I really enjoyed my time with CNL, I got the chance to gain valuable experience in a range of commercial roles and I really enjoyed working on high-end engineering projects. I also really enjoyed having the ability to travel to the different offices in the UK and get a better view of the company.
I felt valued from day one, I really enjoyed working with the team, I always felt involved with the project and this extended to being asked on site visits, client meetings and I was even invited back to the staff Christmas party. This also extended to being able to talk engage with senior members of staff and getting to know more about them and their career.
I found that management was very approachable, if I needed any help they were more than happy to help. This extended to being given the opportunity to engage in training and I managed to complete a number of certified courses that I feel benefited me a lot. There was an expectation that there was a basic level of knowledge around some areas.
I generally was kept very busy as with being a commercial placement I found it easy to work with procurement or other departments if I needed extra work. Some of the other interns said they found that they didn't have a lot of work, but I felt that if my boss didn't have anything for me to it wasn't hard to find someone else that would have work for me.
I was given a fair amount of responsibility that built up over time as I proved myself to the team. There is a limit as to the amount of responsibility that can be given to an intern given the nature of some of the work that CNL and interns simply don't have the qualifications to do so.
I enjoyed seeing how law is applied in the business environment and getting hands-on experience working with sub-suppliers, customers and contractors. However I did find some of the more financial/mathematical aspects of the intership hard at the beginning as it had been a while since I've had to use those skills.
The general atmosphere of the office was friendly and relaxed, we had flexi-time, casual Fridays and everyone got on sociably. I found everyone in the office to be welcoming and very approachable. However due to the nature of the industry, we did work to timelines and there was an expectation that if you weren't going to meet a deadline you'd stay behind and work extra hours or work from home in order to.
I was given a good workload of structured work throughout my time at CNL which enabled me to get a feel for what I could expect in my role if I worked for CNL. I was also given the opportunity to travel to a number of different CNL offices around the UK and visit a number of sites with the other interns, which i found really enjoyable
The company provided me with basic training on a number of different systems that they used for work sharing and project management. I was also provided with certified training for NEC contracts which is the standard form contract used in the engineering and construction industry. Because I was only with the company for 4 months there was a limit to the training I could do in that time span.
A future career with CNL would really appeal to me as I enjoyed working with the company and i found working on high-end engineering projects really interesting
I was the only intern based in Bristol so it wasn't ideal for me to socially and this is probably one part of my placement that I didn't enjoy, however, there were lots of opportunities to travel to other CNL offices throughout my placement and when I stayed over I would normally go out for a meal and a few drinks with the other Interns.
I found the cost of living in Bristol to be higher than what I was used to, although as I got to know the city better I found more bars aimed towards students that were cheaper and this cut the price of socialising considerably. I managed to get a good deal with accommodation and it worked out cheapish however if I was to move to Bristol on a more permanent basis I would look to get accommodation more central
I really liked the nightlife, Bristol is really culturally diverse and you can find something for anyone.
There were lots of opportunities to engage in activities outside of work both through staff and the company.