Novel Materials Engineer at BAT

Top Employer
Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
Southampton South East
Review Date
Salary
£14,000 - £15,999
Roles
Chemistry Consumer Products/FMCG

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BAT is a Top Employer

6.5/10

The Role
7.0
Organisation
6.0

Socialising

6.5

The Role

Role Description

The key role priority is to support the Next Generation Products function by developing novel materials aligned with the pipeline for Tobacco Heating Products (THPs). This will include the identification and optimisation of materials using a variety of lab scale techniques and processes and where appropriate running scale up trials to demonstrate commercial viability.

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

Interesting job with plenty of oppurtunities to try new things and explore new areas not available during my degree. Work is challenging so it is hard to get bored. British American Tobacco provide oppurtunities to enjoy yourself outside of work including team meals, evening events (Bowling etc) and events (christmas party and christmas quiz). As the company has a large in take of industrial placement students there are plenty of people to enjoy the placement with.

7/10

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2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

British American Tobacco provide a very supportive atmosphere where I feel very valued by my colleagues. I am given challenging work with real implications to the business and the teams workstreams. I am brought onto others projects to assist in their completion but I am also giving several of my own projects where I don't experience any 'hand holding'.

9/10

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

Given a good amount of support from my line manager and other senior members of my team. My line manager and I have a weekly meeting where we discuss my plan for the rest of the week and how I am progressing. Upon joining my placement I was assigned a mentor from another team who I could go to raise any issues I may be having without needing to tell my line manager.

8/10

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

Working at British American Tobacco vaires between weeks of being too busy to weeks of not having a lot to do at all. There will be times were a lot is expected of me and I will be required for help by multiple teams while having to also complete my own projects and university work. While there will be times when I have no work at all due to being between projects and asking for work from other members of the department results in boring admin work theuy've been putting off for months.

4/10

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I am given challenging work with real implications to the business and the teams workstreams. I am brought onto others projects to assist in their completion but I am also giving several of my own projects where I don't experience any 'hand holding'. I am responisble for managing my own time. I have to conduct all the planning and I also am required to report my progress eloquently to my team through meetings and presentations.

7/10

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

Improved skills and knowledge, including softer employability skills, and specific technical skills and competencies. Improved understanding of a career in research and development. Networking and development of interpersonal skills. British American Tobacco
provide multiple training oppurtunities including presentation skills, report writing, statistic packages, CV writing and interview skills.

7/10

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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The atmosphere in the office is very relaxed. All the teams are very welcoming and encourage you to inquire into what they are working on and will provide the oppurtunity to try something outside of your function. The atmosphere within the team is also very friendly. When working to ddeadlines the office can be a bit more stressful with people running around with people focused on their own projects. The office can be quite noisy at times due to conversation but can be blocked out using headphones.

6/10

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

The placement is set up extremely well. British American Tobacco. Several employees have taken the role of running the placement scheme which they have done excellently. They set up an induction day before the start of our placement where we had the oppurtunity to meet the previous years students to ask questions, to meet the team we would be working with and to meet the other students on placement. They have also organised plenty of training courses for us to help us develop out soft skills.

10/10

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The company invested very heavily in our personal training. The students are invited to the same training oppurtunitees as other employees including presentation skills, report writing and statistics. They also provided courses that cater to the students needs including CV writing and interview skills. The company also set us a task of organising a speed networking morning with principal scientists. This involved us having to plan the morning (sending invites, booking room, food etc) which gave the students a chance to work on their organising skills. Then during the morning we had the oppurtunity to talk to principal scientists from all departments allowing us to learn more about the businss while working on our networking skills.

5/10

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • Financial Bonus
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Working from home
  • Healthcare/Dental
5/10

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

I believe that the oppurtunity would be open to me after my course. British American Toabcco has many employees who were previous students from the placement scheme. However I would prefer to try a different industry before re-entering research and development.

4/10

Social

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

The social scene is very good at British American Tobacco mainly due to the amount of students taken onto the site. In my year there are eleven students so there is a very good chance you will find people that you get on with very well. There isn't a lot to do in Southampton, there are a few good clubs and some activities like laser tag and bowling. However this is not a huge issue as Portsmouth and Bourmouth are a short train journey away. You could also go for days out in places like Winchester and the New Forest. Socialising with colleagues is also good with dinners and events.

8/10

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

Not that expensive. We live in St. Marys which is £1500 pcm between 5 people. The house had just been renovated and is quite nice to live in however the surrounding area is a bit ruff and there are lot nicer places to live for a similar price. When going for days out in Winchester and the New Forest the cost is substantially higher.

6/10

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

Southampton has quite a few clubs that stay open to about 2-3am. If you like mainstream stuff you can go to Switch, Oceana, Tokyo, Orange room. If you want cheese/pop go to Popworld or Oceana. The closest place you can get to that plays indie music would be Revolution Bar. Portsmouth and Bournmouth both have O2s where you can see live performances like Skepta and Stormzy. There are also oppurtunities for different nightlife experiences such as a bar where you bring your own alcohol where a bartender will make cocktails for you. There's also a place called Playzone where you can drink in a children's play area.

8/10

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

4/10

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