The Two Minute Overview

Welcome to the Work Experience Program

Your BE incorporates 800 hours of work experience as a requirement of the degree. There are several reasons for this; First, it is a requirement of the degree's accreditation with Engineering NZ. Second, industry loves graduates from ECS but they prefer graduates that have experienced a real world workplace and gained soft skills as well. Third, ECS does not specialise in teaching soft skills and one of the best ways to learn about them is in the workplace. Fourth, learning these things while a student buys you a lot of patience in the workplace, nobody expects you to know, but they will expect you to learn fast.

So while your degree is largely focused on technical skills, work experience focuses on the remaining elements; getting you to engage with people in the tech industry and developing your soft skills.

The Work Experience Tool is used to monitor your progress.

The Health & Safety lecture provides context around why Health & Safety is important in the workplace.

You may already have Pre-existing work and you may be able to have it recognised.

Technical skills are necessary, but not sufficient

Technical skills are necessary, but not sufficient. We know this from research and by talking to people in industry. We also know that most students do not believe this until they hear it from people in industry (motivating us to get you to go talk to industry!).

What "Technical skills are necessary, but not sufficient" means is that if you are not pleasant to work with or won't contribute meaningfully to the task at hand, people in industry do not care how talented you are. When considering the question "do I want to sit next to this person 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the next year" most will say no if they feel this means their work day will not be productive and enjoyable.

Technical skills get you the interview. Soft skills get you the job.

The Program

In essence it is to:

  1. have a sound understanding of Health & Safety in the workplace,
  2. create an effective CV,
  3. meet industry, on their turf, to practice networking and ask the questions you don't want to ask in an interview,
  4. complete 800 hours of work experience and
  5. two reports on your work experience.

At least 400 hours of work experience must be in a tech workplace, applying your degree under the supervision of professionals in your field.

Through the experiences gained from networking plus your industry experience, you will significantly increase the likelihood you will be offered a role before you graduate.

Summer of Tech

Summer of Tech is our partner program. Approximately half our students find internships through Summer of Tech.

Sign up to Summer of Tech early and go to as many of the student events as possible.

Meet Ups

The other half of our students find internships through networking. Very few get tech jobs by spamming companies with their CV.

There are well over 100 tech groups meeting in town - just down the hill. Often providing pizza and beer to anyone with an interest that just wants to hang out and talk tech. Industry people go to these to relax, find interesting people and learn about new technologies. Of course you should be doing the same. Many companies have stopped advertising junior roles. These days they expect those genuinely interested to be eating their pizza and chatting with them.

Go hang out. Eat their pizza. Drink their beer, lemonade or orange juice. Talk tech and learn stuff from people already doing the things you aspire to.

Don't go to tick an academic box. You will be bored and others will notice you for being bored. Instead look for something interesting and aim to meet like minded people.

Introductory Lecture Slides