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A student civil engineering society with a career focus

civil engineering

Students enjoy socials, but want a greater focus on career planning

A group of students at the University of East London (UEL) have formed a new civil engineering society - with a difference.

Although they are planning regular social events like any other student society, the far-sighted founding members say they are focused on giving members the opportunities to get into further study or a career in civil engineering when they graduate. 

Nearly 100 students have already signed up and a number of site visits and guest lectures are planned.

The idea for the society came from its president Kashan Sheikh (left), 31, and secretary Grace Lloyd (second from left), 22, both of whom are civil engineering undergraduates at UEL. 

Kashan, from Ilford, brings more than a decade of business experience to the group. 

He said, “I’m a bit older than a lot of other students, and I started my own carpentry and construction firm seven years ago, which employees a number of sub-contractors too. So, I was getting lots of questions about the world of work from people I study with and it really went from there.” 

Having already experienced studying and dropping out of university prior to coming to UEL, Kashan is doubly focused on supporting fellow students.

“I want to do a master’s and become a chartered engineer, so this society is a good way of sharing plans and ideas and encouraging each other through studies and into careers.”

Grace, from Whitstable in Kent, has already secured a place on a graduate scheme with international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty following a successful summer placement with them in 2017.  

“I’ve had lots of opportunities at UEL to make contacts and apply for good quality placements, and I was pleased to get one with Balfour Beatty, so I got to experience working in the safety, sustainability, and project site teams over a 12 week period – and it was paid.” 

Grace said the new society would be organising some social events but its main focus was helping students when it comes to fulfilling their career aspirations. 

“We’ve got our committee sorted (also pictured), our social media channels are up and running, and we’ve ready had two ‘Civil Series’ guest lectures about off-shore oil rig engineering and another on tunnelling,” said Grace. 

“These are all adding to student knowledge and bringing us into contact with employers, so watch this space in 2018.”