1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at BAE Systems. I have gained an insight into the FCAS department, MAI business and commercial department as a whole. The chance to work within the FCAS department has been fascinating, and the commercial team has always provided me with meaningful and interesting tasks to complete and been on hand to provide support should it be required.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues would regularly seek my comments and opinions on tasks that we were working on. The work that I have been tasked with has been proved useful to team members working on projects and my team would often delegate me specific tasks from a wide variety of projects, this was helpful in gaining an understanding of the industry and FCAS department. The team were very accommodating and always made an effort to include me in activities both in and out of the office.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Initially my manger placed me to work with one of the commercial graduates in the office. This proved extremely valuable and they were always free to answer questions and provide guidance. This also provided further opportunities of being involved with their work helping to gain an understanding of what the commercial role entails as well as completing my own tasks. My manager was also very supportive and always made time for me, they were always in daily contact with me to ask how I was doing and if I had enough work.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
When I initially started I was given some longer term projects to complete before the end of my internship. However during the course of the 12 weeks my manager started to delegate specific packages of work to complete alongside the longer term projects. Consequently I found myself fairly busy on a daily basis and there were very few occasions where I had little to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Due to the nature of the work and the fact that I was only in the business for 12 weeks it would clearly be difficult to give me large amounts of responsibility. However my manager provided me my own individual projects to manage and present to the team which I would ultimately be responsible for.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Gaining an insight into the commercial department of such a large company has helped to shape my future career aspirations after I have graduated from university. The placement itself has also helped to improve my communication, team working and time management skills as well as gaining an understanding of the workings of the commercial department and defence industry.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was very friendly and the team made a lot of effort to make me feel welcome. The team I was working with were very sociable and talkative which made for a pleasant working environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was fairly well organised, a lot of information was provided before I started the internship and there was a one day induction on the first day of employment. This was useful as it gave the opportunity to meet fellow interns and gave an introduction to the organisation. All interns were assigned a graduate ‘buddy’ who was on hand to answer any questions that you had. Two intern workshops were also organised where you had the opportunity to provide feedback to HR on your experiences and general running of the scheme.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were some mandatory training that had to be undertaken and there were various training courses that could be undertaken. The company also laid on various tours of the site that provided the opportunity to view the wind tunnels, flight simulators and assembly operations. This provided the opportunity to see other areas of the business that was greatly appreciated.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
At the end of your placement you are given a rating in relation to the achievement of your objectives that are assigned to you by your manager at the start of the internship. If you achieve the top two levels then you can fast track to the assessment centre of the GDF after completing the initial application form. If you wish to apply for the Sigma Leadership scheme however you are not fast tracked and have to go through the application process similar to any other applicant. I believe that organisation is a great company to work for, the work is very interesting and the company looks to offer numerous opportunities to its employees throughout their time in the business.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were a few social events such as bowling, 5 a side football, climbing and various nights out that took place, the interns would also regularly meet for lunch with one another.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I commuted from home for the internship, however the cost of living in Preston is fairly reasonable compared with other areas of the country.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Preston is fairly average compared with other areas. You are around a 40 minute train journey from Manchester/Liverpool where there is a much more vibrant nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were opportunities outside of work with both the team and other interns. The team would regularly go for a pub lunch which provided opportunities to get to know other people in the office. The interns also made an effort to organise activities outside of work such as 5 a-side football, hiking and bowling.