Yesterday I conducted two presentations on ‘Engineering as a Career’ to Second Year High School Students in the Johnston Library in Cavan Town.

This was on behalf of Engineers Ireland as part of their ‘Engineers Week’ Initiative which is intended to create a positive awareness and spark enthusiasm about the engineering profession to people of all ages, especially students and their teachers and parents.

Thankfully the presentations went very well but I identified plenty of areas for improvement in both content and delivery.

I had focussed on why I became an Engineer and gave the teenagers an idea of all the opportunities available in engineering due to the incredibly diverse range of disciplines it covers. This all went down well but the one thing I found from both sessions was an intense interest in my experiences as an engineer – what my most exciting projects were (and my most disappointing)? what sort of environments was I working in? What were the job prospects in engineering now? How much money can you expect to earn? ..and a thousand other questions which would have been simple enough to prepare for prior to the presentation (but were far harder to answer on the spot). I think I gave a satisfactory answer to most of the questions but I could have been far more prepared if I had focussed a little more on my career after graduation.

Another area which they found fascinating was my work at BAE Systems. I suppose it is hard not to get excited about fast jets but again I wasn’t prepared for the barrage of questions: how fast is it; how much do they weigh; how much would one cost; how long do they take to make? Again I think I was close enough on most of the answers (apart from the weight – 16ton, not 30 – apologies) but I could have done so much more had I known this would be an area they would take particular interest in.

Nevermind, there is always next year!

I have attached my slide deck below for anyone who is interested or has to do a similar presentation.

John Ortt’s Engineers Week Presentation 2015