This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
Overall I enjoyed my internship. I found the work both interesting and technically challenging. The work I had allowed me top use a lot of the theory I had learnt at university which I really enjoyed. I enjoyed being given 'real' work that made a tangible difference to the team I was working in. I also liked completing some useful work on projects that the team I was in were working on.
In general I felt valued by my colleagues. There were times when I put a lot of effort into a piece of work and it didn't get acknowledged but on the whole the immediate team appreciated the work I was doing. Some more feedback and enthusiasm from the team in the work I was doing would have been good but overall I felt the work I was doing made a difference.
I feel the support I was given was near perfect. I was able to ask any questions to any of team easily and had weekly update meetings with my manager and with my supervisors for my projects. These really helped keep the projects to scope, allowed me to bring up any issues and gave me an opportunity to present the progress I had made in the previous week.
Day to day I was fairly busy. A lot of the projects I was working on were ongoing with a lot of independent work which meant I had to find work to keep myself busy. There were a few occasions were I found myself too busy and had to ask for extensions on deadlines for certain pieces of work but on the whole I found that the work struck a good balance between being busy and quiet.
I felt that I was given a fair amount of responsibility in my internship. I was trusted to produce technical calculation tools, in these I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of free reign over the task I was given. However I feel I could have been given some slightly bigger projects which carried a greater responsibility with them.
I was able to use and expand upon the technical engineering knowledge which I had developed over the first 2 years of my degree which I really enjoyed. Before the internship I was able to ask for projects specific to my module choices for the next year, this helped develop my knowledge around these areas and will certainly help me in the next year of my degree. I was also able to develop soft skills such as communication and presenting which aren't covered so much in my degree.
There was a good, professional working atmosphere in the office which was really good. Each staff member was really easy to approach including the more senior managers. The younger members of staff were really easy to get on with. Sometimes it was a bit quiet in the office but this lent itself to be a good time to get on with some serious work.
This was possibly the best aspect of the internship. All email access, login and security details were sorted before we arrived. I was able to email my manager to choose projects specific to my interests before I arrived which was really useful and made the internship so much better. The whole team were really behind the internship and did everything they could to organize great projects and ensure that the internship ran smoothly.
The members of my immediate team gave up a lot of their work time to help me out with project work and talk me through anything if I didn't understand it. There was little formal training given other then a few quick inductions and some online based training and tests. The first day induction was good as it involved a short visit to a local site which gave an excellent insight into the operational side of the company.
Sports and Social Club
Overall the work within the company is great. from what I've seen the employees have interesting and varied work to do every day and I never once heard anyone complaining about the work. The graduate scheme seems very well set up and there are a lot of opportunities to change departments and try different things. However personally the location could be better in terms of going out, cost of living and getting to nice countryside easier.
Yes, there was a social organised by the recent graduates in the company almost every week. There was also a weekly meal out on a Thursday with the other placement students which was a good time to catch up and get to know each other a bit better. We also had a couple of nights out organised with the placement students which were a lot of fun.
The cost of drinks when going out was pretty pricey but that comes with being near London. Rent prices in the area are pretty expensive compared to the north of the country, again this comes with being close to London. That said there was never a time when I couldn't afford to go on a night out or social. Overall I'd say the cost of living and socialising was fairly high but not too ridiculous.
Locally there is very little in the way of nightlife however the local pubs are good if a bit expensive by my standards. London itself isn't too far away on the train and can be done for a night out with a bit of planning. Alternatively Surbiton, Wimbledon and Clapham are pretty close and have a good selection of pubs, bars and a couple of clubs, they're good fun but aren't very cheap.
Yes, the graduates organised a camping trip to Cheddar in Somerset which was great fun despite the weather. Every week there was a social on or something to do outside of work. A particular highlight was a trip to the horse races at Sanddown which is only a 5 minute drive away. Twickenham is pretty close and trips to see the rugby are often organised.
Internship (1-4 Months)