1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have enjoyed many aspects of my 12 month internship with GE, from meeting new people, such as interns and the people within my team, to learning new skills, based in mechanical principles and soft skills such as presenting and talking to new people. The manufacturing engineering job role allows me to get involved in different aspects of the business which is always a good thing.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Being an intern at GE is great because you aren't seen as an 'intern' per se, you are given meaningful projects that will have an immediate and lasting impact on the business and directly relates to business objectives. I feel important to the team I work in, even to the point that if i was not there, the team would find it harder to work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Throughout the first two months of my internship I was given quite a lot of guidance, from the previous interns who i was replacing to my manager and the people all around site. Weekly one to ones allowed me to track my progress and receive any feedback from my manager. After the two month starting period, the responsibility increased and you were expected to work independently without being 'micromanaged' .
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Business definitely varied throughout the year, with some days being full with meetings, others full with manual work, to the days where I was able to pick what work to carry on with and was able to complete all outstanding work. In the oil and gas/measurement and sensing business it is largely dependent on the amount of orders and how the market is running at any given time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As mentioned in the first answer, I was given a large amount of responsibility during the year. Especially so with a large project that spanned almost 12 months and had a direct impact on the business and my pillar - sub-sea. Some tasks were less important than others, but you never got the feeling that they were medial tasks.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I developed throughout the year will definitely help me in my degree, especially for the individual project in third year taking with me new manufacturing skills and mechanical principles. The skills will also help after University with the likes of tests and assessment centers, taking with me the soft skills such as confident speaking and presenting.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
My office was at the back of the site, furthest away from the entrance and in the oldest building, with windows that still opened, the atmosphere was good, with a lot of talking and joking but at the same time getting the work done. It was a small office, with only 10-15 people inside it however, not everyone was around all at once, the secluded nature of the office meant you were free from through traffic and disruptions.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Prior to starting, the internship was very well organised. The recruiting colleagues did a good job of keeping me updated with emails and ensured we joined a Facebook group so we could get to know other interns and sort living arrangements if necessary. The first couple of days were a bit murky in terms of what we had to get sorted, it needed maybe a checklist to lay down a framework for our first few weeks, but apart from that it was well organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company was a strong believer in investing time in to training, in the hope that we would one day return to the company and with training, would be a worthwhile employee. Training such as fast works and six sigma were given to us and we were able to pursue our own training needs if necessary for the job role.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
As GE is a massive corporation, its hard not to be interested in some of the disciplines it is involved with, however, in terms of returning to the site I have been working at, I would not go back immediately as there are many other places to work and get a variety of products and knowledge.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The interns in my intake year have been fairly social, with events being held every two or three months, ranging from drinks to meals to other activities. In some cases communication hasn't been there and some interns have been excluded from activities such as paint balling. Other interns have formed close friendships and have attended each other's birthdays as a result.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I am based in Leicester and have been living in Leicester for the past 3 years for university so the cost of living is not different for me. The small town in which the site is based is a distance from Leicester so travel is probably an extra cost for myself but in terms of socializing and living it's not been too bad.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife was good as I was living with my existing housemates from University. The city near our site is a dual University city, so has many clubs and bars to account for the amount students. It was typical to go out once a week for myself, and speaking to other interns they had been doing the same.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were many opportunities for extra activities outside of work, ranging from women's network to STEM events. I recently took part in Tough Mudder assault course with fifteen other GE colleagues to raise money for Help for Heroes, so yes there are plenty of chances to be active outside of work.