Work experience

Many students find it helpful to undertake a period of work experience either before or during their undergraduate studies.

Students looking for work experience placements should seek advice from their school/university careers adviser. In the event that the careers adviser is unable to help, you should contact the Personnel/HR departments of companies direct. Chemical engineers are employed across a huge variety of industries so you should research companies carefully before contacting them. The easiest method is to use company websites.

Contact details for many of the major employers of chemical engineers are listed by sector in the Employers section of this website.

When contacting a company regarding work experience it is useful to include the following information:

- your age
- the subjects you are studying and your exam results (where relevant) 
- specific dates for the work experience (if these are restricted)
- an insight into your motivation/interest in chemical engineering
- and more specifically: why you are approaching their company

If writing to the company, letters should be typed (not hand-written) and it is essential to make a good impression by ensuring that they are free of spelling and grammatical errors. It is always useful to include a copy of your CV - if you don't have one, write one!

Please note: because chemical and biochemical engineers often work in companies where a production process is carried out, health and safety restrictions can limit work experience opportunities for the under-18s in some cases.

The Year in Industry

Year in Industry is a work-experience programme for pre-university/undergraduate students. It provides:

  • support in applying for multiple placement opportunities
  • real, paid, challenging year-long work experience
  • responsibility for major projects
  • relevant job training
  • optional business awareness and management training

 

In return, Year in Industry students gain excellent experience that stands them in good stead for securing a job when they graduate. At the end of the placement, they are also invited to enter a major awards event to celebrate their success.

Typically, Year in Industry arranges chemical and process engineering placements with companies such as Procter & Gamble, E.ON and Shell Global Solutions.

For further information please visit their website at www.etrust.org.uk/the-year-in-industry