Chemical Synthesis Placement Student at Lubrizol

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Derby, GBR
Review Date

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Lubrizol is a Top Employer


The Role
The Company
The Culture

Role Description

I worked as a student chemist in the Chemical Synthesis department. I worked in the lab on organic chemistry experiments and research projects developing new products for the company.

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

I have had the best year at Lubrizol and it has surpassed my expectations! Everyone has been so friendly and has made me feel part of the team like any regular employee. The company has great values and the site in Hazelwood is situated in the countryside, which is really beautiful! There are around 20 placement students so you also have a great social life. The canteen is subsidised and the food is amazing, we also have quite a few free buffet lunches! I have learnt so many skills and gained confidence in my own abilities due to this placement.
5 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

I felt very valued by my colleagues; I attended all meetings, training and talks as the full time employees. I was given a lot of responsibility and I have never felt that I was ‘just a student’.
5 /5

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

My supervisor was so supportive and kind! He is an expert in the industry and provided me with so much knowledge and information. He was also very helpful with my university project and my career path interests. I do not recall a single instance throughout my year placement when I required support or guidance and was not helped. I never felt like he was watching over my shoulder and not trusting my ability in the lab. I was left to plan and get on with my own work, which I really enjoyed. Whenever I was a little scared to speak up about my own ideas he would tell everyone for me and always give me the credit, which I really appreciated. The head of the department is also extremely lovely and supportive (he makes us tea and coffee and provides biscuits!!). I always felt I could go to him with any questions or advice, as he is very approachable.
5 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

Due to the type of work I was doing my workload varied somewhat depending on the status of the projects I was working on. At certain stages in a project I was very busy (but never too busy), at other times the workload was a lot lighter. This then gave me some time to get on with my uni work, which was helpful.
5 /5

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I was given a lot of responsibility and the findings of my work were trusted and used to progress important projects for the company. I was always given the responsibility to manage my own time and my ideas and opinions were taken into account in the decision making of the projects.
5 /5

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I gained experience and confidence in presenting, report writing, lab practical skills, communication skills, time management and knowledge of the industry and chemistry in general. I have learnt so much and feel like I have developed hugely as a person and a chemist.
5 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The chem syn students have an office all together (there are 5 of us) so it was a lot of fun to be all together and we sometimes played music and decorated the office for Christmas and birthdays. The main office is where we have our tea breaks and is a very friendly environment and it is nice to chat to everyone.
5 /5

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

It was organised very well, we have a two-week handover period with the previous students where you learn a lot. It was little full on with training in the first few weeks and I felt like it was a bit too much information to handle all at once.
4 /5

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

My supervisor took the time to help me with my CV and put me in touch with helpful contacts. We had a poster presentation course but other than that practice and the help of my colleagues improved my skills.
4 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Financial Bonus
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Above 25 days holiday
5 /5

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

I have loved my time at Lubrizol and I really do not want to leave! I would definitely want to work for them however I want a job closer to home which obviously is no fault of the company.
5 /5

The Culture

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

I had a great social life whilst on placement and I enjoyed living with other students in Derby who are now my really good friends. We regularly go for mid-week drinks and nights out as well as hosting other events at our houses. There was a Christmas department meal and we go for meals out at lunchtime or sometimes order fish and chips into the office.
5 /5

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

My rent was cheaper than at Uni in Nottingham and social activities have been very affordable. You don’t need to have a car as long as you are living with other students who do. It isn’t hard to save some money over the course of the year.
5 /5

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

Derby has lots of nice places to have beers or cocktails, the nights out are fun when you are all together and if you like a cheesy club then Derby ticks that box! You can easily get the coach to Nottingham for nights out as well which gives you more options of places to go.
5 /5

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

There is a sports and social club, which subsidises activities, I did badminton most weeks, ice-skating, a trampoline park, bowling, laser quest, roller skating and a Scotland walking trip. It was so much fun and everything was very cheap or even free!
5 /5