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Simba Chiweshe

MEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering (2014)

Simba Chiweshe
  • Graduated in 2014
  • From Zimbabwe
  • Graduate Project Engineer with Continental Automotive Group (contracted to Bentley Motors)

Simba came to the University of Bradford because of its diversity and "emphasis on employability". His course included a sandwich year on industrial placement, which he spent at IBM and ARUP. He also got actively involved in Students' Union societies while at Bradford.

"I have always had an interest in mathematics and physics, and I found MEng Electical and Electronic Engineering would combine the two," Simba says.

"My course was so practical with loads of lab sessions, which I found intriguing and made the course interesting and more understandable.

"The range of subjects that my course cover is something I appreciate as it gives me the opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of industries, whether it be consumer electronics, telecommunications, power, manufacturing and building services etc...

"The job opportunities after graduating with a degree in that field are as varied as it can get - people have been known to even land top non-engineering jobs with this degree."

Practical industrial experience

But Simba didn't rely on his degree alone to give him a good start in his career, using the resources of the University's Career Development Service (CDS), getting a part-time job, and making the most of his industrial placement.

"I got involved in societies, did part-time work during the semester, took a year in industry, and volunteered as much as I could. 

"I did my industrial placement with IBM and Arup, which has given me vital practical industrial experience.

"In my second year, I was the co-founder and president of the Adventist Youth Society, and also worked as a senior warden in The Green (on-campus halls of residence).

"The CDS helped me a lot through their support in every step of my career and university life.

"From coming up with a CV for part-time work, to preparations for interviews and assessment centres for placements. They helped me with mock interviews and provided an assessment centre workshop that helped me shine - and eventually secure a job.

"The staff members at CDS take students' personal and professional development seriously - I will keep in touch with them as they have been pivotal in my success."

Luxury cars and travelling the world

"I am now working as a Graduate Project Engineer, and have been with Continental Automotive Trading UK since June 2014.

"I am contracted to Bentley Motors (which is a customer of Continental) where I am part of the Vehicle Energy Management and Networks Team.

"My role is to get on the job training whilst delivering innovative engineering solutions for turnkey projects.

"In the months I have been here, I have been involved in electronic and software design, electrical integration and vehicle networks. Some of the highlights of the job is getting to first-hand experience of one of the world’s most luxury cars and travelling to countries such as Germany and France testing the product."

'Bradford is the place to be'

As well as the course and the career opportunities, Simba found Bradford a good home for an international student.

"Bradford is the place to be for international students - it is abundant with the diversity of many cultures and is very welcoming to everyone from all walks of life.

"The University has a dedicated International Office to support students and help them get to know Bradford, and England as a whole. The International Office regularly organise trips, events, games and tournaments for the international student community, which I have found very useful and interesting.

"The location of the university is very strategic and makes life a lot easier for international students.

"The main campus is located just a walk away from the city centre and is close to most of the halls of residence. Bradford is also just 20 minutes away by train from Leeds, which is a good place to do shopping if you like variety."

Priceless

"The exposure and opportunities that are at the university have blown my mind.

"It is up to one to make the most of the resources that the University has in abundance. I have enjoyed mixing and interacting with people from different backgrounds and this has made me flexible and easily adaptable to different situations.

"The friends and contacts that I have made are priceless."