As a supply chain inter I mainly dealt with sourcing and purchasing.
The people in the office were friendly and helpful and this made work mostly enjoyable. As an intern, you are not given the "fun" work, but tend to do some monotonous tasks, which others prefer not to do, and this can make the day long. However, the work you are given is real work, not fluff, and that was something I was looking for in a placement.
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People at Eaton valued my contributions and often would ask my to assist them in various projects/tasks. It really made the placement more enjoyable having respectful and fun people with whom to work. I seldom asked to do the work no one wants to do and even then, I knew those tasks were still important to the business.
The Eaton program is set up in a way to ensure you receive support from management and supervisors through quarterly reviews and worksheets before and after training days. This structure really helped to provide feedback and support. I could always get help by asking for it, but help was rarely offered.
This is a difficult question to answer as at times during the year I had a perfect amount of work, while for the last few months of placement I had way too little work resulting in boredom. Although I repeatedly requested more work, this never materialized. I was also prevented from working with other departments, which I wanted to do to maximize my experience, and I feel this stunted the growth I could have had otherwise.
I was surprised, impressed and pleased at the amount of responsibility I had during my placement. I was fully in charge of several aspects of my standard work and felt this really made me part of the business. I was trusted to the right thing and manage my work effectively, even on things that could effect business metrics.
The Eaton program provides a great deal of training, which I really appreciated and put into practise. Not only is training available specifically for Interns, but as an Eaton employee there is a lot of training available for you to partake in. Obviously just being in a placement provides many skills which are unattainable through any method but practise and experience and these will be invaluable going forward.
The people in the office were pleasant and friendly and the atmosphere wasn't intimidating or unpleasant. We didn't have many social events or "fun" events (though there was one secret santa which was fun) as I believe most people are too busy working to partake in fun events even if they were offered. In addition any events held by the company in an attempt to enliven the site were often poorly attended.
I believe the general format of the placement was set up rather well, though needs some tweaking. There were some great training days offered, however the order wasn't the best so you were learning some things 6 months into placement which would have been better to learn in the first 2 months. Over the course of my year in placement, the business went through many program managers and I believe this negatively impacted the experience I had as various tasks were left by the wayside in the confusion such as feedback on quarterly reports which we had to submit. Overall however I believe in a different year under a single intern program manager, I would have rated this more highly.
There was a great deal of training and development offered. We monthly training days for interns during the first 5 months of placement and various after that. There was a lot of development planning done and review to make sure we were keeping on track and this was very useful. There were also many opportunities to participate in other trainings offered to the whole company.
Although there are many positives about the company, I don't see a future as an employee there. This is partly due to the industry the company is involved in as well as the company itself. The extremely process driven style employed by Eaton does not appeal to me for a future career.
As the interns were scattered across various sites there was very little camaraderie between us. We did meet for training days, but this was once a month or less. I was lucky to be placed in a site with 5 interns in total, however other sites only had 1 or 2 and they were on their own. The average age of colleagues was quite old, so there were very few people located on site who were close to my age.
Coming from the London area I was surprised at how high the cost of living was in Fareham. The cost of transport was extremely high (£3.10 for a single bus ride or £10.00-£15.00 for a 3 mile taxi). Social activities were marginally cheaper, but not nearly as cheap as I had thought or hoped they would be.
The nightlife in Portsmouth or Southampton was quite decent, though these were 10 miles at least from Fareham. Fareham itself had quite a few pubs, but nothing too exciting or special. Portsmouth and Southampton both have universities so there is quite a good student life there.
There weren't too many extracurricular activities outside of work. There was a football club and a few exercise classes at work though after work hours, but no other real activities. There about 4 charity activities held outside of work hours during the year, which you could pay to attend such as a charity golf or horse race.