I really enjoyed my year at Lubrizol. From the start, everyone was friendly and helpful if I was struggling or required help. Lubrizol really looks after its employee's from things such as the subsidised cafeteria, social and sports clubs, managers making sure you feel happy/comfortable and not forgetting the best Christmas buffet lunch!
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Throughout the placement I felt very valued by colleagues. From co-workers handing over work, contributing to Lubrizol knowledge/services that other employees would use and undertaking work individually, all make you feel like you are an employee rather than a placement student. On my placement the other placement student and I were responsible for a major network equipment refresh for all of the UK sites, we planned the project organising time and resources then communicated this to each business area and finally built, configured and installed the switches on site for the business to use straight away. This added responsibility made me feel even more crucial to the business and showed how much faith the company has in you.
Management at Lubrizol make sure you have everything you need to develop whilst there as well as looking after you to make sure it is a happy and comfortable work environment.
Within my frist few months with the training the managers provided I became competent on the help desk with diagnosing issue and handling any problem a user presented. The training was informative and easy to follow.
The managers also look after you, throughout my placement I had an on-going family issue which my manager and my manager manager were really quick to help and offer support in terms of getting help and talking through what they can do to help easy the situation. This for me helped so much it allowed me to deal with these personal issue and still undertake my placement role without any negative consequences.
As Lubrizol is a global "follow the sun" company it means IS support is provided 24/7, this means there is always jobs available to do. There is a wide variety of jobs that can be small, big, quick or time consuming to resolve. As a result of this some days can be very busy especially if there is an incident which affects a service and therefore many users however other days there can be small jobs such as a monitor set up, printers add or a password reset. It is the perfect balance of having task to complete whilst not always being overwhelmed with work.
Throughout this placement I was given a lot of responsibility. As mentioned above, me and the other placement student were responsible for a project to refresh Lubrizol UK's networking equipment form the planning stage through the implementation.
Additionally within the role I became responsible for resolving phone issues in the UK. I became the port of call to fix any issues ranging from wifi connection, to installing management profiles and phone hardware issues. This lead to me creating knowledge and guides for other analysts to use in resolving phone based issues.
My Lubrizol placement has helped me develop my skills more than I could have imagined and also is assisting me complete my final year. The skills you obtain such as problem analysis, technical skils in addition to soft skills such as customer service, call handling and team work set you up to have a good foundation for a computing career path. I have used these skills already in my final year, time management has been key to make sure none of my modules work falls behind whilst using my technical problem analysis I can reoslves issue which previousl hindered my final year project.
The atmosphere in office was fun yet professional. There was never a day when there weren't smiles or laughter in office however when we working or customer came in everyone was professional to make sure, first and foremost, we can get the issue resolved. Everyone is really easy to get on with, everyone is always smiling and everybody always says hi/hello when you walk past. It makes it a very pleasant place to work in.
The process for applying for this placement was seamless. The company came into my university for a talk which clearly outlined the application details and dates. As soon as I applied I received confirmation they had received it and within 5 days I was contacted to arrange an interview. I was then sent formal confirmation of the interview dates arranged in the phone call with directions and contact details for the day.
On the day of the interview, the security staff and interviewing staff were very organised as to where the interview would take place and at what time. The times in the confirmation letter were followed which made it easy to know what, where and who I was interviewing with.
After receiving confirmation Lubrizol worked directly with my University to ensure all the correct details were in placement to allow the placement to go ahead.
The company firmly invested time and resources into my development throughout the placement. One example was my manager and another business area lead taking their time to help me work on presenting to a formal audience, they took several hours out of their very busy schedule to help me progress in this area. Another example was the network manager for the UK, setting up sessions with me to talk through career development to aim to get into that career path as well as talking through potential final year project that involve network infrastructure. Additionally I attended a couple of training sessions that company had set up to develop security practices such as good password creation etc which helped me grow as a professional not only in an IT sense but as professional worker in industry.
Honestly, I would love to return to Lubrizol once my final year has completed. As a company they are great to work for, they look you and they also help you develop as they know better developed employees will help them in the future.
I am keeping in contact with everybody from Lubrizol, not only as I have become good friends with my colleagues there but they have also advised that if there is a position available to apply for it and I'll be strongly considered.
Lubrizol encourages a big placement students scheme and group. This involves organising social trips out like bowling, cinema and nightouts but also hiking in Scotland, go-karting and all manner of other activities.
The placement students are also encouraged to go to lunch together to get to know each other more and it makes for a really nice atmosphere especially if you work with the other students as part of your role.
Another thing Lubrizol does to promote placement social life is to organise house should students be moving away for their placement this helps people have a place to live but to also help students get to know one another outside of the workplace.
Whilst the placement was slightly North of Derby, I lived in Nottingham throughout the duration of my placement. I had lived in this house last year for my university course. Although I lived in Nottingham the prices and costs are still fairly close to Derby's costs. The costs aren't the most expensive or cheapest and everything is around a reasonable price. The wage from placement was more than adequate to live comfortably in this area.
Nightlife is really good with Derby and Nottingham, a wide variety of types of nightclubs and transport to them is very is easy and reasonably priced. There is a nightclub for every type of party person from a cheesy nightclub, to rock, to house, to club's which provide a good mixture of everything.
There is a wide variety of activities to undertake whilst on placement either through the sports and social club to the placement student group. The sports and social club organises events every week as well as big annual trips. The activities can range from archery, badminton, football, go-karting, cycling as well as trips to York, Liverpool and Manchester. If there is an activity you can think of someone else at Lubrizol probably does it as well and the sport and social club probably organises it