Engineering Intern at Newcastle Site for GE Oil and Gas
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I found the placement to be interesting and challenging. The work I was given was varied and also tested me in multiple areas simultaneously. However, on a few occasions, I found myself with only one task to do and so I could find myself waiting on being given new tasks. That being said, when I did have multiple tasks at once, they were engaging and enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt that most of the staff here tried hard to include myself and make me feel one of the team. I was given most of my work form one particular engineer that went out of his way to find me things to do. I found this to be extremely helpful. However some team members seemed to avoid giving me work due to my inexperience which is understandable.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I felt that I was given more guidance from other team members as apposed to receiving it from my supervisor. This was fine in most respects however I also felt that my supervisor didn't really know what I was working on. But due to being able to talk with other members of the team, I didn't feel lost at any point.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
On a day to day basis I was usually busy. Whether that was me working on multiple little jobs or one big project. However there could be some days where you had finished your tasks and so you were just waiting to be assigned a new one. But when I did have work, it kept me occupied.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I felt that I wasn't given a great deal of responsibility when it came to most of the tasks I was working on. However, I appreciate that this was due to the nature of the business in that things not done correctly or to a top standard can results in injury or even deaths. However, there was one particular project I worked on that I felt I had a lot of responsibility on.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I would say the skills I have learnt will massively help me when I return to university. They will help my in my 3rd year and then I can see them helping even more in my masters year. This has been the best part of the placement as I feel I have gained skills that cannot be taught at uni.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere was fun and friendly. The other people in the office were always more than happy to help which is a big bonus for an intern who doesn't know the business. Also, it was a fun environment to work. It wasn't work work work all the time. People took time out to be friendly.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The GE site I was positioned at had never had an engineering intern before. Because of this, I felt like they were testing the water with having an intern. In some respects, it felt as though they didn't know what to expect from an intern and I didn't know what to expect from a placement. However, I feel they still managed to give me good tasks and I also feel that any future interns placed here will benefit more.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
In terms of training, the company did not provide any intern specific training. There was always numerous webcasts on different topics which I always chose to attend to gain more information on the company. However, for site specific learning, it was more a case of asking other members of staff for assistance.
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 would enjoy working for GE in the future but at a different site as the area my site is in is not what I want to go into in the future. I think the benefits of working for GE are some of the best I have heard of, especially when talking to my university friends that are on placements in other companies.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The people in the office regularly went out on weekends and I was always invited. There is also a Sports and Social group at my GE site which hosted activities such as days at the races, christmas parties and paintballing. I really enjoyed socializing outside work as it was a good way to network.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Due to attending university in the area where my internship was based, I knew the area quite well and also did a house share with my uni friends. This made it a pretty cheap year for me. However if you didn't have this knowledge, you could still find cheap accommodation. I was based in Newcastle which is a lot cheaper than working in London sites. Also very cheap to socialize in the surrounding area.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was really good. The Newcastle site I was based at was close to the city centre and so you could still experience student nights out which are always cheap and fun. I also went on nights out with people from work which were just as fun and introduced me to bars I'd not heard of before.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Every week we received a newsletter with events the sports and social club had organised, with "keep fit" activities you could take part in and it even told you about local gyms/activity centres that you could get discount at. I could have done something through work every weekend if I had wanted to.