1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I found the internship highly enjoyable and learned a lot. The internship provided me with an insight and experience of how industry works that I would certainly not get from education. I was able to witness and be involved in a real, customer requested, programme of work.
I was given a generous amount of time off. Also, at the office where I worked, all employees work on flexible contracts. This gave us some freedom to work when we wanted and allowed for half days on Fridays.
All of the employees in the office were friendly and approachable. Also there were other interns in the office who i could socialise with.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was fortunate to be involved in a programme of work at its beginning. This meant that other members of the team were not yet settled into what the work would involve and how the tasks would be approached. I was able to get up to speed with the work at the same time as them. As a result, my understanding of what we needed to do was at a similar level to theirs and so my input was valued.
Also, I felt that I was given the appropriate amount of credit for the work which I was responsible for.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of support and guidance by my managers and supervisors. My desk was close to theirs and they were very approachable. Whenever I had a query I felt comfortable enough to approach them and ask. My managers were very good in making sure that I was always comfortable with the work I was given and also with the office environment.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were no pre-arranged tasks for me to complete when I joined. This was an advantage as it meant that, when I was given work. It was representative of what a full-time employee would actually do. The work was not something simply designed for an intern. However this meant that, initially, there was very little work for me to do and I was quite bored.
After a few weeks this improved; I was given some real tasks and a reasonable work load.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a fair amount of responsibility. I was allowed to manage my own working hours with “flexi-time.” I also had the opportunity to work on a project that was to be delivered to a real external customer; I designed one of the key deliverables. All of my work was reviewed by senior team members and managers but, as long as I completed it to a high standard, it would actually be delivered to the customer.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have not developed any theory that will help me in my degree. However, I am confident the insight I gained in managing and delivering a project will be useful in the future. The key skills I have learned will help me collaborate with teams in the future. I have learned a lot about communicating and managing documents within a team.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was very welcoming and friendly. All of the employees were approachable and happy to speak to you. It was absolutely fine to walk to another desk and briefly chat with other people. It was also acceptable to listen to music using headphones while you were working. Overall, the atmosphere was very relaxed.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There was good organisation in terms of getting the interns settled into their working environment. We were given laptops and company IDs very quickly. However, the work could have been a little more organised. In the first 3-4 weeks there was very little real work for me to do. I spent most of my time doing quite boring training exercises on my computer.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company offers a variety of free courses based in different locations. There were opportunities to learn programming languages like C++.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects are appealing. There is a clear route back into the business full time if you are interested in coming back after the internship. BAE offer a graduate development scheme to challenge graduates and integrate them into the business after leaving university. Graduates I spoke to who passed through the graduate scheme spoke very highly of it. The say that it offered a good variety of challenges and responsibilities.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, there were other interns of a similar age to me and at a similar stage in their career. There were opportunities to have drinks after work or do other activities. There are also sports you can get involved in with other colleagues in the office. There are also groups who regularly play football or go jogging.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living and socialising was quite standard for a town outside of London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The Nightlife wasn’t great. Apart from a few pubs and restaurants there was not much to do in the evenings. There were not many shops which open late and you would have to travel to Reading or somewhere similar to find much to do. This meant a journey of around 30-40 minutes.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were opportunities to play sports including football. Also there is a group who go jogging together during lunch breaks. People in the office are friendly and if you have an interest which is shared by others it would not be difficult to organise a group of people to get involved.