Jack Williams

Product Development Engineer IP

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Brighton, University of
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • 3M

What was the interview process like?

Enjoyable. After psychometric tests and a telephone interview, successful applicants are invited to an assessment centre. This included interviews, a group exercise, and a presentation. However, from my perspective it was an opportunity to get a taste of 3M to make sure it felt like the sort of company I wanted to work for.

How much responsibility do you have?

I was given the same responsibility as a fully-fledged team member. This was quite daunting at first, but my confidence grew and before I knew it people had forgotten my “student status” and I was able to settle in and find my own niche within the team.

What advice would you give to students applying for your role?

It’s difficult not to state the obvious, but they really do apply. Enthusiasm, teamwork & flexibility. All favourable attributes! Practice and preparation is valued and you will receive credit from the hiring manager. It’s all about the effort I think.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

The variety. 3M is hugely diverse. Being able to experience projects in a vast array of businesses has definitely aided my personal development. 3M has given me a taste of a number of vastly different business sectors and I now have a clearer picture of what I want in the future.

Describe your biggest achievement?

3M runs an annual competition to highlight the ‘IP of the Year’ and I was delighted to win. It is the icing on the cake for a very productive and eventful placement year and something that will no doubt be extremely useful in my career.

How has this experience exceeded your expectations?

I think the most prevalent thing is the responsibility. Being able to work on placement, like I will after graduation provides a real insight into my future career and it’s given me the inspiration and motivation I needed to return to Uni and really hit the ground running.

What is the office atmosphere like?

The offices are open plan, people are approachable and friendly. The atmosphere is centred on promoting a relaxed environment and I’ve always felt at home in the work place.

How promising are the graduate prospects?

The attitude taken is that the placement year is like a yearlong interview. If the student enjoys their stay, and fits in well with the team chances are they will be offered a graduate role. Many of the long serving employees started out as placements students, dating back to the 80’s!

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