In this role I am working within a small team of people tasked with upgrading existing systems for a third party customer. My role involves liaising with the customer and users of the system to develop requirements along with successfully implementing these changes into the existing system through the use of configuration management and an agile work style.
My placement has been enjoyable form the point of view that I have been able to put into practice the skills and qualities that I have learned at university. The site and people in particular are very welcoming and friendly, being a smaller site is also doesn't take long to get to know people and become acquainted.
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My colleagues have been very supportive throughout my placement and have helped to guide me in understanding my work and developing as an engineer. I am given real work to complete that has a real impact on the project. This all contributes to feeling genuinely valued by my colleagues and has allowed me to extend my contract for an extra 2 months.
At the beginning of my placement my manager asked what I wanted to get out of the placement and from there we were able to decide what the best area were for me to get to work on. throughout my placement I have been given feedback by my colleagues and managers and this has been genuinely useful in improving my skills.
due to the nature of the project the work rate has ebbed and flowed but on the whole the pace and quantity of work provided to me has meant that I have never felt overwhelmed with work whilst at the same time I have never had nothing to do. being put to work from the start and getting to grips with the project allowed me to get to work quickly and not feel like a spare part.
to my surprise i was given a significant amount of responsibility during my placement. these included preparing and delivering documents to customers, liaising with them on a regular basis and also presenting designs and solutions and ensuring that the feedback from this presentation was implemented into the existing design. This was probably the most impressive aspect of the placement.
the skills i have learned during my placement year will be invaluable in my final years of study and will put me at an advantage when looking for graduate positions and further into my career. I feel better prepared heading into my final two years of university knowing what I now know, much of this knowledge has been gained purely from my placement.
the office atmosphere was friendly and laidback, everyone gets on well and people are free to work how they choose. The site in general is smaller than many BAE Systems sites but I feel that this contributes to a more relaxed and friendly feeling, there are also other graduates and internship students within the company so there are plenty of people to talk to.
the work placement was arranged very well in general. On my first day everything was set up and ready for me so there was no unnecessary waiting around, throughout the year there hasn't been a single issue caused by being on placement. In this aspect I have been very impressed with the company and it's a good omen for the future.
BAE Systems were very keen to invest in my personal training and development from the start of my placement. Almost immediately I was offered the chance to attend a training course for specialist software which has been incredibly helpful throughout the year. The company also has a well stocked intranet page where you can take online courses.
I am currently a sponsored student for the company meaning that they will contribute a small amount towards my living costs for my final two years of study as well as offering me a placement between parts C and D of my degree course. On completion of my degree I have the option of joining the companies graduate scheme as well, provided I meet the necessary criteria.
given the number of interns and graduates at what is a relatively small site there has been a good social scene amongst everyone, the graduates were very welcoming at the start of my placement and the company uses a buddy scheme to ensure that all placement students settle in well, the grads also organise things to do after work in the first week or so.
during my placement I lived at home which was a while away from the site so I can't comment on the cost of living in the area, in terms of socialising there are plenty of places to eat and drink so at the beginning of my placement this was a good way to get to know fellow students, it depended where you went in the surrounding area though Bournemouth was always pretty good value.
Given the site is located very close to Bournemouth the nightlife was very good, being so close to another university mean that it was easy to meet people my age also studying at university. As previously mentioned the surrounding areas had plenty of places to visit during an evening and on weekends
There were plenty of opportunities presented to us by fellow students and members of the graduate schemes, being near the sea there was quite a strong sailing community on the site and also a rowing club. the company also ran a lunchtime fitness club that was free to get involved. Bournemouth is a big enough place to stay entertained, it's really what you make of it.