Two engineers have advised the budding engineers, especially the students to look beyond big companies when seeking opportunity for the student industrial experience work. As a result of the nature of the economy and the large number of students competing from dwindling slots, the engineers have drew from their personal experiences to guide the younger ones. Engr Dr. Wilson Alli, MD Zapetron Nigerian limited and Engr Adewale Adeniyi, a Project Management and fabrication expert.
Engr Adewale Adeniyi:
I see IT Placement requests from University Engineering Students flying around. These students would be amazed by how some of us spent our 6 months SIWES.
If you cannot secure placement within the first 2 weeks, go and learn a skill in your area of interest, on your own. Just attach yourself to an office ( Government, private, etc) and continue with your skill acquisition. This is necessary should your supervisor want to check on you.
This SIWES period would likely determine how your first and second year after school would be. Smooth or Rough.
During my time, I couldn’t get a placement, so i joined a roadside Heady Duty Mechanic workshop in Ibadan being a Mechanical Engineering Student. What i did differently was that i borrowed Two Diesel Mechanics Textbooks from School library and i used it for this period. While i joined the “Kazeems” under the hood tightening and loosening – refurbishing, overhauling, wearing the rags as well, i used these Textbooks to learn more about our engagements for the period. Gradually i was filling my log book and writing my SIWES report.
The world has advanced now. Everything in engineering is aided by a software, learn one to proficiency level.
By the time you get back to the school, you are a STAR already.
Engr Dr. Wilson Alli :
My attachment to a mechanic workshop was after my national service for about 20 months,(Behind Mobil Sation -Gbagada) learning the bad and the good of the trade, with fairly used automotive texts I bought at Ojuelegba ‘underbridge’ actually flyover. I mastered the engine O/H, mastering the working philosophies of all systems- crankshaft/Camshaft/gear synchronization, procedural valve settings, the reason for a flywheel and up to starting mechanism of a starter motor, and how a mere 12v is amplified by the solenoid coil to induce spark. Every system mastery was easy with the texts and practical demonstration.
This knowledge and skill came handy, on my first interview with UTC motors, I was engaged instantly- I resumed same day! With further training locally and abroad, I became the master of the automotive system. I eventually rose to the top in motor division of the company in 6yrs! This came with UTC global award for diligence, integrity and commitment in my 3rd year in the company.
I headed engine and an automatic transmission O/H unit for 2yrs, before moving to the management cadre. The Japanese had me thoroughly schooled on Cummins engine with PT pumps. I moved from there to Kewalram Motors before switching to Oil& Gas/ Power System Engineering. The knowledge and skills never left me despite the career switch!!