Overall I found my placement very enjoyable and useful. It has helped me to further understand what I want to do once I've finished uni, and what I don't want to do. All my colleagues were friendly and they made sure I felt comfortable from day 1. I found aspects of the job challenging and enjoyed being able to work with people from different departments.
I feel that everyone respected me, however there were some departments where people were too busy to fully train me, so I couldn't really get that involved. However in a different department I had full training and got involved in many different jobs which made me feel more useful as many people would ask for help / give me new work on a regular basis.
Again I feel that this depended on the department. I had monthly meetings with my manager which mainly involved presenting what I had been up to and allowed me to ask for any help. In all departments I felt my supervisors fully supported me and I could talk to them about any problems I was having, however there were some occasions where they were too busy and I couldn't ask for any support or any new work.
There were some departments where I wasn't trained enough and therefore I spent some time waiting around for someone to give me something to do. However in a different department I received training which allowed my colleagues to use my help for many different projects. There was some days where I had nothing to do, but others where I had a lot of different work to do and had to manage my time carefully. I think the key thing is to ask other people, as when I became more confident and started doing this, I found I had more to do and people looked to me more when they needed work doing.
I felt I had a lot of responsibility within the job. There were some jobs that were quite complicated and not just boring / repetitive and people respected what I did. I felt fully appreciated by my colleagues and they weren't just giving me the simple jobs. There was a few jobs where the outcome was unknown and therefore I was fully contributing to the project.
During my placement I wrote many reports that were sent to customers, therefore I feel that my report writing has vastly improved. I also had to manage my time well to make sure I met all deadlines, so this will help me not only as a finish uni, but also further into the working world. The placement has also helped to develop my confidence by communicating with many people from different aspects of the business, and presenting to managers etc.
There was a very friendly familiar atmosphere which helped to make me feel more comfortable. I felt that I could involve myself in conversation regularly with my colleagues without worrying about feeling shy. I enjoyed one department the most where I felt more included and therefore more myself around everyone.
I felt there was room for improvement in the placement as there was some times where I had nothing to do and there was no one around to help. I suppose there are aspects of this in every job, however there was one department that the interns couldn't really be involved in because of the work, and therefore there wasn't a lot to do. The overall structure of the placement was good, but I think within the departments there should be a more defined structure or certain training allowing for the interns to get more involved in the projects.
There was lots of training provided on the in house programs used on a day to day basis, but little training and development otherwise. However, GE have just devised a new programme specifically for interns to receive regular training sessions given by colleagues and leadership, which will help to develop their skills for the future.
I would be interested in returning to the company, and my manager has already spoken to me about the graduate scheme and is keen for me to apply. Because GE is such a large organisation, there is lots of opportunity to move around different fields. I would definitely like to work for GE in the future.
Myself and the other interns from different departments had lunch together every day, which meant we could keep each other updated about the work going on in the company. We occasionally met up outside of work, but there was often nights out arranged between other colleagues which we were invited to.
It mainly depends on the area you live in. Some certain student areas are expensive, whereas others are less so. Even the expensive areas aren't too bad, you just need to research the area beforehand. For socialising the same theory goes. In the centre of town there is a large range of pubs / bars going from cheap to expensive, however most places have some form of happy hour or deal on.
Newcastle is well renowned as one of the best nights out in the UK, so it speaks for itself. There are a vast number of pubs / bars / clubs, so something to cater for everyone. I don't personally love clubs, however there is so many bars to choose from I never find this to be an issue. There is also Osborne Road in Jesmond, which is very popular among students, and consists mostly of bars. Again, most have happy hour or 2 for 1 deals, so they can be busy, particularly on bank holidays. Osborne Road closes early at 11pm, due to local residents, so many people go here before town. Most places get busy on weekends, which is to be expected in cities, but it never feels too crowded.
There are lots of opportunities to get involved. I was involved in STEM volunteering through work, and there are lots of chances to be involved in careers fairs at schools and unis. There is also the sports and social club, which has regular events such as family days, nights out, the races. This year there was the chance to go to the British Masters at a discounted price which was a great deal, so there's plenty to offer. I think there are opportunities to be involved as much or as little as you want, as people are always looking for extra help.