1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The job role that I applied for (and was placed in) is exactly the role that I would like to pursue as a career. The projects that I was assigned were relevant and (reasonably) complex; this made me feel that I was making a real contribution to the company. My time at Cummins confirmed my strengths and weaknesses and through out the placement I was actively encouraged to develop my abilities and skills.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was treated like any other employee. My ideas and comments were always welcomed.
When I had difficulty with a project, everyone I asked for help was very generous with their time, often giving me several hours of their time to make sure that I fully understood and was able to progress with my work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was very well supported by my supervisor. Every week I had a 1:1 meeting with my supervisor to discuss my progress with my projects, how I could improve, and any difficulties I was facing - but in work and outside of work. Outside of these meetings, my supervisor was always willing to answer any immediate questions that I had and to offer guidance. If my supervisor wasn't available, or didn't know the answer, there were plenty of other people within the team that I could ask (particularly the local team, but also across the global team). At no point did I feel unsupported or unsure what to do.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
During my 1:1 meeting with my supervisor we discussed my work load. I always had at least 1 project to be working on, but normally 3-4. If I felt like I didn't have enough work to do I could ask to be assigned another project. My supervisor made sure that I was never assigned more projects than I was able to complete.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility - more than I was expecting. Every project I worked on was a real project and I was helping to design real components that were actually manufactured. I was often organising and leading my own meetings.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I was working in a very technical role during my placement. I was actively encouraged to attend plenty of training, much of which built upon what I had already learnt at university. I also participated in several communication workshops which developed my interpersonal skills. During my time I also shared may presentations over Skype and in person; this is an area that I really feel that I have developed since I no longer feel nervous before giving a presentation. I would say that I have learnt more skills during my placement year than I have through 3 years of university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was very welcoming. Provided that no one was particularly busy, or in a meeting, everyone was very happy to answer any question you had or at least point you in the direction of the best person to ask.
Generally, that atmosphere was quiet in the office, which was great in allowing you to concentrate.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was very well organised. There is a 1 month change over period where the previous students help the new students. This is very beneficial at getting the new student up to speed. Every year the previous students also set up a facebook group for the new students to meet and discuss living arrangements.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I attended several training sessions though out the year to help develop my interpersonal skills - these were actually helpful. During my 1:1 meeting with my supervisor, I was able to ask about how I could improve and develop as an Engineer. I was also assigned an iMechE mentor - who I saw every quarter to track my progress and help me with my ultimate goal of being Chartered.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would very much like to come back to the department I worked in during my placement. The work that I did during my placement is very much the career path I would like to pursue. My colleagues were very nice and made an effort to include me in social events.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Every lunchtime (weather permitting) our department went out for a walk around the plant. This was an excellent time to socialise with the rest of my department and discuss topics outside of work.
Every week there was always some form of social event. Often this involved going to the pub, but there was also a lot of other opportunities to socialise. For example: football, go karting, BBQs, various car events,
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Since I am based in the Daventry site, the cost of living is considerably lower than in the south. However, being a student,I lived in a student house that cost more than it should. I would avoid living in Coventry, due to traffic, the morning commute takes 45 mins and the fuel costs add up considerably. I would recommend living in Rugby or Daventry.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?