This position involves working within the QA department to facilitate the carrying out of QA activities, which include the review of key documentation to support the quality team.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Working for GE in Cardiff has been very enjoyable overall. We have been given a lot of freedom to take up projects in areas that we enjoy as well as opportunities to branch out of our specific role and experience different areas within the business.
I have been a little short of work at times throughout the year so my suggestion to new interns would be to make sure you are finding work for yourself that you enjoy as soon as you can after you start and keep doing so all year!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I had a really great team to work with. They were reasonably flexible with what work I wanted to take on and always encouraged me to take on responsibilities that I perhaps thought were out of my reach. The Cardiff site is full of very friendly and helpful people and everyone always seems to be able to find time in their work day to help an intern.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Throughout my year at this site I have had a few different managers and they have all worked for different sites with very busy work schedules. Although I did not get direct support from my managers I was always supported by my team and they always made it clear that I provided just as much support to them with the work that I did!
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My work day varied greatly day to day. When I took on a project in the Biology department I was significantly busier trying to balance my QA tasks with something new. Other days when there were few CM cases and not much going on in the department I would struggle to fill my day with work. I would definitely recommend that interns branch out to other departments if there is not enough work in their own.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Quality assurance plays a part in all departments on site and requires a great knowledge of the products and processes carried out. This means that I was not able to get massively involved in the core tasks of the QA department and played more of an admin role for the team. I always had my own projects and tasks to carry out and throughout the year I was gradually given more responsibility in other areas.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I believe that the skills I have learnt this year will massively assist me in my future studies and career. The opportunities we have had to work in teams, taking either lead roles or being led by others, as well as presentations and general data analysis tasks will be beneficial to any role I take on in the future. I feel I have become a lot more professional throughout the year and have gained confidence in the way I present myself in a work environment. It has also given me a great insight into what I may want to do and not do for a future career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The QA team are often up and about in meetings and audits and so I have found myself alone at times but when people are around there is always a very friendly and happy atmosphere in the office. We have been very lucky to work on a site that has so much greenery and space and lovely light offices.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The inductions ran very smoothly and everyone was very friendly and accepting at the start when things didn't go exactly to plan. It takes a long time to get set up on all the relevant programs and get all the right access but this would be expected at any new job.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I have had to complete many mandatory training assignments throughout the year and have made great personal developments in the skills I have gained, however I do not feel that much investment has been put into me as a future employee. In this company you need to push for what you want and I believe that if you wanted to get that training and PD the opportunities are definitely available.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would definitely consider General Electric for a future career. I do not think I will return to the Cardiff Healthcare site as I am looking to work in London, however this does not take away form how great this site is and how wonderful the people working here are. The company offer great opportunities for work and PD as well as providing great health benefits.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The interns at this Healthcare site as well as the Aviation site down the road have had a good line of contact all year and have done many nights out, go to the same gyms etc.
I would definitely suggest to new interns at smaller sights to branch out to interns in other locations as well! The 7 interns at this site also worked on projects throughout the year all together.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in a four person house in Cathays for £75 a week not including bills. The bars and restaurants in this area were very reasonably priced and there is a lot to chose from. The city centre is very lively and I never felt that anything was over priced which was nice. EasyGym in the centre is less than £20 a month for membership but the great thing about Wales is all the beaches and coastal towns that you can go to.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There is not much in the actual area the site is in but there is a lot to chose from in the city centre which is not far away at all. There are a few proper clubs as well as slightly lower key bar/clubs. Mill Lane is very popular when going out with work.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
We have had the chance to visit other sites throughout the year and learn about different areas that GE works in e.g. Aviation. The company has also set up the Welsh Three Peaks Challenge for June which some of the interns are taking part in and have been raising money for. There are running clubs at lunch time and many departments go out for meals and nights out when people start and leave.