OrthoKit Operations Analyst working in the supply chain for DePuy Synthes, an orthopaedic company working under Johnson and Johnson in the medical devices side of the business
I really enjoyed my placement. Friendly atmosphere to work and i felt as though the work i carried out was valuable to the company. I got to experience different aspects of the company through working in the supply chain and even went on a couple of trips to Stockholm which was a fantastic experience. The amount of work was challenging but not excessive so i was very rarely stressed.
I felt very valued by my colleagues. The management team were very inclusive and we were always involved in social plans such as going out to dinner or lunch. The warehouse operatives were very friendly and appreciated the work i did to try and simplify processes. I had a very good relationship with my manager who would often ask me to look into creating spreadsheets or extracting data from the systems we use.
My relationship with my line manager was very good. I shared an office with him so i was able to to speak to him privately and he was always around to offer support. The rest of the management team were very supportive and actively sought to help develop my skills whether this was through additional training or going to other sites to experience all aspects of the business.
My workload varied throughout the year. When i first started, my line manager was off sick for an extended period of time so i struggled to find things to do. I have reports to run every day which usually keep me busy till lunch time. Once i began to know the systems better, my workload increased as colleagues would ask me to do more things. The end of the period was usually busy with lots of reports to run. I could pick and choose different projects to get involved with depending on how busy i was and had a couple of long-term projects i could always go back to if it was quiet. The last month was fairly quiet as there was less opportunity to get involved with projects because i was finishing.
I was given plenty of responsibility during my placement. At times when different managers were away, i could be left in my office unsupervised and i was trusted to keep myself busy. I also took on a packaging swap out project where i was in charge of a team of 3 warehouse operatives. I provided them with work instructions and spreadsheet templates at the start of the project and then dealt with any queries during the project. I was also responsible for communicating with suppliers and raised plenty of orders when we needed new stock.
I was sent on an excel training course when i first started my placement which has supplemented my own learning. I now feel very confident about using excel when it comes to my dissertation. My time management has developed greatly as i often had to organise my time to reach deadlines. I have developed my communication skills, particularly my email communications where i feel i am much more professional. I have also learnt to simplify my explanations when talking to people from different backgrounds where english may not be their first language. I have developed my skills on systems such as JDE 812 and SAP which will certainly benefit me in my professional career. I think my work ethic has also improved which i feel will benefit me in my final year at university. I am used to working 9 till 5 which i hope to transfer to the library next year.
The general atmosphere was very upbeat and friendly. Everyone talks to everyone and there was lots of joking and banter. People took a general interest in my social or personal life and i met up with people outside of work. We would have a lot of conversations whilst working and the atmosphere was never tense. We also listened to the radio during work.
We had clear roles set out when we first started and had a month crossover period with the previous student so they could teach us the day to day jobs. All of the placements had product training when we first started. It took a while to get access to a network logon and system access when we started. As a placement student, there is very little chance to progress to a graduate role. Only one manager has mentioned trying to get on to the supply chain graduate scheme. The other placements feel the same and there has been no mention of any of us returning to the company once we finish university. I would have thought at the very least we would be fast-tracked through the application process but there has been no mention of any kind of grad roles
The company paid for me to go on an excel course when i first started and said they would pay for me to do other training if it would benefit me. I was also sent out to Stockholm a couple of times where my expenses were all paid for. This was very beneficial and a great experience. People would also invest their time to show me new things which was helpful.
There are a few of the graduate schemes which i have briefly looked in to which sound very interesting. There are a number of previous placement students who now work for the company although they have not entered through graduate schemes. I would love to stay within the company because it has plenty of benefits. However, there has been very little mention of future opportunities.
Yes there was a very good social scene. We had a network of students working up in leeds. Most of us chose to live together so we were working the same hours and then socialising together. We have been on lots of nights out together. I have socialised with lots of colleagues this year whether through playing football or going out together. I am also going on a football trip in July with colleagues which the company has paid for. We socialise with people from the office down the road as well.
The cost of living isn't too bad because i live in the student area. Our rent was therefore cheap because we were in a student house. However i have saved no money this year because i spent more money on the weekends and in the evenings to make the most out of my free time. You socialise with colleagues which makes you more inclined to spend the same amount of money as them when you are out. A more competitive salary would certainly make the placement a better experience.
The Nightlife in leeds is second to none. There are plenty of places to go out in the town centre as well as in Headingley.
We play football every weeks and I am going on a trip to play football in Krakow in July. There are lots of charity events organised such as a bike ride which the student community participated in.