12 week placement at BAE Systems Warton working within Typhoon General Systems.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement at BAE Systems Warton. I was put into the role of Systems Engineering although I study aero-mechanical engineering which was a bit of a surprise. However the team were incredibly welcoming and took time to explain everything. I was able to do a wide range of tasks which gave a good overview of what is required of a systems engineer. The organisation of the internship could have been better as I didn't know my role until the morning I was entering the office.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The team I was entering was under resourced at the time and so I think that during the first few weeks I did not have as much to do, however after I got more to do I was able to add positive value and from the feedback the team were happy with my work and comfortable in leaving me to get on with the tasks without needing constant assistance. I was given real and important work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was allowed to get on with my work whenever independently but if I ever needed assistance they were always more than happy to give me a hand either immediately or when they next had a spare minute if the problem wasn't urgent. At the beginning I was given a thorough run through of what was required and we talked through how to best tackle the task however as time went on the support and guidance was still there but less and less was needed.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Due to the team being a bit depleted when I started at the beginning there was some hours in the day in which I was waiting on the next time, but I was able to do other things in this time e.g. IT training. After the initial few weeks I was kept busy for the rest of the time, right up until the last day.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As the internship progressed I was given more responsibility. At the beginning all the work I carried out was went through with my manager where he explained what was good/bad and where I could improve. By the end some of the work I generated was sent straight to the section leader for review without one to one reviews with my line manager. I think for my knowledge and skills the responsibility I was given was appropriate.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I developed in terms of personal development have been improved and will be able to be put into use both in university but also in my future career. In terms of engineering skills as my role was not directly related to my degree they were not greatly improved.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was very welcoming in the office. As it was an open plan office a few people would walk by and have a chat and were interested in hearing what I was doing and were happy to talk about there roles. On the first day I was walked around the office and met some people who were nearby and I would be working with which was helpful.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I felt that the organisation could have been better. We only found out our roles and departments on the morning of entering the job and so could do no research into the area we would be working in. As it was the company's first year using the Success Factors it was understandable that the information on setting objectives and reviews was not readily available, however this did cause a few issues. In terms of life outside the business some interns were told by there buddies of a set of halls that would be suitable, however this was not given to all the interns. Organising a group to try and help with accommodation would make it easier to find accommodation with the other interns.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
A set of objectives were given out to be used as milestones for reviews, however these seemed unobtainable for an intern only working within the company for 12 weeks. In my opinion these should be reworked to give more appropriate goals.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would like to return to the company as the working atmosphere was great and the opportunity to move around th different departments with the graduate scheme is appealing.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
With the high numbers of interns across the two sites (Samlesbury and Warton) there was a great opportunity to meet everyone and organise activities. It would have been helpful if BAE could suggest a set of halls so that we could have been living in the same place. However we were all living relatively near each other and so it was easy to meet up.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living was not too extreme, for my accomodation it was £14 a night as I was staying in short term halls. Preston was not a massive town and so most of the activities were outside of Preston and so we had to pay for petrol or public transport, however this was never extremely expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Never went out in Preston, save for a couple of bars. Most of the socialising was done in someone's flat or we would go for days out to Manchester or the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. The bars that we went to were fine.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
A group of the interns organised activities every week which ranged from rock climbing to ice skating to trips to the Trafford Centre. With putting in a bit of effort there was activities to do outside of work with the other interns.