1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Thoroughly. The insight and experience gained in industry is different but just as valuable as the skills learned at university, and so I fully recommend taking an industry year.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The site had a strong sense of teamwork, especially on the shop floor, and it was very easy to fit in. This meant that it was easy to get help and also to assist other ongoing projects too.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My supervisor and the rest of the team were easy to contact if I needed help, and the "hands off" approach meant that I was able to learn more effectively rather than being guided every step of the way.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Working in a manufacturing environment was hectic on the best of days, however my workload was manageable and it was easy to prioritise work either through my own judgement or my supervisor's advice.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a high level of autonomy and independence during my year, and working in a manufacturing environment helped me develop a skill set that I hadn't had a chance to through university. My role meant that I was able to find my own tasks/projects to work on, which was much more satisfying and rewarding than being given a list.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The real world experience of being accountable for your own work and adaptable enough to react to the daily aspects of a manufacturing site helped develop my personal management and organisational skills. I was also able to significantly improve my communication and team-working skills. I'll be able to carry these through on my return to university and in any future roles.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, though often dependent on how well things were going in the factory! The site had a great mix of people in various roles and it was easy to get along with everyone.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The projects available to work on are defined by the focus of the site at the time, and so the tasks to work on were limited at times. The engineering team seemed to have a smaller presence during the year and so there were little opportunities for training and visiting other sites.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were general training events emailed out.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
3M is a large company and so there is a lot of potential for growth and working abroad. The graduate scheme also gives rotations between different sites.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Accommodation and going out were very affordable and in line with what I've seen in nearby cities.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are several bars and clubs in Loughborough, and the university means there is a strong student nightlife too.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?