Using a mix of science and mathematics along with engineering techniques to design, test and create
Developing detailed designs using a range of computer packages
Integrating mechanical designs with electrical and electronic system and using specialised computation as a tool to support their work
On the whole, I was dissatisfied with my placement. I found day-to-day I was working on quite menial tasks and despite the size of some of the projects I worked on, I felt that overall my part within them was insignificant and my own projects were those which had been left by others previous, this was most apparent when the work I had done was not to be continued after I left.
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Without meaning to contradict myself, I found that the menial tasks were those which made me feel most valued. These were often tasks that I had sought out myself to try and fill in the gaps, by doing these I found that I got to know everyone in the office and around the department much better and the help was appreciated by everyone. Needless to say everyone was very welcoming when I first arrived and I am still in touch with a few of the engineers 6 months on.
I found my supervisor was often never around and when he was available he would often tell me to leave the work and try and give me something new rather than provide the guidance and support I needed to progress. This meant I often had to turn to the other engineers in the office and other parts of the department to get the guidance I needed.
Despite working on a few projects simultaneously, there was often a lot of time that needed to be filled while waiting for people to respond or deliver test materials etc. Unfortunately I wasn't provided with a large enough amount of work to fill these gaps and despite my best efforts to help people, I still found I had a lot of time with nothing to do.
I was given a decent amount of responsibility but there was no ramping up. I found within 2 weeks I had my own projects and deadlines but not the experience or knowledge to complete them and by the end of the placement the level of responsibility had dropped off when I would have preferred it to have been increasing.
I have certainly gained skills for life from my role and the company. Skills that I gained from the Excel training which the company organised could prove invaluable in my final year of Uni and in the future. Other skills gained like Time management, Presentation skills, communication skills and even simple office skills will definitely bode me well for the rest of my life.
Working at Toyota is highly enjoyable because of many things, but mainly because of its people and the great atmosphere in the office. People are very supportive and always happy to answer questions or guide you in the right direction, if you're unsure who to speak to to solve problems or find out things.
The organisation behind the placements is incredible. To start with, the recruitment process was very smoothly, communication at each stage of the process was great and the outcome was communicated very quickly. This continued with getting set-up in terms of signing contract and ordering a lease-car, to finding a start date and help find accommodation.
Once I started, the great organisation of the placement scheme continued to shine through as we were invited to helpful training session as well as exciting corporate induction events.
Personal development opportunities at Toyota are great, simply because of the sheer size of the organisation. There are many training and development opportunities available that the company offers internally and there is even more available beyond that. There are so many events and projects going on at any time, just ask to get involved.
Toyota are quite a unique company in what they do as they only offer graduate opportunities to those that have done the placement year. This makes the future employment prospects very attractive as you know that they value the investment that they have poured into the placement students. It would be hard to turn down working for such a company if it ever came to it.
There isn't a large number of placement students and as every placement student works in a different department of the business this does sometimes affect the group camaraderie. But in general, I know most students get on well with everyone. You cannot be best friends with everyone in life and there are enough students for you to get on very well with. The social scene is what you make it but there are no great barriers in making that happen!
Derby is a relatively cheap area with beer and housing being cheap in comparison to the south coast, although sharing accommodation definitely makes it a great deal cheaper as single bed flats are still quite pricey.
Derby nightlife is ok, the surrounding villages have some fantastic pubs which I personally found much more enjoyable. The city itself is fairly bland, nothing particularly stands out and the clubs are your run of mill clubs such as Mosh and Revolution.
There’s a Sports & Socials club at Toyota which organises socials and events on a monthly basis but also run sports societies, which is a great opportunity to get to know lots of people in the company and have fun at the same time.