1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the work at my placement very much.
I've worked on a few projects, each giving me a different opportunity to flex my computer science muscles. Between adapting code, creating my own system and grappling with the company network i've learnt alot of skills and deepened my understanding of such systems in a large company context.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Despite being a part of a small team and being an intern, the work i was assigned had real value and will probably continue to be used long after i've finished my intern. My manager has always been respectful, considerate and proactive in my role here and as such the experience has been a breeze.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager is always on hand to answer any question i have and to offer all the support he can. However, I am a software intern and my team is mainly mechanical - so this restricts the types of issues my team can give advice on. Despite that the company always has resources at hand and encourages me to develop my own skills when dealing with new issues.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I've been working on 3 smallish projects and loads of avenues to explore in developing those projects. The expectations of me are reasonable so i never felt too stressed to complete work to a strict deadline, though the projects have enough content so i'm not bored either.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
My projects are mainly solo driven while being supported by my manager, so i really felt like i was in control of my own destiny here.
It's nice to see a project grow at your own accord, they could have some additional responsibilities though as they were slightly too narrow in scope for my liking.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills and experience i have recieved here has been fantastic.
Learning how a big company like BAE functions and what it feels like to be part of it has been an invaluable experience that i will take into account after university.
Grappling with the security enchanced network we have here has forced me to learn a lot about how these networks functions and how the security features work (and how to get around them - normally through IT support).
I've had a chance to develop some software from scratch which also helps me develop my planning design and coding skills.
All in all, i think these skills will help me continue to obtain the maximum amount of learning i can gather at university and will help me in future internships.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Where i work there's a lack of windows and it's a open office layout with maybe 100 people/
The decor is not so modern but fit for the job.
Even though there are so many people in the room, everyone is very respectful so it's quite easy to get your head down and work - which i apperciate.
Overall, it's very work focused and it helps you get into a productive mood when you see the professionalism of the employee's here. Though it could do with a bit of an update!
Also of note is i'm the only intern down in this part of the site, everyone else is in 'the towers' which from what i've seen is a lot more modern and has multiple smaller offices.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
We had a dedicated internship coordinator.
Communication was good throughout the interview stage and the company helped set up housing in the local university.
During the internship, everything has run really smoothly and i've never been surprised with a meeting i'm about to attend or an event i've missed.
I can't think of anything that would improve communication, so i would say it's been top-notch!
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The internship itself is an investment opportunity so there's not much to complain about.
My manager has also been very supportive of my suggesting and working on projects that i believe will not only be useful to the company but also help me in areas where i would value the experience.
The development has largely been experienced based, and the only 'training courses' i can think of are the one's we've had from HR and electro static safety.
Overall, I'm greatful to have the oppertunity here and think it's developed me in a stronger manner than if i had spent the summer at home just coding on my computer.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
BAE Systems is a large company, and a lot of people who start with the company stay with the company and move up the ranks. They have a interesting graduate scheme and i've seen different scheme to promote within the company and train very good line managers. They also have schemes for employee's to move to high level executive positions in the company (google 'Sigma leadership program').
Overall, if i was looking to work in defence and settle down with a nice job, BAE would be a great prospect.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The summer interns and IP's have had a great time together, and half of the sumer interns (me included) live together we have a very good social group going.
Outside of that, there's also a graduate social group that holds bigger events that are quite interesting - my favourite being the grad BBQ.
Outside of that the company also offers a lot of social clubs, especially sports clubs so there's always something to get involved in.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The area we were living in is gillingham.
I think the cost of the area is pretty good, especially considering how easy it is to get to london. That being said, the medway area is a large mismash of towns and is quite confusing to traverse around. The public transport is also quite expensive around here, despite not being well connected to the area i live in.
On the other hand, there are a lot of pubs, and even though it is costly in both time and money to get places - there are places to go and you can get to them.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As mentioned previously, the area is quite complex to get around.
I'm not particularly into nightlife, but the times i did go out were fun and there are clubs and places around.
Compared to where i'm from though it's nothing to look at.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
BAE Systems rochester has so many social activities going on - its clear that they value employees outside of their work.
They have graduate events that they sponsor, opportunities to get organising in conferences if thats your thing, sports clubs, wellness clubs...
They also seem to sponsor competitive sports that employees are involved in.
Finally they also do events like family day trips.
As for the medway area, it's quite hard to explore but i can imagine there are things around if you look for them. Also, being close to london means access to a pleathora of activities to get involved in if you want to make the train journey.