Former City & Islington College student Emmanuel Egbuniwe, 18, took part in the Inmarsat Summer Strategy Challenge in 2014, while he was studying for an Extended Diploma in Engineering at the College’s Centre for Applied Sciences. He has since gained a Distinction in his BTEC and accepted a place to study a BEng in Biomedical Engineering at University College London (UCL), one of the top universities in the world.
It can be difficult to gain any work experience in your field of interest as a college student, so when an opportunity greater than I’d hoped for arose, I was ecstatic to find a relevant placement in a STEM environment (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics).
The opportunity involved taking part in a Summer Strategy Challenge at global satellite communications company, Inmarsat, at their London headquarters. I decided to take up the challenge because I strongly felt and knew that the nature of it would give me the chance to contribute to solving today’s problems for a better tomorrow.
I also knew that through this unique programme I would gain unrivalled industry knowledge and experience working alongside STEM professionals who specialised in areas such as software engineering and telecommunications.
I also hoped to gain knowledge of how a satellite company operates on a daily basis to achieve global broadband coverage, the technological apparatus and systems in use for modern connectivity, and to get an insight into how STEM is in use to solve connectivity issues around the world.
During my time at Inmarsat, I found the talks from professionals on various topics about the company really interesting and revealing.
The topics ranged from satellites in orbit to the broadband services they provide to the maritime, government and aviation industries. I was deeply involved in ground-breaking research in the Aviation sector and this gave me a much greater awareness of current industry developments.
Although the nature of the experience was demanding, it provided me with the chance to gain new skills such as using intuition and adaptability when problem solving. As the head of a small team, I was also able to refine my managerial skills of delegation, motivation and group communication to get the best out of my team members.
We shared feedback on all aspects of the work and these sessions were essential to ensure everyone was informed of the areas of work and outcomes carried out by each other, giving us a sense of communal direction and purpose.
Undertaking a placement at Inmarsat has proven to be beneficial for me because I have gained relevant industrial experience, knowledge and insight into the sector of engineering. The personal experience and personal development gained has definitely made me stand out from other candidates and has enhanced my employability and boosted my application for university.
I feel privileged to be set to study at one of the world’s top universities and I am determined to make a difference to the world through Engineering.
I would definitely recommend fellow students to undertake a placement at Inmarsat, because it is a great opportunity to work for a global leader in satellite communications and gain understanding of a STEM company – it’s an unrivalled opportunity to be outstanding amongst your peers.
The 2015 Inmarsat Summer Strategy Challenge is a six-week programme of workshop sessions and presentations with industry specialists. The 2015 challenge is already underway and City & Islington College students are meeting at Inmarsat’s City Road, London office on a weekly basis to discuss issues surrounding connectivity in developing countries and emerging markets. More details can be found here.