Engineering within the Military Air Information business of BAE systems.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Working at BAE systems has been enjoyable, with alot of the staff being friendly and small events etc. going on. Being allowed to move around the company during your year means that you shouldn't get bored, and if you don't enjoy an internal placement, you can change and move to an area that better suits you.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
You feel valued by your colleagues due to being given quite a lot of responsibillity. You are both learning on the job as well as contributing to actual engineering projects, thus greatly helping the team you work for. Being able to aid colleagues in their work once you feel experienced enough only contributes to your role in the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Whenever stuck, there was always somebody around to guide or help me with process' or a task. This was extremely helpful as for a while, despite having studied engineering, real-world engineering process' can be used in obscure ways to fit a project. Due to this people were always willing to lend a hand in learning new techniques.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In certain engineering projects you can either be extremely busy, or have lulls in the work. Due to the nature of large-scale projects, work can be stemmed due to waiting on key deliverables slowing your work flow down, or you can be rushing to finish your own deadlines to allow others to continue - this just seems to be the nature of real-world engineering.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Every task given to me i was leading and completely responsible for - Being given this amount of responsibility introduces you to new skills and pressures, but also allows you to enjoy the satisfaction of being trusted to complete work and trusted in your engineering ability. Everything i completed was part of an actual project.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
BAE not only enhanced key skills, such as time-management, leadership and team working skills, but allows you to take any training that may aid your effectiveness as an engineer. This allowed me to develop team based skills as well as personal competencies - Due to variety of work i undertook, i was able to work on skills that i found to be lacking as well as improving qualities i felt i was strong in.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office is a good environment to be in - however i found it can be really lively or quiet and efficient, dependant on both who is currently in and what peoples workloads were at the time. This is to be expected but i found some teams can be very well bonded and have great morale week in week out. This is usually boosted due to team outings and activities.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The work placement was easily set up due to having previously been part of the sponsorship scheme. Your line-manager is very approachable and allows you to question anything to do with the placement. You are given your first internal role and choose your second two so organisation is as m8uch your responsibility as it is theirs.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company/Teams were more than willing to invest in my development as a person as long as it benefitted me. For example things such as ELLA courses are actively encouraged alongside other key engineering practice development courses, and are directly aided by your team and upper management. The company has a plethroa of online and physical courses that you can take and add to your personal work profile.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The BAE placement years can be directly linked in to their Graduate development programme - depending on how you perform throughout the year. If you perform well and make good contributions to the business via the work you complete it is not uncommon to be offered to join their grad scheme after graduating university. A lot of undergrads take this route in to the company and thoroughly enjoy it.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
All of the Undergrads and Graduates are social and are up for socialising in and around weekends. Many teams as well have social events and nights out for you to join and get to know people. Being located near preston - a large uni town - means theres plenty to get up to with both your colleagues and other placement students throughout the year.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living is really quite cheap in and around preston. Due to being on placement you can rent student accomodation - which there is more than enough of due to UCLAN - and the area is cheaper in general, especially when compared with the south, Living the other side of warton, in Lytham St Annes, is a nicer area and more pricey but further away from the main nightlife etc.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is good due to being in a university student dominant city, there are plenty of bars, clubs and pubs in preston, and all are really cheap. In addition to that, you can easily travel in to manchester or liverpool for a change of scenery, all within a few stops on the train. Saturdays are the main nights when all of the students go out - meaning everywhere is busy.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There is quite a lot to do in and around preston, and most colleagues have a hobby that theyre involved in. Theres a lot to try due to being very close to both the lake and peak districts, with the area also accomodating most sporting teams. My housemante and I joined a football team and the gym, enjoying both, but there is something for everyone to do if you look around - although the weather can sometimes be far from great.