I have enjoyed work at British american tobacco i had a developed a whole new skill set of both hard and soft skill as well as technical lab based skill that i would never had the opportunity to achieve just at uni. One of the real perks is that BAT take a large number of students so
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I was treated as a member of the team and not a temp or just a student. I was given lots of opportunity to see different parts of the company not just my department. My team gave me a lot of support and were always happy to answer my question.
Every piece of work that i had to hand in for my university was tripled checked by my manger before i handed it in. I had weekly meetings with my manger to plan and review the week so always knew what work focus was. I also had mentor in a completely different department that i would meet for monthly just to check in and have catch up about my progress.
Once my primary project had started I had more then enough work that i was busy from nine to five every day. however there were quieter periods around holiday time were there was more free time where the work load was significantly reduced and the days were no longer busy.
For my primary project i did everything independently and only used my manger as a sounding board and for advice. This included all the background work, the lab work and then final report and write up that was necessary to complete for my project. i was also responsible for covering a walk up service for other departments
The specific laboratory skill and hard and soft skills set of training that I have acquired has put me head and shoulder above students that didn't take a placement year. This will make me more employable in comparison but will also give me an advantage for when i complete my final year lab based project.
The atmosphere is very professional but also very friendly. there is a very strong work ethic employed by my colleague which at times can come across as intimidating from an external view point. I wouldn't describe its a party atmosphere but it is welcoming for instant they eat lunch together everyday in the canteen.
Very well organised that invited us to southampton for induction day to meet our manger and our team and also paid for us to stay over night in a hotel to allow us time to find a house to live in for the year. they also but us in contact with one another so we could make housing arrangements. and a very useful welcoming pack about the company and the placement that had pretty much all the information that was needed.
CV and interview workshops, Presentation skill workshop, 1 week long minitab training, external conferences in london and continual internal workshops and talks. organizing problem solving workshops. Abstract and Poster presentation workshop as well as the opportunity to present them. BAT have planned through out the year lots of actives to develop our soft and hard skills.
there is strong sense of once your in the company its very easy to move within department to broaden your experiences also as its such a global company there is a lot of chance of travel and working abroad. There also a broad range of role and department so your not restricted to one area of interest
As there was a total of 11 placement student you inherently had friends that were from a similar background and ages as you to become friends with and to live with. We usually go on night as well as trips to cinema and to new forest in the evening or on weekends.
Food and weekly shops are fairly cheap as you have shops like ASDA, Lidl and aldi that are on the lower price range and also shops like waitrose and M&S on the higer price range. There are 2 shopping center in town center and multiple cinemas as well as bowling alleys
As Southampton have two university there is a good social night life. there is there more student central and cheaper area or Portwood or the more expensive alternative of Bedford place that has wide range of pub, clubs and restaurants. also has good train links to you can be in London in 1 hour and 20 mins on the train
You would have to proactive in your search of activites there oppertunity to join local netball, rugby, football and squash teams which are all independent of work. as Southampton is surrounding by lots of good transport links its easy to go visit the new forrest, isle of while, bournmouth and portmouth