An undergraduate qualification does not necessarily hold the promise of employment. Its basis is more on theory, rather than on real world experience, Which leaves out gaps in the student’s knowledge that can only be filled with practical training. In an industry like engineering, where a small mistake can cost millions, most organisations are not willing to employ engineers that do not have experience.
Resolution Circle instituted an initiative to offer experiential learning to engineering students, bridging the gap between academia and the industry, through a programme called Work Integrated Learning (WIL). We offer mechanical and electrical engineering students the opportunity to complete their practical 1 and practical 2 courses. The programme prepares students not only for the workplace, but also to take on challenges in their respective fields of study, by providing them with technical and soft skills.
Meet Sinenhlanhla Magcaba, a student who is a few months away from obtaining her Electrical Engineering diploma at the Tshwane University of Technology and is currently enrolled for her Practical 2 with us.
As an Electrical engineer in the making, she can now confidently work with systems such as the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), and electronic machines like the My 600 Jet printers and My 200Lx pick & place, which are part of the PCB assembly machine. The P2 learners will also be exposed to projects like the Mini Contact Plating Bath, the Laser LPKF and the Proto Mat s103.
Sinenhlanhla took us through her work station at Perskor, Resolution Circle’s small-scale manufacturing facility in Johannesburg, Doornfontein, to demonstrate a project she is currently part of, called the Control & Instrumentation (C and I) trainer panel, which gives her a chance to be part of solving real world problems. The C and I trainer panel teaches interns how to use a PID controller, to calibrate different measuring instruments, as well as measure different process variables.
Besides the technical aspects, Sinenhlanhla overcame her fear of public speaking a month into the programme, she recounts: “we were challenged with presentation skills on a project that we were doing, and we were forced to step up. I must say, the presentation helped me to deal with nerves and improved my skills of public speaking as it is something that I was not good at.”
After obtaining her Electrical engineering diploma, Sinenhlanhla plans on studying further. She is also looking at becoming a sales engineer, a career path she discovered through the Work Integrated Learning programme at Resolution Circle.
She said that “it is extremely beneficial to be part of the WIL programme because before I came to Resolution circle I had no idea on how to conduct myself in a workplace, so I feel like practical training is extremely important as it prepares you for the industry”.
We really look forward to seeing Sinenhlanhla entering the workforce and using her technical and sales skills to help her future clients in choosing the perfect products for all their engineering needs.