1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
So far, I have gradually enjoyed my placement more and more. It is probably mainly the aspect of confidence, but I can say it has been an enjoyable year. Not enjoyable in the sense that I am coming into work every day with a huge smile on my face, but enjoyable as I am fortunate to have this experience at my age, as an undergraduate, and I am proud to work for this company and proud of the work I am doing. I have loved some work, but there has been some that has not been as enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
It can be a slow process with some colleagues, and you feel you are required to prove yourself. To do this you must be self-sufficient, which coming straight from education into my first corporate job was difficult? Most colleagues understand your position and take that into account when you first start, but I feel the colleagues I work close to value my work now after proving my capability to produce good work that is valuable to the business.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
A placement at BAE gave me the opportunity to move around the business unit, trialling almost any department I wished. The management of the placement is great because I actually have a team dedicated to supporting me, and the other interns. This team is separate from my current work, and look over me. Any department I wanted to go and have a few months in, they would facilitate that and help make it happen. They were very welcoming and I was happy to approach them with any issues.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This varied between placements. The organisation of my first one was a bit poor, and required me to be very self-sufficient, which proved difficult as I had only joined the business. If I moved to that department now, with my confidence built up more, I feel I would get much more out of it than I did. Now, I am very busy. And I am comfortable to ask for more work, even if I have plenty to do already, but I want to do something new then I am happy to suggest it as it will help my development.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
This has been fairly consistent throughout the placement. Engineers are respected and most colleagues understand some of your capabilities, and have trust in you to carry out some important tasks. I feel I was given quite a few tasks that had expectations, and needed to be good pieces of work. This gave a feeling of being productive towards the business, and it is worth you being there at the end of the day.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Time management is the first thing I can think of. At work you have people relying on you to complete various different tasks by various deadlines. Managing time is key to success in business. This will be carried forward into my degree studies and beyond. I have gained the ability to efficiently adapt to time requirements and work priorities. The actual engineering knowledge gained is less than I imagined, however it’s more the application of engineering into real world.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
My current office, which has been the best so far, has been a great working environment. I am happy to be here most days and happy to be around the people. The team is relaxed but work efficiently and effectively. Everybody is welcoming and I have not had any problems fitting in, even for a short 3 months.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Apart from my first department placement, the internship is very well set up, organised and run. Having a team to support you throughout your time is very beneficial. The fact that it is flexible which department you can work in is the best thing about this internship. It means you can get the most out your placement within the 12 months, it is basically a mini grad scheme.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Most of the training required was not costed but it was all still very beneficial. I felt I had plenty of personal training. There is an endless list of various courses, available to all employees to apply to do. The company were generally supportive in all training that I wanted or was required to complete.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects are very appealing. I would be honoured to come back to the company and work here after University. The system they run for early career employees seem better than other companies as you have the flexibility to move around, as well as a team supporting you. And starting a career off in such a renowned company is invaluable.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were only four industrial placement students for the year. And unfortunately, it took a while to mix in with the graduate employees as we were in a way kept separate to begin with. This was eventually resolved but by the time everyone was settled it was all a bit late. However, I can see that coming back as a graduate you are all put together and can share your social scene outside of work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
One of the best things about Barrow, living cost is very cheap and it’s a relatively small town that has everything you need. However, as it is on a peninsula tucked in the corner of West England, it takes +2 hours to get anywhere significant and therefore costs a lot for trains/cars.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are plenty of pubs to visit and there is somewhat of a Nightlife. Not my scene but can be good when you have a lot of mates with you.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I found that there was not much that went on in Barrow outside of BAE. I probably did not make the most of my time and should have done more exploring and investigating for things to do.
However, the Lake District is almost on your doorstep so can't exactly complain.