Monitoring Capital Expenditure
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my 12 month Placement at General Electric. I have enjoyed coming to work mostly everyday and have been very impressed with the company as a whole and how they incorporate their interns into the business. Besides the work, and my team, the fact that they hire over 40 interns at this site alone makes the experience so much more enjoyable as you have many people of a similar age to share your year with.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was made to feel very welcome on my first day, and that attitude continued throughout the year. You will always find people who appreciate the thing you do less than others, which is a learning curve. You learn to balance how much effort you put into tasks and whether i person will value your full effort and time, or whether they would value more a quick response with less detail. On a whole i did feel like a valuable member of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I felt I had enough support from my team, supervisor, and manager. I had regular 1 to 1's with my manager where she would offer any support and guidance necessary. I worked alongside my supervisor most days which meant i didn't have to reach out far to gain some support or help with any issues i faced. I do however think that it is a learning curve to understand that sometimes you have to make people aware you need support, as your manager is looking after a lot of people and may not know you need support unless you ask.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
How busy I was depended entirely on the time of the month, and the stage of my internship. We worked to a monthly cycle which meant week 1 and 4 of the month were the busiest, as this is where the tightest deadlines had to be met. The remaining two weeks where slightly quieter, however this worked well as it allowed you time to catch up on work you perhaps couldn't complete during the more hectic periods.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
When I started my internship I was shocked at how much responsibility I was given. At GE, my experience was that as an intern, I was treated very similarly to a permanent employee. I felt i was given ample responsibility to perform my own tasks and feel like a productive member of the team.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel like although i cannot relate everything i did at GE, to my degree subject, doing a placement will help me in my studies as my work ethic and motivation has improved massively. Working a long day five days a week has improved my level of concentration for a lengthy amount of time, which will help during revision periods. Overall, the skills you develop on a placement are invaluable and a lot of which you learn will be transferable to future careers in the same or a different company.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Both offices i worked in had friendly and relaxed atmospheres. i got to know my team members really well which helped me become a more integral part of the team. Although at times the office is quiet when naturally we are all concentrating or have a deadline to meet, in general everyone was really chatty and up for having a laugh with each other. The atmosphere made me feel really relaxed and welcome throughout the whole year.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement itself was rather unorganised at first. I was supplied the wrong job description for my interview, and the process of being told i had successfully got the job was slow.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company tend to invest in you as much as you need them to. There are plenty of opportunities to go on training courses etc if you feel they will benefit you. My team and manager also spent so much time with me one to one in order to help me develop my skills.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Although GE do not offer any particular grad schemes as such that i would be interested in, their permanent job prospects for people coming straight out of University are encouraging and i would be very interested in applying for a position. There are however many grad schemes available for engineers.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a good social scene amongst fellow placement students, however i feel as if it is your own responsibility to make sure you get involved. i know that other interns at the same company/ site have been here for 10 months already and unfortunately haven't got to know each other. Therefore it is so important to make yourself known in the first few weeks and introduce yourself to as many interns as possible.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Living and socialising in Cheltenham is undoubtedly more expensive than living in the north, however i think it is probably quite reasonable compared to other areas in the south. Rent in a shared house cost me £400 per month which included a 'regular cleaner', with bills inclusive. This was a good find in comparison to other houses on the market at the time. The salary paid for interns at GE is more than enough to live off per month.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Cheltenham was good for a small town. There are a fair few bars, and clubs that are lively on a Friday and Saturday night. As there is a University here, there are lots of young people out at the weekends and therefore it didn't feel too dissimilar to being at University. As most of the interns lived far away or even in a different country, most of them stayed in Cheltenham at the weekends which meant we had a big group of friends to socialise with.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I joined a netball club for a few months, and am aware that the boys set up a football team themselves which many of the interns got involved in. Others joined the gym and other sports teams.