What subjects should they take a GCSE and A-level? Should they study for a degree at all? What advantages would university study give them? What careers are out there? How can teachers with little experience of the world of Engineering gain information to pass on to their pupils?

The University of Birmingham Circles of Influence campaign, via charitable donations from our alumni, is funding a project in the School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering to address these issues. This investment has only been made possible thanks to the generosity of University of Birmingham alumni, without which professional-quality filming and editing to the desired timetable would not have been possible.

Dr. Tim Jackson and Carolyn Toney, working with the University’s Creative Media team, have been interviewing alumni about how they found their jobs, how their careers have evolved and what makes working in Engineering exciting for them. The careers covered include engineering in the rail industry, online film services, broadcasting, finance and information technology systems. The film clips will be collated on an interactive web page that will be advertised to Schools up and down the country with help from the University Marketing team. The University Careers Service and Alumni Office have been involved in identifying potential interviewees and compiling the interview questions, making this a truly cross-campus project with national impact.

The motivation for the project came from research amongst existing students and school teachers visiting the campus for Open Days and the Engineering in Education Scheme. This research identified gaps in knowledge about what the University offers and what graduate-level Engineering really is; the gaps that University Outreach activities aim to address.

The team has included one intern and two work experience students, providing skills training for young people that was not anticipated in the original funding award. The resources provided will also be used in the careers services offered to current undergraduates as part of programmes to help our students move smoothly from their studies into graduate level careers. The project is expected to go live in September 2013.

If you would like to make impactful projects like this happen, please visit our giving pages.