(Profile courtesy of the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Portsmouth)
I got my placement the normal way and with a little bit of luck. The contact at the company was distributed amongst the students by the course manager.
I applied for it, which was followed by a 45 minute telephone interview with a principal geotechnical engineer and a HR representative. And luckily, they choose me.
As an intern, I am assisting professional engineers on various projects. During my placement I carry out different types of analyses, e.g. kinematic, numerical and empirical, but also get involved in field programs and get experience on site, e.g. in logging.
I am getting a lot of experience, and the most important thing is that through the placement I realise why I need the skills learned at university. That increases my motivation to learn more at university and helps me to link certain topics together and see the bigger picture.
Additionally, I am learning skills beyond the scope of the University, which puts me in a very good position for the final year.
Get your head down in the books and work hard at University. Everything will pay back in a huge scale. But also enjoy the Uni-life and make friends.