above the competition? Make sure to also prioritise the more relevant roles as employers only have a quick moment to glance at it!
It can be difficult to get your resume started, so we have outlined some must haves to point you in the right direction.
Relevant accomplishments and volunteer work Many employers are results driven. Provide examples of successful endeavours in your life.
Cover Letters Keep it short and sweet. Your cover letter should be short (about 2-3 paragraphs). Explain how your skills and experience make you a good match for the job. Always tailor your cover letter to each employer. Rather than sending a generic letter, read the job description and pick out keywords that emphasise desired skills and experience you have that are beneficial. Proofread! Spelling and other grammatical errors never make a good impression. Small checks can be lifesavers!
The cover letter is an often overlooked component of the recruitment process that students and graduates can leverage to stand out amongst other applicants. The main role of a cover letter is to introduce oneself to the employer and encourage them to read their resume. It also shows them that they are the right person for their company and the role being applied for. An individual’s cover letter should outline their qualifications, experience, and positive work traits that are relevant to the job. Nervous about writing your own? Not to worry. Here are some tried and true tips for composing the best cover letter you can!
3.3 NETWORKING Networking is a highly valuable component of job seeking, so much so that its importance is said to have surpassed that of traditional application routes in the modern job market. Networking provides the opportunity to learn beneficial information about opportunities that are not publicly disclosed. Building a large network plays an important role in accessing various hidden career opportunities, including internal workshops, events and openings. Moreover, these connections can gain you valuable referrals, giving you that extra step above the other graduates/students in the recruitment process!
While networking initially seems quite intimidating, we are able to build our confidence in such situations through practice. A key component of this process is to first build a personal connection between you and the other individual rather than moving straight into how they can benefit you. Remember that it is an ongoing process that requires persistence and guidance to hone. Consider attending UNSW EngSoc Careers events to gain valuable networking experience and to build those connections! LinkedIn is an online platform primarily used for professional networking and career development. It acts as a valuable means for recruiters and potential employers to cross reference your prior experiences. Though LinkedIn is a powerful tool, it's often underutilised. As such, we have included some tips to effectively utilise LinkedIn below. 1. Create and curate content that represents yourself 2. Leverage the summary section to paint a picture of your unique story 3. Post regularly to build your network 4. Use the headline as your personal mission statement rather than just outlining your title
3.5 APPLICATION WRITING The first part of almost any recruitment process is the formal application; a series of written responses that help recruiters identify individuals who are good fits for both the role and the company. Do your skills align with the responsibilities of the role? Are your motives and drivers in the right place? Will your values correspond with the company’s? The answers to these questions will lie in your responses, so recruiters will be looking for high quality, thoughtful applications! Here's our tips for writing the perfect application.
Keep it classy! Ensure that your writing is sophisticated, professional in tone and free of any grammatical errors. Get a second opinion Asking peers for feedback on your responses is a great way to pick up on mistakes and elevate your application! Craft your responses carefully Make an effort to answer the question clearly, without rambling or adding unrelated information.
You’re almost halfway there!! Here’s a fun fact to keep you going. Civil Engineering is the most eye opening and interesting degree you can pursue. Without soil, there would be no computer science.
3.6 INTERVIEWS In-Person Interviews For most, the interview phase is quite daunting as it is often the first time that you come face to face with your future employer. However, being aware of what to expect can make a large difference! You can better prepare yourself and make a lasting impression on the recruiter. In a typical face to face interview, the types of questions they can throw at you range from behavioural questions that will reveal your character traits and qualities, to situational questions that will test your ability to think on your feet. Ultimately, these questions seek to determine your fit with the company and the role, so try to display qualities and skills that align with those required. Furthermore, for select industries, employers can also ask competency-based questions to ensure you have the right technical knowledge for the job.
The high pressure environment can be very stressful at times so keep these points in mind when preparing for your interview. STAR response To avoid rambling and going on tangents, use the situation, task, action and result structure. Solidify examples prior to the interview Relevant experiences ground your responses and add cohesion to your answer as a whole. Try to incorporate these into your responses to really wow those interviewers! Mock interviews There are many society events and workshops that can make a real difference in how you perform in these interviews. Attend these to gain great experience and confidence in your communication skills!
Video Interviews In an increasingly digital world, companies can often ask you to perform a pre-recorded video interview where you are given a time frame to record your responses to the questions instead. Many of the skills used in in-person interviews are applicable to these types of interviews. In addition to those, make sure you complete the interview with minimal disturbances and to present yourself in business attire like you would in a face to face interview.
EMPLOYMENT TESTING 3.7 PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING “What exactly is psychometric testing?” Many students enter university asking the same question, and leave without a good answer. The premise is simple. Psychometric testing is used to measure a person’s suitability for a role based on their skills, capabilities and personality traits. Typically, employers will use the information collected from the psychometric test to identify the hidden aspects and qualities of candidates that are difficult to extract from a face-to-face interview. Fun fact! Over 80% of the Fortune 500 companies use psychometric testing to find better-suited candidates. Nervous? Don’t worry, here are some quick tips to help you smash those tests! Engage in a targeted-questioning practice.
This will help you identify your weakest areas so that you can work to improve them!
Work through sample questions and answers.
These will help you understand the logic of the test and develop the method of thinking needed to quickly identify the accurate answers.
Practice online to become familiar with the test format.
Aim to improve at achieving the appropriate pace to complete the tests with both speed and accuracy.
3.8 ASSESSMENT CENTRES If you have made it to the assessment centre phase, chances are you have made it to the finals. This is your chance to prove that you are suitable for the role and that you would be a good fit for the company. Typically, candidates will be invited to the company office where they will complete individual and group tasks under the supervision of an instructor. They will be tested on how well they can communicate and work with others to solve problems under pressure. Here are some tips to help you out on the big day. Come prepared!
Make sure to read up on the company itself. If you can show that your core values align up with what the company wants, you will be off to a great start.
Collaboration, not competition.
Solving the problem as a team shows a lot more quality than an individual who constantly tries to outshine their teammates. Show confidence but do not trample on someone else’s airspace.
Good impressions go a long way
Be polite and respectful when interacting with the other interviewees and employers. Act professionally throughout the entire assessment centre.
3.9 TECHNICAL TESTING Technical testing is utilised by employers to determine if candidates have the necessary technical skills needed to succeed in the position at hand. This type of testing occurs most commonly in software engineering positions however can be expected in all engineering disciplines. This all may seem like quite a lot, but when prepared adequately, the stress experienced can be greatly reduced. Be aware that a potential employer can ask you to perform a test prior to an interview or performed within timed conditions in person. To help you in the process, we’ve gathered some of our best tips to help prepare you for all types of technical testing. Review the job description and research the company
This will give you the best idea possible of what kind of questions you will be asked. Are they a software company specialising in data analysis? Are they an engineering firm specialising in automation? Prepare accordingly.
Research practice questions and complete in timed conditions Base these questions on the job description previously mentioned.
Finetune your fast-thinking problem-solving techniques
This can only come from practice, practice, practice. Make sure to time your solutions to get an idea of your capabilities.
4.1 School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications
Are you someone who enjoys physics & mathematics?
Do you find yourself succeeding in problem-solving situations?
Interested in electronic devices, big or small?
Being one of the most prestigious schools of its kind in Australia, this school oversees the research, design, development, manufacturing and management of many complex electrical systems. Inside the school exists further specialisations for those students who want a bit more depth in certain fields!
4.1.1 Electrical Engineering Electrical engineers create, design and manage electricity to help power the world. In the discipline of electrical engineering, individuals work with many electronic devices which transform society, from the smallest pocket devices to large power stations and supercomputers. Graduates of an electrical engineering degree can find themselves in many fields such as: Electronics | Quantum computing | Networking | Power distribution | Robots and control
4.1.2 Telecommunications Engineering Telecommunications engineers focus on the various technologies that allow people to communicate over distances. They work to develop, design and maintain voice and data communications systems such as fibre and satellite systems. They also work with the encoding, encryption and compression of data. Telecommunications engineers can be found in many industries! These include: Telecommunications service providers Large private industrial groups Small to medium service and technology providers
4.1.3 Quantum Engineering Quantum engineers specialise in how high-frequency, nanometer-scale electronics can be made to harness quantum nature. Quantum technologies have powerful applications across multiple industries such as medicine, defence and natural resources and as such, bring great value to graduates of the program. Quantum engineers can expect to work in fields such as: Quantum computing | Research | Microelectronics
4.2 School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering The school of mechanical and manufacturing engineering is perfect for someone looking for a hands-on education that caters to a broad scope of career choices, spanning but not limited to: Designing bionic limbs and prosthetic joints
Developing high performance composite materials
Working on more flexible manufacturing processes
Engineers from the school of mechanical and manufacturing engineering must develop complex and efficient hardware solutions to solve problems at the cutting edge of technology.
4.2.1 Mechanical Engineering Any design you could dream of can be brought to reality by a mechanical engineer. Mechanical 4.21 Mechanical Engineering engineers apply scientific and engineering knowledge to develop, manufacture and operate machines and tools, which can then be used to develop devices and objects. This degree will give you the skills and knowledge required to work in:
Construction design and management Operation and maintenance of machines CAD product design and engineering
4.2.2 Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Manufacturing Engineering focuses on the research and development of designing, building and shipping products on time and within budget. It takes core engineering skills and add important elements from mechatronics, commerce, economics and business management. This allows students to work in: Using computer integration to automate a chemical manufacturing facility Assigning machines and equipment to various manufacturing processes to ensure efficiency Developing processes to fabricate nano-devices Finding a cost-effective facility layout alternative for an aerospace manufacturing company.
4.2.3 Mechatronics Engineering The Mechatronic Engineering stream provides the student with the ability to acquire a range of skills based on mechanics, electronics and computing. Whilst there is a comprehensive coverage of mechanical engineering and design areas, the stream enables a deeper understanding of the principles supporting the conception, design, construction, maintenance, integration and repair of intelligent machines. Typical fields which may be encompassed by the program include: Building services | Computer controlled plant | Manufacturing | Robotics | Autonomous vehicles
4.2.4 Aerospace Engineering This exciting degree focuses on the science and practice of air and space flight. In the program, students develop their understanding of the design, development and production of aerospace vehicles, practice the maintenance and operation of aircraft and partake in aerospace research. The final-year course involves a team project integrating all aspects of aircraft design to meet a defined mission specification.
4.2 School of Chemical Engineering Are you someone who enjoys learning about the steps in a product’s creation? Do you like learning about a range of industrial, chemical and biological processes?
If so, the degrees offered by the school of chemical engineering might align with your future goals! The school of Chemical Engineering offers study options that bridges the study of the chemical and physical sciences with engineering
4.3.1 Chemical Engineering Chemical engineers predominantly focus on converting raw materials and resources into a wide range of useful products, covering the full range of systems, processes and equipment used to do so. As such, chemical engineers can expect to work in fields such as: Manufacturing engineering Bioprocessing Environmental and mineral engineering Project delivery Waste and water treatment
4.3.2 Chemical Product Engineering Unlike chemical engineering, chemical product engineering is usually more hands on with students often learning and applying concepts in laboratories. Chemical product engineers are concerned with examining and improving chemical processes in existing systems. Some career paths include: Pharmaceuticals | Food and beverage manufacturing | Process engineering
4.4 School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Are you curious about how structures all around us remain standing? Do you picture yourself at the forefront of new and sustainable ways to build? If your answer was yes to any of these questions, the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is for you. If you take a look outside of your window, everything that you see has involved a civil/environmental engineer at some point along the way. Engineers in this field work to design, manage and construct modern infrastructure to be safe and sustainable whilst constantly adapting their methods to combat issues such as climate change and natural disasters.
4.4.1 Civil Engineering Civil Engineering primarily focuses on the design and construction of infrastructure to be both durable and economical. Anything from bridges and roads to tall skyscrapers can be modeled and constructed by civil engineers to improve the quality of life of the population. There are many career paths for a Civil Engineer to embark in such as: Structural engineering | Transportation engineering | Water and waste management
4.4.2 Environmental Engineering Environmental engineers seek to reduce and undo the damage to our planet by studying the environmental problems that have been caused by engineering practices. Potential careers include: Project management | Environmental consultant | Green building engineering
4.4.3 Surveying Surveying engineers specialise in the measurement and analysis of spatial information to assist in the construction of infrastructure. They work closely with engineers and land developers in both rural and urban areas to analyse a landscape before construction begins. Career pathways include: Building control surveyor | Hydrographic surveyor | Mine surveyor
4.5 School of Computer Science and Engineering Technology has evolved tremendously, and continues to grow and change, leading us into a vastly different world than the one that existed in the past. The field of computer science and engineering has been a major catalyst in that march of progress.
Are you a keen problem solver? Fancy a bit of a challenge?
If so, the School of Computer Science and Engineering very well may be the right place for you!
4.5.1 Bioinformatics Engineering Bioinformatics exists at the intersection between computing and the life sciences. Effectively, bioinformaticians facilitate and develop technologies which work with and manage biological data. The field enables the application of technology to answer biological questions in life sciences, medicine and health-related industries. Graduates can be found far and wide, in fields such as: Pharmaceutical and health Computer security Bioinformatics Big Data and digital Services Consulting
4.5.2 Computer Engineering Computer engineering is an engineering discipline that combines computer science and electrical engineering to develop computer hardware and software. Students in this program will not only focus on how computer systems themselves work but also how they integrate into the larger picture! As such, computer engineers are needed far and wide, found in areas such as: Research laboratories Technology manufacturers IT and Digital consulting firms Banking, finance and health and education industries
4.5.3 Computer Science Working with both hardware and software, this program teaches the principles behind computing tools, operating systems, compilers and translators, and computer hardware. It also encompasses data and data structures in computer systems and the design of algorithms for manipulation of this information. Such information allows this field to diverge into exciting topics such as artificial intelligence, robotics and more! Computer scientists will typically find themselves in roles such as: Cyber Security Consultant Information Systems Manager Database Administrator Systems Analyst
4.5.4 Software Engineering Software engineers design and implement specific, reliable, efficient and secure software systems for a multitude of purposes. The program involves the study and application of software specification, design, implementation, testing and documentation. Engineers will also gain the skill of writing code to design programs that fulfil needs and solve problems. As such, they’re in demand far and wide, especially in roles such as: Software Developer Computer Applications Engineer Software Engineer Database Designer Systems Architect
4.6 School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering The UNSW School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering is a leading provider of industry-relevant education and research in this area. Our engineers have produced internationally acclaimed research and work closely with the minerals and energy sectors to provide innovative solutions for the most complex problems facing the industry. With gas, petroleum, mining and minerals industries contributing $190 billion a year to Australia’s economy, the work of engineers in this discipline is now more important than ever.
4.6.1 Petroleum Engineering Petroleum Engineers design and implement efficient methods to extract petroleum products from the earth and sea floor. They rely on physical, mathematical and engineering principles to make estimates about what is going on thousands of metres below the ground allowing them to solve problems in exploration, exploitation, drilling and production.
Looking for an opportunity to apply and develop your skills in chemistry, physics and economics?
Petroleum engineering allows you to apply your classroom skills in the industry and assist in the discovery and production of energy and material resources.
4.6.2 Mining Engineering Mining Engineering studies the recovery, processing and financial management of mineral resources to ensure that it is safe and environmentally sustainable. At UNSW, we particularly focus on the long-term health of the sector through studying new, innovative and sustainable mining practices.
4.7 School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering Are you interested in creating innovative, sustainable solutions to energy problems? Do you have a strong interest in design and technology development?
If so, the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering is for you! Degrees in this field focus on the study and manufacturing of renewable sources of energy in order to create sustainable solutions that can keep up with our increasing energy demands.
4.7.1 Photovoltaic and Solar Engineering Engineers in this field focus on solar power as a renewable source of energy and study ways to improve the energy output of photovoltaic cells. In a rapidly growing industry, students studying to be solar engineers will be involved in the technological development, quality control and manufacturing of solar cells. Future pathways for photovoltaic and solar engineers include: Solar energy researcher | Refining cell production technology engineer | Solar cells manufacturer
4.7.2 Renewable Engineering Renewable engineers study renewable sources of energy as a whole and explore better ways to use solar, wind, biomass and geothermal energy technologies to power society. Humanity’s future depends on sustainable sources of energy so studying in this field puts you at the forefront of investigating and solving these issues. Potential careers can include: Energy consultant | Solar and battery design engineer | Wind farm developer
4.8 School of Materials Science and Engineering
Are you looking for a chance to apply your skills in mathematics, chemistry and physics? Does the fundamental properties and structures of materials interest you?
If so, the School of Material Science and Engineering might be for you!
4.8.1 Materials Science and Engineering Materials science is the foundation for creating high-performance materials such as metals, ceramics, polymers and composites. Engineers in this field focus on investigating aspects of engineering design and study the application and selection of materials to different situations. Some career paths include:
Design engineering Materials engineering Metallurgist Product/process development scientist
Opportunities for Students
5.1 Careers Events Attending Careers events are a great way to gain valuable experience and knowledge from interacting with industry representatives. The EngSoc Careers Portfolio hosts events that ensure students are professionally skillful and confident when pursuing their desired career in the industry by providing insightful opportunities and resources. As such, we recommend that you keep an eye out for events from the Careers team on our Facebook page and attend the events that appeal most to you!
High Tea with Industry 2021
5.2 UNSW Services As a UNSW student, the university provides us with countless free resources that have brought opportunities and students closer than ever before. Knowing where to look and what resources are available is often the first step on your journey to securing your dream job. Listed below are some services that UNSW provides for professional and academic success.
Academic Skills Support Individual Consultations Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) Self-access resource guides 'Study Hacks' Workshops UNSW Smarthinking
More details at: https://www.student.unsw.edu.au/skills
5.21 UNSW Student Academic and Career Success UNSW Student academic and career success (SACS) helps students in finding a successful future. From the moment students enrol, through to their graduation and beyond, SACS offers them the highest level of support so that they can accomplish their academic and career goals. At any point during your degree you can consult SACS to participate in free workshops on enhancing your entire university experience.
5.22 UNSW Careers Website + UNSW Founders The UNSW Careers website aims to provide programs, events and services that upskill students to achieve their career goals. Some valuable free resources include a resume checker and a personalised career coach to answer any questions and concerns you may have related to your future career.