Matt Brown’s year in industry coincided with the pandemic and lockdown but he was able to work from home and as much was allowed in the offices of SWJ to complete his year and gain valuable experience. Matt tells us the benefits of spending a year working between the 2nd and 3rd year of university.

“Prior to spending a year working with SWJ Consulting I didn’t have a proper understanding of why I was learning and designing, and what for. Once I had spent a year working on real projects I was able to see how I could apply what I was learning to real projects and my degree made much more sense to me.

“Unfortunately, a lot of my fellow students were unable to complete or participate in a year in industry because of the pandemic and I feel like I had an advantage when I returned to uni, knowing what questions to ask and simply finding the work more enjoyable as I now could see what everything meant in the real word of engineering.
“Although I did a civil engineering degree, I have always enjoyed structural more and this was another advantage of my year in industry. It confirmed that structural was much more appealing to me than the types of projects civil engineering deals with. I didn’t want to be designing drainage, or working with water and hydraulics, I don’t enjoy that as much as finding a solution for a private dwelling or developer-led housing designs.

“I would recommend anybody thinking of a year in industry if studying structural or civil engineer to do it and find a placement. It not only gives you valuable experience to show on your CV when you have graduated and looking for a job, but it makes the final years of your studies more satisfying knowing you already know how to apply the knowledge your learning, as opposed to only working with standard problems and solutions.”

You can read more about the differences in what they teach you at university versus the realities of structural engineering in the workplace by reading Matt’s other article ‘Structural engineering – things they don’t teach you at university’

If you are interested in a year in industry, an engineering apprenticeship, or have recently graduated and are looking for a position please do get in touch via