I enjoyed my placement year very much, despite having some struggles and having to adjust to being in a working environment I am glad I chose this placement. It was quite a big change for me, moving from a university environment to a global company but my colleagues were very kind and helped me to adjust well into my placement.
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I felt very valued by all my colleagues from other interns to line managers and senior management. Eaton is very good for giving interns a full working experience, and I felt a sense of involvement and responsibility throughout my internship. I have gained many skills and hands on experiences that I can take on with me into the future, which I wouldn’t have gotten if I wasn’t given such a feeling of respect and value.
I was given a lot of support and encouragement from both my direct line manager and the other managers and colleagues in the company. Throughout the year my manager and I would have weekly Monday meetings, where we could track my progress, the work I am doing and if I need help with anything. Along with these meetings we were also made very aware that we had different people we could reach out to if we ever needed extra help or needed to talk in private.
On a daily basis I always had work to do, some weeks were very busy and others were a little more slow moving but I was always giving the opportunity to work on different projects. I was given four major projects that I would work on over the year so that always helped me fill up any spare time and along with that I was always working on ad-hac projects that would come up over the year. Along with that I also had daily tasks that needed to be worked on regularly.
Over the year I was given a lot of responsibility, I have been given the opportunity to manage projects independently and create work that will be used in Eaton sites around the world. Such as when I project managed the rebranding of an entire Eaton site, working to ensure all the artwork in the site was on brand and of a high standard.
Eaton was very good in providing training, we had many different training days over the year for a variety of courses. Excel skills, time management and presentation skills are just a few of the training courses we received. I have learnt a great deal of functional and technical knowledge that I didn’t have prior to this placement, and I know I will be able to implement these skills into my final year modules and even on beyond that.
The general atmosphere in the office was very good, when I first started the internship everyone worked to make sure I felt comfortable and involved. Everybody in the office interacts and is very friendly. It was something I was scared about before started my placement but I am definitely very happy with the atmosphere in my office. We also have many social activities and events that work to increase the working atmosphere, such as running club and Christmas events.
I feel that the placement was well organized, I was always kept well informed of any changes I needed to be aware of and any announcements or updates. within my site we had a quarterly newsletter that works to keep us up to date with what is going on in the office, there is also a divisional newsletter that kept us up to date on the rest of the sites within the life safety division.
Eaton invested a great deal into my personal training and development, we were given a very generous about of training days over the year that have definitely been beneficial for my personal development. Time management, excel training and presentation skills are the training courses I feel were the more beneficial for me over the year. I feel I have grown in confidence when I am required to give presentations, especially in front of senior management and I know that this will be beneficial in my final year of university and when I go on to get a graduate job.
Eaton offers a graduate scheme and a direct hire scheme, however as I would like to do a master’s degree it is not something I am looking into now, however in the future I feel that Eaton's employment prospects are something I would consider later on as they are quite appealing.
Yes there was a good social scene amongst my fellow interns and other colleagues. There were many interns across different sites and we all interact which helps to give a sense of involvement. Amongst the placement students at my site, we often hang out and do other social activities outside of the office. Such as going for dinner, or to watch football matches.
Living in Wales is significantly less expensive than Birmingham or London, which was very beneficial for me. I lived with four other interns at my site and we found an inexpensive house to share, the bills were not over 55 pounds each month which was also very affordable. When we wanted to socialize we would always get a train down to Cardiff which was only about a 3 pound train ride so very cheap. All in all I think Newport is a very affordable place to live.
There was not much night life in Cwmbran where my office is and Newport where I lived, however Cardiff is about twenty minutes away from me, and only costs about three pounds to get there. Cardiff has a very good night life, with a lot of different variety clubs and pubs to go to so there is something there for everyone. Bristol is also quite close so that is another place one could go for a good night out.
There were many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work, there are two football clubs running, one on a Monday and one on a Tuesday. On Wednesday there is a running club and on Friday afternoons people often go to the local pub for a drink or to grab something to eat. There is also a walking club that goes on long walks to different locations.