Engineering Placement Student, 4 month rotations in Systems Engineering, Rotor Systems and Dynamic Sealing, and Aerodynamics.
The majority of the work at Cummins Turbo Technologies was very enjoyable. As i was always learning new things it kept me interested throughout the year. I was given responsibilities for for some large tasks such as running real tests that were critical to business operations whilst learning core engineering skills.
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For most of my placement i felt like a regular Engineer, not just a placement student. When I was given work that had real responsibilities i felt like the team were depending on me to deliver. It was great that the company put so much trust in a placement student.
Support was always there when I needed it. Everyone will make the time to help you if you ask. They are professional enough to leave you to get on with your work when you feel confident with it, and don't keep checking on you. However they will step in every so often to keep you on the right track.
Most of the time I had a good amount of work to do. Sometimes if my work load was too light I could seek out more work from the wider team which was very rewarding and gave me a wider range of projects to work on. I also got to experience high work loads at times which was a very useful experience.
I was given a lot of responsibilities as soon as i was ready to take them on. In each rotation there is a settling in period of a month or two and they will gauge how competent you are and thus what level of work to give you. If you are keen to show that you want more responsibilities they will give it to you.
The core engineering skills that i have learned will definitely help me with a graduate job, more than i could have hoped. The main benefits i will take back to university are the professional and general skills such as organisation and working towards deadlines. I feel like my work will be organised much better now using conventions i have learned on placement.
Naturally it is a hard working environment and so you can't expect people to be chatting all the time. However everyone does stop for short breaks and a quick chat every now and then which really breaks up the work. This also helps to get to know your team better and some teams have weekly meetings just for more personal matters which was really good.
Everything seemed to work really well. We had an induction week which set us up on all the computer systems and taught us how the company worked. We had three rotations, each about 4 months long, which meant we had enough time to get settled into a department and then spend a good amount of time on some quality work. It gave us the chance to see all aspects of the business from advanced research to manufacturing.
There was always a lot of opportunity to learn more and develop. There are a lot of training courses that are open to everyone and so i put myself forward for a lot. These range from an hour or two to 3/4 days. Along side this i feel like my colleagues have invested a lot of time in me and i have been able to reward them with my hard work.
The company have a sponsorship system whereby they may offer you a graduate job at the end of your placement along with £1500 for your last year at university. The number of sponsorships varies year to year depending on a corporate decision and you are directly competing against the other placement students.
There are a lot of placement students here (Huddersfield) for the size of the business. Out of about 35 students there were about 20 who would regularly socialise with nights out and other activities such as a trip abroad and skiing. We also have a large spot in the canteen so we can all sit together at lunch.
I was able to live at home and so it was very good for me. The town is not very large but there are a handful of bars and clubs that offer a good night out for a reasonable price. The train station is a short walk meaning you can easily get to Leeds and Manchester, opening up the options for a night out.
As i live near by I have been going out in Huddersfield for a number of year and so don't enjoy it as much any more. However for students new to the area there are enough places for a good night out. As it is a Uni town there are always lots of students out and cheap drinks.
There are a lot of opportunities to get involved with activities outside of work. Every employee must do at least 1 full day of volunteering a year, usually done on weekdays. There is a wide variety of organisations you can support and some placement student commit a lot more than the 8 minimum hours, working with schools and charities.