Virtual Work Experience in Action
A group of Engineering students were given an amazing opportunity to take part in a week’s virtual work experience with Tideway West – the company delivering the £3.8 billion Thames Tideway Tunnel.
The work placements involved students working remotely from their homes on set projects, taking part in activities and listening to talks by engineering professionals. At the end of the week they had to design and prepare a presentation which was shown live to college tutors and representatives from Tideway, who then chose a winning team.
Normally students would spend work experience on site in person, but because of the Coronavirus pandemic, this was not possible.
Linda Hammond, Havering Colleges’ Work Experience Coordinator, therefore arranged for the work placements to be completed virtually from the students’ own homes.
To be chosen for the opportunity, students had to submit an application form and a CV to Tideway and then had an online interview in formal dress. Nine students were selected to take part.
The winning team were Jimmy Sean Dady, Harry Clark, Pronoy Rahman and Arber Dalipi who created a land development scheme called the New Thames Project. They focused on a location beside the River Thames, designing and planning a leisure area with a dock, hotel, café, restaurant, bike hire and green spaces. All the buildings had renewable energy, solar panels and used recyclable materials so that the area had a very small carbon footprint.
When choosing the winning team, Tideway’s Project Director and Commercial Director based their decision on the final product as well as on the presentation skills shown.
They said: “It was a very difficult decision to make as the projects were exceptional. The level of attention shown, the creativity and the use of 3D models was remarkable in the winning team. The drawings were good and the whole project was on point for sustainability. I can see the students have learnt a lot from designing and developing this project together.”
One of the students said: “The experience has been really good. I have now got a better insight into how diverse the engineering industry is and the different roles that are available.”
Sunny Bamra, Deputy Curriculum Director for Engineering at the college said: “This was an amazing opportunity for our students. It is the start of something we can build on with Tideway – a great introduction to the sector and employer-led delivery – in a virtual environment! It was good to see how the students’ confidence grew over the week and how well they came together and worked in a team.”