1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall it has been a really enjoyable experience working at Schlumberger's Gould Research Centre (Cambridge). The work is interesting and challenging and the work environment very good, offering lunchtime football, badminton and tennis in addition to the excellent food. There is a large intern population so there is plenty of social events organised.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I feel quite well valued by my colleagues and am invited to team meetings etc where I am expected to contribute and present the work which I have done in the preceding week. There is opportunity to work closely with a wide variety of people and on a fairly wide range of tasks.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The internship programme is well organised and established so the support given to interns by their manager is generally very good. I work closely with my manager, assisting him on many tasks involved in his everyday research and am also in regular contact with his manager as well through team meetings etc.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I have generally been fairly busy on a daily basis although this has varied throughout the year. Initially you start with lots of induction exercises and safety briefings so are very busy, however, after this period there was a slight lull in which the workload decreased whilst I was integrated into the team.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A significant proportion of the work is completed independently, including but not limited to rheological measurements and writing reports etc. Therefore there is a reasonable amount of responsibility given to interns although obviously the general direction of the research is determined by the management.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have developed my knowledge in the area of rheology significantly during the placement, starting from essentially zero experience in this area. Furthemore, there has been plenty of opportunity to learn new things, for example using MATLAB for the first time and using large scale research equipment. The exposure to an industrial research environment also helps develop a wide range of professional skills.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I share an office with two other interns so there is a very relaxed and sociable atmosphere. More widely, people are very sociable at the research centre, often discussing and assisting in each other's work or simply socialising at lunchtime etc. The atmosphere was relaxed with the opportunity to take breaks for hot drinks at your own leisure or to play sport at lunchtimes. There was also an active social club.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was very well organised as Schlumberger have been taking a large number of interns for a long period of time. There is a well developed induction procedure and permanent staff are very accommodating of the interns, valuing their contributions. Overall, most people are quickly integrated into their respective teams and their managers show interest in their work and development.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There is an annual interns day in London in which the interns from each location do a presentation before receiving some training and going to some kind of social event funded by Schlumberger. Managers generally give a significant amount of training to their interns at the start of the placement in order to master the skills required to fulfill their role. Furthermore, Schlumberger will fund you to complete further extra-curricular training courses if deemed necessary.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Schlumberger offer a variety of graduate schemes, all of which sound appealing and offer a very healthy graduate salary.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There is a large intern population at the research centre and therefore the social scene is very good. I lived with five of the other interns so developed friendships quickly and organised lots of events throughout the year. Cambridge is a fairly interesting city, offering a large range of activities although the nightlife is not great.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cambridge is a relatively expensive city but the salary from Schlumberger is very good so it was never a hindrance to socialising.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are quite a few nightclubs in Cambridge but they are not particularly good. On the other hand, me and the other interns still went out regularly and enjoyed it so the location didn't really matter too much.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, the social club and intern group organised lots of events throughout the year.