10 reasons for doing a Year in Industry placement

Name: Jaime Fowler
Age: 18
Job title: Year in Industry Manufacturing Engineer
Qualifications: A-levels
Employer: Rolls-Royce
Location: Nottingham

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I am a Year in Industry (Yini) Student. For those of you who are unaware, the Year in Industry scheme is part of the Engineering Development Trust and covers both pre-university (straight from A-levels) and sandwich year students (in between usually year 3 and 4 of an engineering degree).

In my role as a Yini I get to work on projects that benefit the business, it isn’t just spending a year doing peoples’ photocopying and fetching people coffee, the scheme is structured to ensure you are working on meaningful tasks that benefit both you and the business you work for.

I get to work as a manufacturing engineer would and have learnt so much during my time as a yini student. I would even go as far as to say I have learnt more in the past nine months than in my two years at college. As my placement is in Nottingham I have moved away from home and am totally independent. It’s a really invaluable experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in an engineering career.

During my time as a yini I have completed many things other than just my day-to-day work as an engineer. EDT put on courses for yini students to learn things like project management and leadership skills. I have gained a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) leader’s award by interviewing a colleague and have also become a STEM and Bloodhound ambassador, this involves visiting schools and events to promote STEM subjects.

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My main aim is to encourage more girls like myself into STEM and engineering, careers. As a yini I qualify for an industrial cadets award and recently graduated as a cadet. Without the year in industry scheme I would not have achieved so many things in such a short space of time. Many people are unaware that pre-university year in industries exist and I would like to recommend that anyone interested in a STEM career looks into it.

So here are my 10 reasons for doing a Year in Industry:

1. Independence
You can move out and gain independence, renting a house and sharing with a yini is a totally different experience to student accommodation. There are ups and downs; smoke alarms that break and beep for days, tumble driers that refuse to dry your clothes and then flood your kitchen and of course cooking and cleaning for yourself.

All valuable life experiences! Welcome to the freedom to eat pizza for breakfast whenever you want and, be as messy as you want, drink as much as you want with no parents to stop you! Don’t get me wrong, you’ll learn to be responsible and boring but it’s all fun.

2. Experience
You gain experience in the field you wish to go into, why wouldn’t you want to check out your career to make sure you’re making the right decision with your studies?

3. Money
You get paid! It makes the world go round – you can manage your own money – the boring stuff – rent, bills, essentials, and then the fun things random things you’ve always wanted but never had the money for! As well as saving so you can live comfortably during your degree.

4. New friends 
You meet loads of new people, be it yinis you work with and or general work colleagues! And as a STEM ambassador you meet even more – it’s great, I love making new friends and meeting new people with similar interests as me.

5. Contacts 
You meet a lot of important people in your role as a yini and have the opportunity to impress – pull this off and you get valuable references for summer placements, sandwich year in industries and a job as a graduate!

6. Sponsorship 
There’s the opportunity to be sponsored by your company through university – I mean who wouldn’t want to finish uni with a guaranteed job and no debts!

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7. Knowledge
You’ll have practical knowledge when you go to university and will be able to visualize how the work you’re doing relates to the real world and understand the work you’re doing more.

8. Responsibility
You gain responsibility in the workplace and at home, being responsible for projects at work, being responsible for money, yourself and your home. It’s surprising how fast you grow up and mature when responsibility is thrown at you and it’s all for the better.

9. Fun
Of course it’s fun! The “real world” isn’t all doom and gloom!

10. Why not?!
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!