Throughout my placement I was given tasks that challenged me in ways I had not experienced before. By its nature this made working difficult at times, as I was being expected to teach myself new skills to complete tasks. The novelty of working in a big company also provided both benefits and setbacks, as did the secure nature of the material I was working with.
RateMyPlacement is currently advertising 5 roles at BAE SystemsView jobs now →
I felt like I was a valued member of my team, being able to quickly integrate myself in the project and grasp some of its more challenging features. My experiences and opinions were always taken into consideration and I was always made to feel comfortable that I could speak my mind and comment as I saw fit.
The nature of my placement was such that I was given support and guidance when I asked for it, but in the main, the tasks were left down to me to sort. Mainly comprising of one longer piece of work, I was – to an extent – left to my own devices and allowed to follow the avenues I saw most fitting. At times this felt like I was not being guided as much as I would have liked, but I also saw the benefits of having greater freedom to pursue my ideas
Due to the nature of my task – a long project – I was able to plan my time constructively enough that I was not under time pressures to complete certain tasks. For this reason I was not always frantically busy, a fact that was aided by the research/investigative nature of what I was trying to accomplish. I was often shown different factors or avenues that could have been followed, which permitted me to stretch myself when I needed another task to look at.
Because I was working in a defense-based environment, I was limited in my accessibility to materials. For this reason there were certain tasks that I could not be allowed access to, nor could I gain access to certain locations in completing my work. Despite this, I was given the opportunity to present my findings at a key meeting towards the end of my placement, and a fairly large amount of creative control over my work. For this reason I believe I was given a large degree of responsibility.
6. The main skills that I gained were: presentation, report writing and independent working. I believe that all these skills will be very useful in my future career and in my degree since they are factors of my teaching delivery that I have worked on in the past. The skills that I believe were most useful to gain were: understanding requirements and giving time estimates. Being able to give an estimate of how long a piece of work would take to finish is a useful skill to have when dealing with a client, and Is a skill that is backwards in a degree environment: you work to a deadline.
My office had a generally positive atmosphere and the staff were friendly and curious about what my role was within the company. There was always support and guidance from those around me, and I was always made to feel welcome and part of a community instead of an outsider looking in. Due to the presence of other new starters (interns/placement students) there was always a strong sense of community within the younger workforce.
The placement was fairly open ended, which had the benefit of it being tailor-able to my particular lines of inquiry, but on balance I think that a stronger focus on what was required of my work (instead of the emphasis on me to find my own solution) could have been more fulfilling.
I was not trained per say, in any particular fields, the emphasis was more on giving me tasks that they felt would develop my skills in new areas. Certain skills were required for my internship (from a technical point of view) and I taught these to myself such that I could complete the task
There was a great emphasis on future progression within the company, and there were various schemes that were mentioned throughout the course of the placement with respect to application to the aforementioned. Some of the members from various development frameworks were present in my area of the company, and so I was given a good opportunity to quiz them on their opinions, most of which were very positive about future employment within the company.
There was a large volume of early careers members in the company and on my particular site, so there was a strong aspect of community within the student/apprenticeship community. Events were organised both by the company and by the group ourselves to encourage an atmosphere of friendliness: this provided a great deal of support and encouragement whilst working within the company, and a positive working environment
I lived at home whilst working on my placement, so the cost of living was not a massive issue for me in my day to day business. Anecdotal evidence from other placement students/graduates, the cost of living was not seen to be particularly high. The cost of socialising was moderate, with some of the local bars and pubs being (not unreasonably) expensive.
Having grown up in the area that I was working in, I was already familiar with most of the sights about, but in socialising with other colleagues, I got to experience some new aspects of the city that I had not experienced before. This was a good experience for me, and I greatly enjoyed the time spent socialising with the other members of the team.
Due to the short nature of my placement, I was not given vast opportunity to participate in assignments or activities outside of work, but I was able to present at a conference on a different site, which was a rewarding experience. On longer placements I have been informed that there is greater opportunity to participate in exterior opportunities