Here are two keenies seeking what Americans call internships and Brits call work placements. No doubt bike supply companies are inundated with such requests but these two enthusiasts have shown initiative by widening their searches and advertising themselves industry-wide. However, James Hawkins believes it will be hard to offer his engineering talents to manufacturers in the UK because there are now so few of them. Should he therefore seek work in America?

Need a placement or two?

You don’t see a bus for ages and then two turn up at once. So it is with internship seekers. Placement requests from Kyalo Mwailu and James Hawkins surfaced yesterday.

Hawkins sent his straight to; Mwailu sent his to Ride BMX magazine which duly forwarded it here.

Hawkins is a student at Bristol UWE, currently in the second year of a Mechanical

Engineering degree. He is seeking a placement for the obligatory sandwich year that he needs to spend in ‘industry’.

"I am very interested in cycling, both as a sport and as an engineering challenge, and for this placement I would enjoy very much working for a firm that combined these two interests," said Hawkins.

He would be interested in working in the US but believes the current economic climate across the pond may stifle his plans.

"It has been suggested to me to try and find a willing company that has offices both in the States and in Europe," said Hawkins.

He knows that finding the right company will be hard:

"It seems that most manufacturers now source their products, and so leaving the engineering to someone else."

Hawkins needs to secure a placement by July.

Email him at

Kyalo Mwailu is also a second year student. He’s doing a degree in product design, innovation and marketing at Derby University.

Sucking up to Ride BMX magazine, he wrote:

"I’m sure I’ve read more issues of Ride than chapters in my marketing text book!"

However, he claims he’s "bright" and "enthusiastic" and is seeking a placement with a BMX company to commence in September.

"As I’m sure you guys can understand," Mwailu said to Ride BMX, "my degree is one thing and BMX another. Linking the two together would be ideal for my placement."

He can be contacted at

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