Industry and Internships

Hey all, welcome back. So, right now you guys are all probably stressing about which specialisation you’re going to choose, and all of us Part II’s are stressing about finding internships. So, for this post I thought I’d give you an idea of the types of companies you could potentially intern at as a CHEMMAT student, and also the types of job you could end up in after your degree.

The list below is what Steve showed us at the end of CHEMMAT 121 last year and has been the most useful thing. It’s what I always pull out to show people whenever they ask me what I’m going to do with my degree. Chemical engineers are usually involved in any large-scale process which transforms raw materials into useful products. In New Zealand these main industries include:

  • Oil and Gas: Petrol, diesel, oil, polymers
  • Raw Food Products: Milk, butter, beer, fruit products
  • Timber: Pulp and paper
  • Iron/Aluminum Ore: Steel making, Aluminum making
  • Geothermal: Power production
  • Waste Streams: High value products, wastewater
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Fertiliser

In CHEMMAT 205, the design course this semester, each group is designated an industry in New Zealand to do a semester long research project on. My group got beer brewing so it’s been great spending lots of time this semester learning how to brew beer 😉.

In general, most CHEMMAT jobs in fall into one of two categories. Processing or materials. The processing side involves design, manufacture, and operation of processing plants. This could include owning or managing a plant, being a contractor or consultant in the design and build of a new plant or being a technology supplier in the development of plants or processes. The materials side involves the development and production of new materials or products and jobs in this area are a lot scarcer in New Zealand compared to processing jobs.

Now that you have a rough idea of the types of industries you could end up in, let’s get back to internships. I would say that finding an internship as a Part II student is a lot more difficult than Part III or IV, and as a CHEMMAT student too. Walking around all the internship expo’s literally every company you walk up to either want software or civil interns. From the experiences of a lot of my friends, I would recommend that rather than just applying for the positions that big companies are advertising, contact smaller companies directly and see if they would consider hiring you. This way there’s less competition for the role and you can end up doing something that actually interests you. Although a lot of applications don’t open until later on, I would recommend trying to get as sorted as you can during the inter-semester break when you’ve got no uni work to keep up with. Use that time to make sure you’ve got an updated CV and get in contact with as many companies as you can to let them know you’re interested. This way when you’re at the crunch time of the semester (i.e right now) you’re not going to have that extra stress.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Catch ya next time!

Sophie 😊

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