BMW Girls Go Technical
New UTC Reading Year 12 students, Sophie Denson and Megan Williams had the opportunity to attend the BMW ‘Girls go Technical’ Work Experience programme last week.
Through this exciting and unique opportunity, they experienced the day-to-day challenges encountered by engineers and technical apprentices in their fascinating, world-class factories. Throughout the week, they gained an in-depth awareness of manufacturing and engineering processes, an insight into the range of careers available including technical roles and enhanced interview and job application skills.
Here is an account of their day-to-day experiences:
- First, we had an icebreaker session to ensure that we were settled in and so that we could get to know all the girls on the programme
- We worked in the workshop on mechanical engineering, taking apart a pressure piston booster and reassembling it in teams, using technical drawings to help us
- There was a tour of the BMW Mini Plant in Oxford during the afternoon
- Finally, we had a CV and Interview Skills workshop lead by two guest speakers
- Today, everyone separated and went to the many plants across the UK
- We went into assembly, where we programmed one of their robots to write our names with a felt pen
- We also had a demonstration of a hydraulic pressure system; a system that picks up the heavy batteries, making them feel lightweight
- Then, we had lunch in the workers canteen, which was great as we got to feel like employees at BMW
- Today, we had the opportunity to experience all the different departments at BMW Oxford
- First, we visited Body and White where we learnt how the robots that help to manufacture the cars, work. They gave us scenarios such as the robots being called back from the assembly lines as if the engines are broken. We had to then take the robot apart, recalibrate and ensure that it worked efficiently again
- We also visited Paint where we got a tour, showing us how most of the paintwork is completed by machinery. Despite this, they still employ workers to visually judge the end finish
- During the day, we each had an interview with an employee from BMW to practice interview questions and answers
- On our last day, we were back in the training workshop and had the opportunity to make dog tags using sheet metal. We also learnt how to make aluminum boxes that we had to fold together
- After a review of the work experience course, we had the opportunity to hear from a BMW apprentice who gave us lots of information about her experiences and how she got to where she is now
- Finally, to end a fantastic week, we had the task of building a bridge out of cocktail sticks and gummy sweets; our group won for the most creative bridge!
“An absolutely fantastic programme, which gives girls the exposure to Engineering that they need. In the current climate, seeing girls inspired by young, passionate role models such as the BMW apprentices is key. A practical, hands on week, building confidence and skills – it was awesome to visit the girls and see them in action!”
Stephanie Mitchell, Director of Industry Relations