An international graduate success story: A strong foundation for an engineering career

Many international students dream of working for a major aerospace and consulting firm in the UK. That dream has come true for Moataz from Egyptbut of course, it’s taken a lot of hard work and dedication to get there. Here, Moataz reveals his journey from UWE’s International College to Capgemini UK, and offers his advice to fellow international students.

First steps to engineering success

Moataz began his UK journey at UWE’s International College: a joint educational partnership between UWE Bristol and Kaplan International Pathways. It supports international students who don’t meet requirements for direct entry to study a pathway course which prepares them to succeed on an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at UWE.

Upon completion of this foundation course, Moataz was ready to secure a place to study Engineering at UWE. And that equipped him with the skills and knowledge he needed to nail his role with Capgemini.

“My university course played a crucial role in helping me secure my job as a systems engineer,” he says. “The coursework provided a strong foundation in science and engineering principles, which are essential for understanding complex systems.”

Mentorship and internship

High quality teaching wasn’t all that Moataz’ course gave him. He also benefited from the mentorship of his professor in systems engineering in his second year, who offered Moataz both practical and moral support.

“He put me in the right track to pursue the career I want by providing me an internship during the summer as a research assistant at UWE to work on an industrial project and gain more knowledge in the systems engineering area,” says Moataz.

“I took the project further into my dissertation in my last year at the university. Also, he kept me updated on the cutting edge software used in the field. Those things helped me to gain confidence to apply for systems engineering jobs.”

Starting on the engineering career ladder

With his UWE Bristol degree and work experience under his belt, the world of engineering was Moataz’ oyster! He secured a systems engineering post at prestigious consultancy Capgemini.

“I am responsible for designing, implementing, and managing complex systems within different clients,” says Moataz. “My role involves integrating various components to ensure the system functions effectively and efficiently.”

It’s a fast-paced and demanding position, for which his study has prepared him well.

“My solid background in science and engineering, coupled with demonstrated technical achievements in my specialty area, equips me to tackle complex issues effectively,” says Moataz.

“Additionally, being knowledgeable in several engineering areas allows me to see the bigger picture and integrate diverse components seamlessly. I pick up new ideas and information quickly, which is essential in the ever-evolving field of technology. “

Engineering career satisfaction

Moataz is delighted with the role he’s in, which is both challenging and rewarding.

“What I most like about my job as a systems engineer is the dynamic and intellectually stimulating nature of the role,” he says.

“I enjoy learning new things and solving problems, which keeps my work both challenging and rewarding. I thrive on the challenges presented, as they push me to think critically and creatively. My sceptical nature drives me to question unproven assertions and seek out evidence-based solutions. I appreciate the opportunity to remain open-minded to new ideas, which fosters innovation and continuous improvement.

“Lastly, I value the interpersonal and communication aspects of my job, as collaborating with colleagues and stakeholders is key to achieving successful outcomes.”

Moataz’ career advice for international students

Moataz knows that getting your foot on the first rung of the career ladder involves more than just excellent subject knowledge and skills. He is keen to help other international students like him – just as his own professor did. Here are his top 10 tips for anyone hoping to follow in his footsteps.

  1. Look for a mentor in the career you want to pursue, preferably from the same university you are studying at. A mentor can track your progress and help identify your areas of weakness.
  2. Attend conferences and competitions: This helps you network with people in your industry, gain insights into new technologies, and boost your self-confidence.
  3. Build a strong professional network: Join professional organizations, attend industry events, and connect with alumni networks. Networking can lead to job opportunities and valuable industry insights.
  4. Gain relevant work experience: Pursue internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities related to your field. Practical experience is highly valued by employers and can enhance your resume.
  5. Develop your soft skills: Focus on improving your communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. These are crucial in the UK job market and can differentiate you from other candidates.
  6. Research how to gain permission to stay in the UK. As a graduate of a UK university, you will be able to stay on two years afterwards to look for work, giving you time to get started on your career path.
  7. Tailor your CV and cover letter to the UK job market: Ensure your application materials meet UK standards, highlighting your skills and experiences relevant to the job you are applying for.
  8. Improve your English proficiency: Strong English language skills are essential for most jobs in the UK. Consider taking additional language courses or practising through daily interactions.
  9. Leverage university career services: Utilise the career support offered by your university, including workshops, job fairs, and one-on-one career counselling.
  10. Stay informed about industry trends: Follow industry news, subscribe to relevant publications, and participate in online forums to keep up to date with the latest trends and demands in your field.

For more inspiring international graduate success stories, read about investment banker Harikrishnan, senior systems engineer Lawrence, advertising project manager Kika, or technical analyst Amandeep.

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If you’re looking for a graduate job, or want advice for international students seeking a career in the UK or globally, register today with Gradlink. We offer a free jobs board, a database of global employers, and industry-specific advice.

By Q Content Published: Jul 08,2024

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