1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I worked in the structures group in London for 8 weeks. Although I was based in London, I had the opportunity to work on international projects. The placement allowed me to experience the life of a structural engineer. I also got the chance to participate in a couple of social activities organised by the company.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
People on my team were generally very approachable and helpful. When I asked them questions, they took time to understand my situation and we came up with solutions to the problems together. There are also a couple of social activities through which I could get to know my colleagues better.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given sufficient support and guidance by my supervisors to complete the tasks they gave me, but I was not given too much guidance that I could not learn by working through the problems myself. I think the level of support and guidance was just about right for me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Not too stressful or busy but not too free.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I feel I was given the right level of responsibility during my placement.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I believe most of the skills I developed through the placement will be beneficial to my study back at university and my future career. I acquired technical skills (e.g. getting to know how to work on a few engineering software/programmes) as well as interpersonal skills which I do not have much chance to explore at university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
People in my team were very helpful and approachable. I really liked the cooperative culture of the team. When I came across any questions, I did not feel discouraged to ask people around me. There are also a lot of social activities for employees to get to know each other.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The 8-week placement was quite well organised. Each placement student was assigned to a line manager. My line manager met me in the first week and we talked about my objectives and expectations of the placement and he arranged for me to site in some meetings according to my interests.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company organised some training workshops for placement students (e.g. a Revit (Building Information Modelling software) workshop). My line manager also arranged some working opportunities for me according to my interests (e.g. site visits). I also received support from my supervisor and developed valuable skills throughout the placement.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future employment prospects are quite appealing. From what I heard, quite a few placement students were hired by the company as graduates after their summer placement or year-long placement. However, I had just finished the 8-week placement so I am not sure if I will be offered a graduate role.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes! Definitely! All of the placement students were invited to join BuroHappold's Young Engineers Forum (YEF). The YEF organised a lot of social activities in the office for placement students and graduates. I had the opportunity to socialise with other placement students and people working in other teams or offices.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was based in London and the cost of living and socialising can be quite high (especially in central London). However, there is a canteen in the office which offers food at a affordable price. Food and drinks were also provided during a lot of social events the company organised.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The office is in Soho.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The Young Engineers Forum organised a lot of events for young employees of the company and I had the opportunity to get involved in some of these throughout my 8-week placement. The office is in Soho and there are a lot of events going on in this area as well.