I was motivated to write after reading Robin Everall's letter (NCE 7 September). I am about to begin the final year of a four year MEng in civil engineering at the University of Warwick and for the summer between third and fourth years, the department instructed us to obtain a placement with a civil engineering firm.
I wrote to 14 companies, yielding the result of six outright rejections, three application forms and two interviews. Completing the application forms led to two further rejections. After attending the interviews, I then had to phone up weeks later to be told that there was no work available to me, even though I live near a number of current major civil engineering projects.
Students studying civil engineering are supposed to be the future of the profession. My experience gives me the impression that the profession sees graduates as a burden to be endured until they have the appropriate experience to be considered useful.
I admit that my experience of the civil engineering profession is not so great, but these are my first impressions, and first impressions usually last!
Michael Costello, Manchester email@example.com