This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
This was an extremely enjoyable year. I felt challenged in the work that I did and developed a real passion for the area I was in. The wider opportunities available at Lubrizol rounded off the whole experience.
I had a close-knit relationship with my colleagues in my office; we were a very productive team, but enjoyed a lot of office banter. I worked directly with professionals in the business segments of the corporation, and through this could really see the positive impacts of my work, both scientifically and commercially.
Most of the time, I was left to get on with my work and the onus was on me to seek guidance. I felt this worked well, as I could direct my own learning and was encouraged to think for myself and have the confidence to implement my own ideas and solutions. When I did seek support, especially with things such as technical report writing and presentation structures, colleagues were always able to find time to sit down with me.
Early on in the placement, I had one principal project, so could be left a little bored when waiting on other actions to be completed. I did, however, benefit from this time by undertaking reading around my subject area, which was very specialist. As the year progressed, I took more initiative and ownership of my work, and opportunities arose in other areas. I found myself much busier on a day-to-day basis, with good variety in the work I was doing.
I was solely responsible for planning and carrying out project testing, scheduling post-testing work, processing results and reporting back to project leaders. I also had the opportunity to initiate work for another project, involving me creating a proposal and securing funding.
I developed a lot of technical knowledge in the fields of tribology, rheology and IC engine operation, which will stand me in good stead for the rest of my degree. More importantly, I was given significant opportunities to develop my wider skills set in presentations, reporting and interpersonal, which will be incredibly relevant to me regardless of which field I ultimately go into.
We were a fun-loving team with a positive atmosphere almost all of the time, even when the pressure was on. This was a great help to my motivation and willingness to work for the team.
Very well organised, I entered the department in a rather transitional phase, as my immediate supervisor was moving departments and their replacement did not start until 4 months into my year. However, this transition was well-managed and I did not feel as though I lacked support. If anything, it encouraged independence.
Students are trained on all the same software systems and health and safety systems as regular employees. There were many opportunities to get involved in both compulsory and optional training programmes, with the reflection very much on the development of the individual rather than 100% for company gain.
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
A great company. I would jump at the opportunity to work with them again, for the people as much as the type of work.
Out of 25 students, there was a group of around 14 in various house shares in Derby, who socialised regularly on weeknights and at weekends, in a variety of activities.
Derby was generally cheap to live in, though I lived quite far from the city centre so always had to travel to socialise. The city had good bars and decent nightlife, usually at pretty low cost.
Derby isn't great for a big night out, but is very good for real ale pubs and small bars. Nottingham is only a short bus ride away, with buses running until very late at very low cost.
Work ran a Sports and Social Club that regularly organised subsidised activities, from rock climbing and ice skating to trampolining and hiking in the Scottish Munros. As it was so cheap to be a member of the club, subsidised activities were extremely affordable and worthwhile.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
30th August 2016