By Philip Pagani (Vice President of MechSoc) and Muhammad Usman (Vice Chair of EESE Soc)

An evening with EDF Energy

In October, the students of the School of Engineering hosted a careers event with EDF Energy.  The evening saw 50 students from across all engineering disciplines hear from representatives of EDF’s graduate strands and learn what it’s like working for one of the UK’s big-six energy companies.

EDF Energy generously sponsored the annual EPS Societies’ Awards in June 2016 which recognise achievements of the 24 student groups across the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.  Since then they have been working with the School of Engineering to increase knowledge and awareness of employment opportunities for students and graduates.

Following the success of a previous careers evening that civil engineering society CivSoc organised last year, ‘An Evening with EDF Energy’ speed-networking night was born.  As EDF Energy recruit to civil, electrical and mechanical engineering positions, all three student societies in the School of Engineering joined forces to create an event specifically for CivSoc, EESE Soc and MechSoc members.

Current and former EDF Graduate Engineers from the three core strands, along with a representative from the company’s recruitment team were present to share their experiences and expertise:

  • Joanne Leniewski, Early Careers Recruitment Specialist
  • Juliet Muli, Plant Performance Engineer (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Hamza Haroon, C&I Engineer (Electrical and C&I Engineering)
  • Mustafa Hassan, Nuclear New Build Engineering (Civil Engineering)

The evening started with introductions from EDF personnel to offer a brief overview of what each do on a day-to-day basis. The main event was a speed-networking activity where students could interact with each of the engineers and recruitment specialist. Similar to speed-dating, students had just 15 minutes with each guest to ask as many questions as possible before the claxon sounded. This allowed everyone to gain information about placements, the recruitment process, and graduate employment opportunities direct from the horse’s mouth. The arrival of pizza at halftime offered the chance to continue discussions in an informal manner and ask individual questions of a more specific nature.

Most importantly, students were able to learn from engineers working in the field about what it’s really like on the ground. They had the opportunity to discuss what engineers at EDF do during their daily tasks and gained the inside knowledge of how they can apply their skills by working for EDF Energy. Attendees learnt about the recruitment stages and were given valuable advice from the HR manager to consider when applying for internship and graduate roles.

‘An Evening with EDF’ provided a great opportunity to understand the role of an Electrical & Electronic Engineer in the Nuclear Power plant. I had the opportunity to talk to Electrical and C&I Engineer from EDF to understand the role, daily activities and how I can fit in the company. Hearing about the company’s culture, work ethics and opportunities available from the engineers rather than industrial speakers was more realistic and convincing.” – Muhammad Usman

"The evening was an excellent opportunity for us to get an insight into engineers tasks in the real world. I really enjoyed hearing from all of the EDF speakers and being able to talk face to face and ask questions personally rather than just listening to an industrial speaker in a large lecture theatre. On top of that there was free pizza and you can't go wrong with that!" – Philip Pagani

There are now more discussions underway of ideas on how else to work with EDF Energy and continue learning from the company. 

All of us in MechSoc, EESE Soc and CivSoc would like to thank EDF Energy for joining us, and to the EPS Community and Alumni Office for helping organise a very successful event. We hope to hold many more events like this in the future!

If you would like to know more about the ‘An Evening With…’ Series or are interested in organising a similar event with our students please email Grace Surman.