Research intern. Helped developed software in a finite difference simulator for seismic waves.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really liked working on some software that had a very direct application in the geophysics industry.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My manager was very friendly and incorporated my ideas and feelings into the project very well.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I would be speaking to my manager on a daily basis and could always pop by to his office whenever I was stuck.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I would work between 9 to 5 everyday with a lunch break, but had enough opportunities during the day to go for tea breaks and spend my time discussing other related problems with my manager and co-workers.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was allowed access to the main branch of the working code and wrote software that with the intention of deployment. I was also given the opportunity to collaborate with my manager on future research and papers.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learnt a tremendous amount of C++ and good practices in Object Oriented Programming that would help me wherever I went in the software world. I was also trained to use the command line and cloud-based services, which are essential in any high performance computing tasks. Given that my current degree focuses on using computational tools to solve scientific problems and I aim to work in a research lab, the skills that I have developed have been invaluable.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Was very quiet and focused in the mornings. In the afternoons we would often engage in both productive and recreational discussions.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The HR staff were brilliant and the inductions ran very smoothly. I got a good taste of what it feels like to work in a corporate setting where all the admin seems to magically get done for you.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was given a good induction by my HR manager about how to be a valuable intern to the company, and that guided the way I approached my placement.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
This is my second summer working for them, so I have already been re-invited once. I am also in the process of collaborating with my manager for future publications, so I would say great!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a good cohort of about 20 interns from several departments, and we would have lunch together and often socialise in the evenings too.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It was very cheap for me because I lived in College accommodation and the company subsidised our lunches and gave us free breakfasts. Also, Cambridge is small and I could cycle to work.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Good, I would go out once every two weeks or so and had some fun times.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, I found myself busy every weekend with recreational activities in Cambridge - the city is very alive during summer despite being a University town.