SELA is a two year programme with a weekly commitment of 4-5 hours. Our members join in autumn of their second year of degree study, and complete the programme before beginning their MEng year.
The programme begins with an intensive Skills Bootcamp. This residential, weekend-long event introduces new members to the programme, and to each other, through practical activities and challenges. It is supported by mentors from industry, who help to contextualise the learning and provide individual feedback.
Across both years of the programme, we meet weekly for workshops that focus on developing skills and providing support with the group projects. Topics include: project and workload management; managing and influencing people; developing a business case; negotiation and conflict resolution; networking; goal setting and reflection; and career planning.
Professionals from a variety of industries, at different stages of their careers, join us to share the benefit of their experience and to bring learning to life with real examples, whilst helping our members begin to build their professional networks. Many of our guest speakers are alumni of the Faculty of Engineering, and are now in leadership roles within and beyond engineering.
Members work together on a group project across each year of their involvement in the programme. The projects involve delivering real solutions to real stakeholders, and provide an opportunity to work collaboratively whilst practising and further enhancing skills.
The first year project is designed to develop skills for leadership, whilst the second year project involves an engineering grand challenge, to draw on the expertise of students from different engineering disciplines and allow members to practise their skills in an authentic engineering context.
All SELA members find, secure and complete two summer placements, each for a minimum of ten weeks. Placements may be in industry, either in the UK or overseas, or in academic research. For academic research placements, members work alongside an academic member of staff or research team in the Faculty of Engineering and complete a piece of research with dissemination outputs, and bursaries are available from SELA, working in partnership with the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience scheme, to support the process.