Recognising the need to cultivate a deeper understanding of the building services industry among university students, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers Young Engineers Network (CIBSE YEN) has launched a mentorship programme.
This initiative is not only aimed at raising awareness, and introducing the building services industry to students, but also at fostering enduring relationships with universities. It bridges the gap between academic learning and the practical demands of engineering.
“Having the chance to talk to someone who is working full time and has gone through a similar pathway to that which I would like to understand more about has allowed me to ease any issues or worries I had about the transition.”
- Prateek Walia
The inception of the programme traces back to a Mechanical Engineering faculty’s Student Meets Industry Night at the University of New South Wales. A dozen aspiring students mainly from a mechanical engineering background signed up to be part of this unique journey in September last year, paired with experienced members from the CIBSE YEN committee who acted as their mentors. Beyond helping students find their footing in the job market, the programme was also tailored to give them a clearer perspective on the kind of engineering work they could engage in post-university.
The mentorship programme ran for ten months, to June 2023. One-on-one meetups formed the backbone of the mentorship, with the frequency of these sessions (monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly) being decided mutually between the mentor and mentee. These interactions provided students with much-needed job search advice and, more importantly, rare industry insights. This immersive experience allowed the students to gain a pragmatic understanding of the professional landscape, preparing them for their impending career journey.
“I think that the program was really good and beneficial for introducing me and extending my knowledge about how the engineering industry works.”
- Leticia Shiu
As we look to the future, the programme shows promising potential for growth and further development. Building on the success of its pilot run, CIBSE YEN will extend the duration of the programme with plans to increase the intake of students from more universities and different programs (Civil and Electrical). Furthermore, introducing specialised workshops or seminars e.g. A day in the life of a building service engineer will supplement the one-on-one mentorship, providing a more comprehensive learning experience. By collaborating with other universities, the programme could expand its reach, thus increasing its impact within the building service industry.
The CIBSE YEN mentorship programme is thus an invaluable initiative for students seeking to navigate their professional path in the building service industry. By providing these future engineers with a clearer understanding of their career prospects and a more concrete connection to the industry, this programme is shaping the future of building services engineering.
If you would like to be part of CIBSE’s mentorship programme in the future, either as a mentor or a mentee, contact CIBSE ANZ YEN at [email protected]
CIBSE YEN NSW committee, Escape Room experience, February 2023.