1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I very much enjoyed my work placement. It was not only a great working experience, where I feel I gained skills to be applied in future studies and work, but I also felt valued by my colleagues and as though I was given value added work projects.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Very much - I feel as though I got lucky with a tight-knit team, so I felt as though the work that I was doing was appreciated. I also felt like I could connect on a personal level with my colleagues.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Any time I had any questions or concerns, my manager immediately would help to resolve them. However it was often left up to me to seek out help - rarely was support offered without me expressing a concern or question.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I have been kept quite busy - normally I always have things to do, in part because I was tasked to work on a larger-scale projec throughout my internship. There were some days with less to do, as expected, but normally I was always quite busy.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was give a lot of responsibility during my placement. I think that again I got lucky by getting so involved in a project team. I was able to present to higher up management, create reports to be distributed widely, and interact with colleagues in many different departments. I was pushed out of my comfort zone which helped me to really grow professionally as well as personally this year.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I gained very specific technical skills that will help me in the future. For example, I now feel very comfortable using statistical tools to analyze manufacturing processes and components. The placement allowed me to build on my foundational understanding from university and apply it in a real world setting.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office is really good - quite relaxed but also motivated. It strikes an appealing balance between having fun with colleagues day to day and accomplishing the tough tasks.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Right when I arrived I joined a project team, which means that I have gotten the opportunity to follow a project through from start to finish. I have been supporting the project with clear roles and responsibilities. I think because of that my role was very organized. Without this role, I think it would have been harder to stay busy every day.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The people on my team did invest in my personal growth. They showed me software tools, and helped me develop new skills. However, it was very much the people on my team and less so the company and overall organization. I did not feel as though BMW as a whole was invested in me personally, until the way end of my internship when they proposed possibilities for me to stay within the organization. Up until that point, I didn't necessarily feel valued by the overall organization.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I definitely considered staying within the organization, in part because of my experience this year. I am not sure if I would have wanted to stay in Oxford and work on a different team, as I think the people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your experience. Additionally, I think that the work that I am ultimately most interested in getting involved in is the more design-centered creative engineering work, which occurs mainly in Munich. The benefit of BMW as an organization is its international reach, and the opportunities to travel and work abroad.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes - there were always social events with other students and colleagues.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Very expensive. To live in the center and go out around Oxford, you could just barely get by on the student salary.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Okay - as expected for a smaller university town. Plenty of pubs to have a relaxed night out - but very few bars if you don't necessarily want to go to a larger club.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
It was hard for me to find opportunities and extra curriculars outside of work. I think there is lots to do if you are a student in oxford (joining sports teams, etc.) but if you aren't a student in oxford the opportunities were limited.