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Q&A with Sele Clements: High-Achieving Student and Intern at Jacobs

With the ambition and determination to get the best out of life, Dublin City University student Sele Clements spent eight weeks interning with the Jacobs team in Dublin this summer, facilitated by the University’s Access to the Workplace Program.

When Sele was four, he and his brother arrived in Ireland with their mother who left Nigeria in search of a better life. Today, Sele is a high-performing student at Dublin City University (DCU) who spent eight weeks in summer 2020 interning at Jacobs, a position facilitated by the Access to the Workplace Program.

The Access Program at DCU is the longest established and largest of its kind in Ireland, supporting nearly 1,200 students in the 2019/20 academic year. It makes university-level education attainable to talented students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and provides a range of personal, financial and academic support to enable students to thrive and excel in their studies.

In 2019 DCU launched Access to the Workplace, a program to enable students to experience a high-quality work placement during their summer vacation, hosted by participating companies in Ireland. With many DCU Access students relying on summer employment to save for the upcoming academic year, the Access to the Workplace partner organizations enable students to save money, while also preparing for work in a professional environment and gaining experience in their chosen field. Jacobs has participated in the Access to the Workplace Program for the first time in 2020.

We caught up with Sele to find out about his internship, interest in STEAM and what’s next.

What made you want to pursue a STEAM career?

I’ve always been fascinated by and interested in technology, but as a career option it crept up on me - I only realized I wanted to study engineering in my fifth year of high school. It combined my favorite subjects from school - science and technology - and I was inspired by the unlimited ways that it can be applied to help people and the environment. There are so many things you can do with an engineer’s mindset and ability and it can take you to a lot of interesting places on your career path. I’m loving it so far!

How has Access to the Workplace helped your development?

Access to the Workplace has given me the chance to gain meaningful and relevant experience in my chosen field, and I am hopeful that it will continue to provide me with further opportunities as I move forward with my studies. For one thing it presented me with the opportunity to work for Jacobs and meet the great people involved in its projects; I’m extremely grateful and honored to have been given this chance. 

What did you take away from your internship at Jacobs?

I wanted to gain experience in a professional environment and work on interesting and important projects, and my internship at Jacobs definitely gave me the necessary resources and support to achieve these goals. It was also great to have a very supportive virtual network of people to help me when I needed it – I will remember the importance of this in my future endeavors.

My internship particularly helped me develop my independent working skills as well as teamwork and improved my technical knowledge on things I have learned in my degree, like system management work.

What’s next on your journey?

I’m back at DCU now and getting stuck into another semester, but my internship at Jacobs has inspired me to think more about my steps after education. I’d like to get involved with projects that apply the knowledge I have gained from my course in topics like robotics and automation, which align well with Jacobs’ Advanced Facilities business. It has definitely given me food for thought about where I believe I could excel.

Sele certainly made an impression on his colleagues, too. Sean Higgins, Project and Environmental Consultant at Jacobs, mentored Sele during his internship. “Sele is undoubtedly a high-caliber student - it was a pleasure to work with him on one of our major programs and watch his skills and confidence grow throughout his internship,” he commented.

“We are delighted to work with DCU and sponsor its Access to the Workplace Program as it resonates with our core value of inclusion,” said Jacobs People & Solutions Senior Vice President Donald Morrison. “Participating in the program enables us to give back to our community and ensure that our future is shaped by people who benefit from the education that many of us take for granted.”

At Jacobs, we’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision. Let’s see the impact we can create, together.

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