This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
I enjoyed my placement very much because of the interesting nature of the work and the friendly atmosphere of the office. Everyone was happy to help in any way and I worked on a project that was moving fast and kept me on my toes. I also believe I have developed a lot both professionally and personally.
I felt valued by my colleagues. They were always interested to hear my opinion and treated me as one of the team for my time at the company. My work was also used for the most part and will be part of a vehicle in the future which is a real treat.
I was given support and guidance well above what I was expecting. I had a unique experience whereby my line manager was also my corporate buddy. This is not the norm in the business but was a consequence of the project I was working on. Despite initial concerns about the mechanics of the relationship I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked out for me.
It varied as any job would but due to the nature of my project, which was very fast moving, I was more often than not working hard for most of the day with a lot to do. Some days were the opposite but you can’t ever achieve a perfect balance in my opinion. I also preferred that I was exposed to a busy work schedule as I feel this aided my development as a future professional engineer.
I was responsible for a lot of the design work and other key areas of moving the project forward. I was also trusted to set up meetings and talk with suppliers about component quotation. I was never involved with running the team or tasks as could be expected but I did offer guidance to new starters and apprentices while I was with the company.
The skills I developed will be very useful to me for my degree and beyond. I am very happy with how much I have developed and I received a little training to aid that development. There was not too much in terms of formal training but again, for an internship this is not to be expected. The “on the job” training and skills developed however were plentiful and important.
The general atmosphere in the office was good and friendly. I felt like I could chat to my peers provided I did my work and didn’t take it too far. I was sitting with my team so there was always conversing about the work which was nice as so not to be working in silence for hours.
The internship was well organised overall I feel. Day to day organisation from my manager was very good and I was never left without direction. The placement could have had more structure and the timing of things was sometimes questionable. For an example I found out the details of the grading criteria of the placement in the tail end of my time with the company which was not ideal.
I wouldn’t say there was too much in the terms of formal investment in myself by the company. I definitely learned a lot and developed personally and professionally due to the placement but this was from day to day work rather than formal training. There was no opportunity to receive a conditional offer of a place on the graduate scheme which a lot of other companies do either but there is a fast track application option if you perform well in the placement.
Future prospects with BAE Systems are very appealing to me and I will be definitely applying to the graduate scheme the coming year when I graduate. As the largest employer of graduate engineers in the UK, there are lots of opportunities within the business and the field itself is very exciting and interesting.
Fellow placement students and colleagues were very friendly and made my time with the company very enjoyable. Unfortunately, due to where the company is in Telford it is hard to organise out of office events. I have done a couple of meet-ups outside of work but there is not really scope for a routine social life with people at the company. This, again, is quite a personal experience as I commuted far to work so I could not easily go out for drinks with people from work.
Cost of living in Telford is quite reasonable. Socialising, as previously stated, is difficult in the area but things are organised every now and then. Telford also has awkward transport routes, especially for public transport so that is a slight inconvenience for people who don’t drive. Telford itself is a nice and modern town with lots of greenery.
I can’t comment on the night life too much as I did not partake in any. It is not easy to organise around Telford and I am not sure if there are many places to go. This did not pose a problem for me as I was travelling back to Birmingham every night so never had the opportunity or need to go out in Telford.
There were not many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work for me. I think if you live locally you could organise things with colleagues but it is more difficult than elsewhere in the country. People at the office do partake in a lot of sporting activities and I’m sure that had I asked, they would be very welcoming to me joining them.
Internship (1-4 Months)
16th September 2015