I genuinely thoroughly enjoyed my internship at BAE Systems. I was able to work in several different teams across the 12 weeks all of which were very helpful and approachable when I wanted to know more. Within a short period of time I felt like I wasn't just an intern but a member of the team being given opportunities to make real contributions to the company. For me this was a real motivation and allowed to me to develop the skills I wanted to achieve by carrying out the internship.
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Within a short period of time I felt very comfortable within the team due to approachable nature of its members. My colleagues were very helpful and gave me plenty of on-the-job training and were very happy to answer to the multitude of questions that I had throughout the internship. I felt like my opinions were valued and taken on board during debates and in efforts to solve problems.
My first week was essentially an induction course with presentations and on-the-job training. However, I continued to be given support in the following weeks as I carried out the role. Overall, I'd say that the support and guidance was excellent as there was a lot to learn so was relatively time consuming yet my colleagues always made themselves available when I required guidance. Additionally, as I expressed interest in learning more about functional aspects of finance I was given tuition by the team even though it wasn't strictly necessary in carrying out my role. This highlighted the generosity of the team to extend my learning.
Overall, I would say the balance was very good. I never felt like I was being worked too hard or had unrealistic deadlines. On the flip side, I was rarely left with little to do and it was very easy to ask anyone in the team whether they required any work to be done. This highlighted their confidence in me in that they were happy for me to do work for them and expect it to be completed to the satisfactory standard.
I felt that throughout the internship I was given the perfect levels of responsibility for the time that I had worked there. At the beginning I would work through elements with my colleagues in order to be able to ask all the questions I needed answering and to give me a good grasp of what was required. However, within a short period of time I was expected to replicate this standard of work on my own with minimal guidance. By the end of the internship I was doing similar work to the rest of the team to which I was made fully responsible for. This was hugely motivating for myself and allowed me to be pushed to a good level.
I believe this internship has given me skills for life. The skills I developed most from the internship were: professionalism, organisation, team working and communication. The work did align with my degree to a large extent and allowed me to learn more about the operational side of finance in contrast to the theoretical aspects I've learnt at university. As the role covered lots of the individual business units and areas of the company I was able to gain fantastic knowledge of how a FTSE 100 company functions and how it is managed.
The general atmosphere was very good. The team worked very well together in the fact that everyone got along and regularly collaborated with each other in order to help solve one another’s problems. It was also jovial a lot of time but everyone still managed to get on with what they needed to do so in that respect it was a good balance.
Overall, I would say it was organised very well. I knew what I’d be doing each week over the course of the internship a month before I even started. Due to this there were very few periods where there was no work for me to be getting on with. And in that case I could always ask anyone for work to do and they were able to give me something until I was given my next task. Over its course I managed to get involved with a multitude of projects and learn a huge amount due to the variety of work I was exposed to.
I was very impressed with the amount of personal development that was extended to me. I was given opportunities to improve my skills in numerous areas including Microsoft Excel, accounting and management. I was able to list what I wanted to learn from the internship and the work that I was assigned was tailored towards what I had wanted to work on. As well as this, time was invested in training me in areas that weren’t necessary to carry out my role but purely to extend my development.
There are numerous programmes offered by the company specifically for graduates. These are very appealing as they come with generous perks and development opportunities. As well as this, they are tailored towards leadership within the relevant business area emphasising the responsibility and training that comes with these roles. During the internship these opportunities were communicated very well with chances to speak with the corresponding programme leaders to discuss details and prospects after completing the programmes.
There were several opportunities to socialise with fellow placement students. These comprised of facility tours with other interns as well as an internship conference which brought together all interns in all the business areas nationally to discuss the internship and meet with each other. Additionally, we were given the opportunity to go to a dinner with recent graduates on the programme to allow us to ask questions of someone who was actually carrying out the programme.
The cost of living in the area was average as well as cost of socialising.
The nightlife was not sampled.
There were several opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work. There was an active social as well as sports club societies. They regularly held events outside of work including rounders competitions and wine tours. Additionally, they offered benefits to get involved including free and discounted tickets to nearby events.