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Topic Title: Seeking a free hand advice
Topic Summary: Graduate Electrical Building Services Engineer
Created On: 10 April 2013 07:26 PM
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 10 April 2013 07:26 PM
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svinder

Posts: 4
Joined: 10 August 2012

Hello fellow engineers,

This would be my first post at the community forum. Been here for a while just as a guest to look around and understand what where and who. Now lets come to the main thing why I am submitting this new post.

I'm 23 years old recent graduate electrical building services engineer. Have 2.1 hons in BSc Electrical engineering also have CSCS MAP and 17th edition wiring regulation certificate was thinking about inspection and testing but now not yet sure if I need it. I only have 6 months experience at electrical design as I used to for for crane manufacturer and 2 months apprenticeship for building services (nothing much) but lets face it, it certainly isn't enough to have background of regulations and so .

Now it's the 9th month as I'm looking for work and after 3 interviews which needed someone from PLC design and 1 invitation to assessment center of ABB where they were looking for safety system engineer (PLC side) , I'm starting to get more and more disappointed. After I finished reading many of the articles about the graduate position at nowadays market, it makes my hands to completely fall down. Was thinking about MSc degree but after that I though that it's no use anyways as I will ave another diploma and no experience - which will definitely do no good for me.

As I'm not familiar with the UK market as many of you guys are i would like to ask you to tell me what should I do next?

What about work experience? (though going to work for free and try to live somehow just to get that experience I need) Where to get it?

How you get yours if your university doesn't do any of the partnership with major companies or so?

Should I go for MSc? Why?
 10 April 2013 11:42 PM
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icoggan

Posts: 27
Joined: 26 November 2002

First of all - please remember that as a nation there is a huge shortage of engineers, so try and remain positive, and certain roles are vital for the smooth running of the country, so these job will not be disappearing anytime soon.

It's not clear from your post what type of engineer you are seeking to be, if you want to be a building services engineer then you might need to target the consultancies / companies that work in that sector, follow them on Linked-In and set up a profile that shows you are actively seeking work and if you can state you are geographically mobile and willing to undertake an internship if required (it may not be required but organisations may be impressed by the offer).

Your university careers service should be able to help, it's not clear from your post if you went to university in this country or if you have come here recently, yes times are hard for some but there are always jobs for high calibre people who are driven and bright, as an engineer I am biased but I think engineers tick all those boxes! You do not say where you are based, I would be happy to meet up and discuss further and try and help you, I am based in West London. The IET also offers a mentoring service but I am not certain how quick that could deliver you a mentor.

Have you considered attending IET Local Netork events to meet engineers in your local area to pick their brains, many with great experience and a long list of contacts in industry?

No engineer is going to come out of uni highly competent at PLC programming, it can be taught to someone with the correct aptitude to learn - which you have proven by completing an engineering degree. It can be an idea to take a role on that is perhaps not your first choice within a large organisation in the hope to move into another division at some point, you might find that the ideas you had about what you want to do change as you learn more about what a job in a specific sector is actually like and the opportunities for career progression become apparent.

Graduate recruitment for roles which start September 2014 will open in August 2013 for some organisations (keep an eye on milkround.com) so this may be a route into many companies, some hold interview for positions before Christmas and if you let it be known (were you successful) that you could start before Septmeber 2014 I am sure many companies would like to have you start sooner, that could perhaps become a fall-back goal.

I wish you all the luck in the world on your search and hopefully with the IET community support we can help you in that journey.

(written on my iPhone and not spell-checked)
 11 April 2013 01:42 PM
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svinder

Posts: 4
Joined: 10 August 2012

Hello icoggan,

Thank you for you reply, yes I think i wasn't informative enough about some of the things. I graduated as an Electrical building services engineer but I also have PLC basics Main background is about building services the projects I've done was :

. 10/0,4kV electrical distribution system for district area which has 22 building plots
. 10/0,4kV electric supply system for heating systems manufacturers factory facility
. Internal lighting design for manufacturers facility mentioned above
. Bachelors Thesis: Automatic Transfer Switch laboratory model for future student experience
. Electrical control and safety circuit design of 2 ton industrial lift using relay protection.

I assume it's not much of a practical experience you will soon find out why. My self I'm seeking to be an building services engineer maybe in far future I would jump from building services to high voltages (110kV upwards) who knows. It's not like I just like this sector of building services, it's my passion. Answering to your question where I'm based: It's Huntingdon (CAMBS) and I surely state every time that I can relocate or even travel to mind understandable distances. I don't mind traveling to London area, midlands, south east England. Let's agree you wouldn't jump straight into relocation now would you?

Now the hardest theme for me about the graduation of mine, as I think it might be one of the main reasons why I keep getting negative feedback. I graduated in Lithuania (Eastern Europe), University of Siauliai last year (2012). Because of that when I came here I straight away sorted out UK NARIC certificate to show that my qualification is compared to UK ones. Graduate in Lithuania gave me a big misunderstanding of the UK names and so, for example: The guy who have electrical engineer degree and do PLC or design of high/low voltages or building service design is called - electrical design engineer. In here you have different names for each of them so, as I was looking many months for electrical design engineer - I've received PLC based interviews and only now (couple of weeks before) I figured out that this is the building services side I was looking for the whole time (silly story but that's how it is..)

One of the things I haven't considered is IET Local Network events. It would be awesome to meed engineers whit high experience from the same particular side as I am. I should do that.

I've tried in many of the GDP's (graduate development programs) starting from national grid, ending with EDF energy, ABB, power networks etc. As it all was PLC side or automation side I did not went through. And the competition was high tho. for example we were 7 people out of 1100 who only received invitation to participate at assessment center.

Would be a great idea to meet up depends on when you're available, what side of electrical engineering do you cover?

Edited: 11 April 2013 at 01:59 PM by svinder
 11 April 2013 03:13 PM
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icoggan

Posts: 27
Joined: 26 November 2002

I think you are being pretty harsh on yourself in terms of your level of experience, you do have real evidence of your achievements in industry and no employer is expecting you to know everything on day one, just the ability to learn and work as part of a wider team:
. 10/0,4kV electrical distribution system for district area which has 22 building plots
. 10/0,4kV electric supply system for heating systems manufacturers factory facility
. Internal lighting design for manufacturers facility mentioned above

This is great as it provides you subjects to discuss in any interview or mention on any application form.

Have you considered that many a building services engineer works in the data center design - and targeted companies / consultancies involved in delivering those projects around the UK and internationally?

The IET covers a broad church of engineers, I am an electrical power engineer by trade, there is another institution who may be able to help in a more specialized manner:
The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers http://www.cibse.org/
I would certainly look at this section of their website if you have not already http://www1.hays.co.uk/jobs/cibse/jobseeker.html
They also have a young engineers network who may be able to help http://www.cibse.org/index.cfm?go=page.view&item=700

IET Cambridge Local Network website: http://mycommunity.theiet.org/communities/home/229

There is an event in June which may help you over in Cambridge: http://www.theiet.org/events/local/175084.cfm

Hope this helps for now. Ian
 12 April 2013 01:18 AM
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svinder

Posts: 4
Joined: 10 August 2012

Thank you for your support Ian.

Went throughout all of the links you've dropped here. Now thinking to register my self at CIBSE but I don't think it will be easy as there is a sponsor needed for my diploma approval but I have contacted them via e-mail about this matter, will get response soon. Filled the form of young engineer as well and sent it to the appropriate address.

Answering to your question I'm afraid I have to say that it went out of my calculations I believe so. That's why I'm here. From my own point of view what I thought was that building services electrical engineers work on the received project -> completes it -> delivers it and takes care of it at site for the full completion. I still need to get the full view of the roles.

P.s. So there's no point to go for MSc as I'm not considering my further carrier as academic?
 12 April 2013 06:39 PM
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icoggan

Posts: 27
Joined: 26 November 2002

Are you a member of Linked-in?

ARUP
http://www.linkedin.com/jobs?v...rk=jobs_biz_prem_srch

WSP
http://www.linkedin.com/jobs?v...984_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2

Carillion
http://careers.peopleclick.com...38028&localeCode=en-us

What would you hope to gain from an MSc? You seem against the idea of undertaking an unpaid internship, which I assume would be for financial reasons, the same logic would surely be applicable when it comes to studying for an MSc, it would not be cheap. How would an MSc address what you consider to be the major issue of your lack of experience? No reason you could not get a job in the short term and ask for your company to aid you during a part-time MSc which you study for alongside work as opposed to instead of work.

Ian
 15 April 2013 01:58 PM
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icoggan

Posts: 27
Joined: 26 November 2002

 09 January 2014 11:59 PM
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svinder

Posts: 4
Joined: 10 August 2012

Hello everybody,

Me back again. It's been a while since I've checked IET and responded to it as was busy working on path as icoggan mentioned.

First of all apologising to icoggan for not responding to his last message, even thou I went through it couple times.

Here is what happened after his last post:

I've started searching, I mean massive search. Went trough everything, graduate development programs, part time jobs, full time jobs and so on. Received CIBSE graduate membership certificate. Start working for a manufacturing company but after 3 months had to leave because I received much better offer which was within the field I desired - building services... only later on that (after starting to work) I received information that salary will be £7 per hour, which was completely absurd. So had to leave it as I couldn't support my self at this rate no chance.

since then I kept applying again for a new 2014 graduate programmes, new jobs had couple interviews but none of them were successful (as they always find better candidate with better skills and experience). Now waiting on Electricity north west, Western power distribution and couple more as building service consultancies are on hold with my CV as apparently there are not so much available vacancies with them ATM. Even thou I applied for every single of them at CIBSE list. End of a year.. hard season.

I believe it is hard to find any website, recruitment agency or development program which fit my skill and experience, and I had not applied for it yet.

P.S. So sad that it's not old times again when all graduates had jobs, or if they did not, it was only because they did not want it.

Edited: 10 January 2014 at 12:09 AM by svinder
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