I extremely enjoyed my work placement at Lubrizol. It's a lovely site with very friendly people working there. I was doing something different to my degree so it was interesting to see my skills and knowledge being applied in a slightly different area. I was able to develop many new skills and gained an immense amount of confidence.
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I always felt as if I was a normal member of the team. All my colleagues treated me very well and in the same way that they treated other permanent, non-student members of the team. I was never made to feel like my work or concerns were any less important than others. However everyone was also aware that my knowledge may not be as strong as others and I knew where to go for some guidance.
My supervisor was extremely supportive throughout my placement. I was supported on all aspects of my work whether it was work for the company or university related. My supervisor always took time out to meet with me and make herself available when required. I was also given extensive tips and advice by my supervisor when creating and practising presentations as well as when writing a final project report.
From the very start of my placement, I was given different pieces of work as well as my own project work to do therefore I always had something to do and kept myself busy. I didn't feel like I was given too much or too little work. I was given deadlines and just organised my own time.
I was given a reasonable amount of responsibilities during my placement. I was expected to update important documents, contributed in group meetings and managed a project. As a student and less experienced member of the team, I think the level of responsibility I was given was fair and I was happy with it.
I was put in a completely different environment to what I had ever experienced before and learnt work I was not as aware about prior to the placement. I was able experience working in a professional environment and gain new skills related to this. I believe when returning to my degree studies, my placement will make me look at things with a slightly different perspective and in the future I will also be able to pick up new things sooner.
The atmosphere was very positive in the office. Although team members were situated in different locations on site, people made the effort to visit each other in their offices, whether it was to discuss work or even for a tea break! I was comfortable with the people I shared an office with. We could have a chat and when I had a query, I usually got an answer straight away.
The placement was well set-up. There was a project available for me by the time I arrived and I was introduced to it within the first week so I could start working on it. I was also given office space and equipment by the second week so I could settle in properly. I had been added to all appropriate groups and invited to relevant meetings so I think it was well organised.
I received some training in basic applications the department used, in my first few weeks to set me up. I didn't receive any other specific, personal training but I don't think personal training was set up for any individual member of staff. There were trainings organised for my team which I was also invited to and had the opportunity to join. There were also different training and development events usually going on on-site which all members of staff were invited to which was also available for me to participate in.
There is no specific route for placement students to get a job after they complete their degree or any graduate schemes within the organisation. However there are a lot of members of staff on-site who are previous placement students. Therefore I do believe that the company does think of its previous placement students and consider them before a new vacancy is advertised. I also think that if a placement student did apply for a permanent position after completing their studies, they are likely to get some success,
Lubrizol has a large industrial placement programme in place, with most departments having roles for industrial placement students. Therefore there was a large group of students and we all started around similar dates so could socialise. Most students would have lunch together and there were also things planned on evenings/weekends.
I think the cost of living was fairly average. Rent could be cheap depending on where you lived but it was generally not very cheap or too dear. I would say the cost of socialising was slightly lower than you would find in bigger cities in terms of drinks or food.
I didn't really go out much for nightlife so am not too sure but there are some nice restaurants and bars. I think in terms of clubbing, there was not as much choice but those that did go, still enjoyed themselves and I think the prices were fairly reasonable too. I felt that some places like shops closed earlier than you would find in bigger cities.
Yes there was a sports and social club at work that organised many activities that would be suitable for different interests. These would take place in the evenings or on the weekends.
As a department, we would usually have evening meals and outings which was a good opportunity to socialise with colleagues.
As there was a number of other students, we would sometimes get together and organise things too.