I work to develop an open source software project used by Scientist to analyse data from experiments at various large laboratories around the world. I specifically work for the scientists are Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Oxford)
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
STFC is a great place to work and the opportunities you are offered here are fantastic. Make sure to make full use of all the facilities and opportunities you are offered here!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was quickly integrated into the team who are all very friendly and helpful people and are almost always happy to give up their time to lend a hand if you ask.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The support you require is always there if you require but you do have to make sure to ask for it yourself.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was kept rather busy every day (some days seemed slightly too busy) but there were never points when I had nothing to do!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was in charge of a whole section governing a specific scientific technique. This was very rewarding and there are people to support you with this, but you are very much in charge of your own work section.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The experience gained has been invaluable. For anyone studying computer science with an interest in Physics this is fantastic place to get great academic experience
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It's very much a working environment. Due to the nature of software development it's not always easy to work in a loud environment, although the office can be very quiet at times.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The organisation of the placement was well thought out. The whole placement has a structure and has been planned. The beginning was a little tricky but that is being improved this year as per my suggestions to my line manager!
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
STFC are very happy to send you on training courses you are interested in if they feel they would benefit you at work.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I don't have a job with them as I am still part way through my placement, but I know most previous students are offered a job and the majority accept that offer.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene for the placement student was good although because of the massive staggering of start times between students (almost 3 months in some cases) we mainly had to set up meeting each other ect. ourselves
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living is fine given the salary. The social scene is limited in the immediate area but you are only one stop on the train from Reading and Oxford (if you live in Didcot - closest town)
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
You have to get the train to Oxford or Reading if you want to go out in the evening. If you like spending the whole evening in pubs it's not so bad, but outside of Reading and Oxford that's your only choice for night life.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not so many activities to do outside of work (without travelling to Reading/Oxford) but the recreational society at work has many opportunities and there are some activities in the surrounding towns.