Speed interviewing event hones life skills
Publish Date: Wednesday, 27 September 2023
Speed interviewing event hones life skills
SIT’s Hansen Hall was abuzz with productive and purposeful interviews recently, when engineering professionals from local industries gave their time and skills at The School of Advanced Engineering Technology Speed Interviewing Event, to guide SIT Engineering students in preparation for entering the workforce.
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SIT | Te Pūkenga School of Advanced Engineering Technology, in collaboration with Engineering New Zealand Southland Branch, recently held their annual Speed Interviewing Event, bringing together local Professional engineering employers and engineering students.

Held at Hansen Hall on September 12th, it was well supported by local Engineering sectors, with professionals from Kirk Roberts Consulting, Bonisch Consultants, Invercargill City Council (ICC), WSP, Pattle Delamore Partners, Fulton Hogan and many more, giving their time to participate as interviewers, to assist the students in honing their interview skills, and in the process, provide them with valuable insights and opportunities. 

Event organiser and Programme Manager at SIT's School of Advanced Engineering Technology, Carlo Gabriel, said he was “thrilled” with the event and the positive impact it had on his students and the engineering community. The day “showcases the potential of SIT engineering students.” He also saw possibilities to “ignite innovative ideas and promote mentorship by facilitating connections with the professionals who shape local industries.”

“Local engineering employers and SIT engineering students coming together highlights the good outcomes of collaborating,” Mr Gabriel added.  “SIT's School of Advanced Engineering Technology and Engineering New Zealand share a commitment to foster excellence in engineering.”

Jeremy Rees, Service Leader – Water Infrastructure, from Pattle Delamore Partners, said he’s been attending SIT’s speed interviewing event for a few years and it was “a good experience”. He saw it as an opportunity to improve his own communication skills, as well as helping the students. “Improving soft skills, like communication skills is valuable for the students,” as they reached the end of their qualification and looked towards finding employment. “Engineering NZ, SIT and the engineering community in Southland have good relationships,” he said, adding “what’s good for student is also good for industry and SIT. We hope to build everyone up at the same time.”    

David Rider, Senior Geotechnical Engineer/Civil Engineer of Kirk Roberts Consulting and Deputy Chair of Engineering New Zealand Southland Branch Committee, also attended this year.

As the EngNZ coordinator for the Southland high schools engineering engagement visits, he connects students to engineering at the secondary school level. This includes organising a local high school event, where students are able to visit SIT and engage with professional engineers, the faculty and SIT students, to give them a better understanding of the pathway to becoming a professional engineer.

Mr Rider said the speed interviewing at SIT is another step on that pathway, “getting  SIT students heading in the right direction, to success in their chosen career.” From an employer’s perspective, he thought “it was a good event to showcase what we’re looking for, but also how they [the student] can improve.” From details such as arriving on time, to how the students presented themselves, “we can see who’s really chasing it. Everything makes an impression,” he said.  “It’s about opportunity. Having SIT students and engineers engaging on a more personal basis will leave them in good stead to develop their career pathway.” Mr Rider stated.

Jet Yen Hua, Bachelor of Engineering Technology Year 3 student, was appreciative of being able to take part in the useful event. “It does help me as an international student who has English as a second language, to identify the areas I need to improve during any communication, especially an interview.”

Mr Gabriel expressed his gratitude to everyone who had contributed to this year’s event. “I look forward to seeing the interesting journeys which will emerge from these connections," he said.