1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Good social life, challenging work experiences, opportunities always available, fantastic exposure to management and site experience
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
By the end of the year I was running my own project so definitely felt valued by colleagues
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support was there whenever I wanted it
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Through the year my responsibilities grew and I became busier and busier
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Given lots of responsibilities such as field work inspections, running projects, meeting contractors and customers
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Greatly developed project management and soft skills. Improved technical training and understanding of processes.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It was an open plan office with a good atmosphere, everyone got on and was happy to answer any questions. Meeting rooms and 'break out' rooms always available to set up meetings with people. I attended quite a few team building meals and entertaining evenings. The highlights were the intercompany sports weekend (even though we lost the football!) and the Christmas do.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Pretty well organised, HR were good at introducing me to my supervisor and manager. I was also assigned a buddy for any personal questions or questions I didn't want to ask my manager. We set up placement objectives which were periodically reviewed and steered some of the focus for my workload. I also gave a final presentation to HR and management.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Initially I was given lots of online training modules specific to my role for the year. This gave me a very good insight to the company, processes and technology of the company. I also received classroom training provided internally by the company. I would say the greatest training and investment I received was the opportunities to travel and site experience I received during some very high profile project executions.
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 definitely come back on the graduate scheme, it ticks all of my boxes in terms of rotating assignments that I am able to choose and support with IMechE chartership. There is a encouraging strong history of placement students being asked to return to the graduate scheme. This is a fast track process so no need for an interview or assessment centre!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes there were 3 fellow placement year students and also 4 summer students. We hung out often at lunch and sat with all of the graduates. We had a council for all of the young developing engineers which I was asked to join. Regular social events throughout the year were provided in additional to my department events. I particular enjoyed going to the horse racing and nights out in London.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I commuted a long distance to work due to personal reasons so I actually saved a lot of money staying home with my parents. Otherwise the rent in this area of Surrey was around £500-700 per calendar month. Socialising was more expensive also around the outskirts of London, but was worth it. Especially when managers generously offer to pay for things.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
In the small area where our office is based there is virtually no nightlife, a couple of pubs and restaurants but that's it. About a 5 min drive or one stop down the train line was much better. Around the outskirts of London it is very easy to get the train further in where nightlife is very good. Plenty of times we went into Wimbledon which was always a good night.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes as previously mentioned, I was involved on the young engineers council which gave me the opportunity to go to all of the social events which were even partly subsidised by the company. There is also an on site gym which is very handy. Many sports clubs are active over lunchtime and after work. The company attends a yearly intercompany sports weekend which is very good fun.