I enjoyed my placement year very much. It really gave me an insight into what it's like to work as an industrial chemist and there was enough variety to keep me enthused, yet enough structure to keep me focused on the project.
My colleagues were very friendly and definitely enhanced my placement experience.
Advice and guidance was always there when it was needed or asked for. Due to the friendly nature of the working environment, I never felt scared or intimidated to ask questions about the work required or the project.
On the one occasion, the project lacked direction, however this was due to unforeseen circumstances. Before and after this, the project progressed smoothly, keeping me focused and busy on the work at hand.
I was given a lot of freedom over the project, with supervisors only overseeing my work, rather than dictating my work. My input was appreciated and encouraged throughout the year.
The amount of insight I gained from the placement was invaluable. It gave me a clear idea of what I'd like to do when I graduate; it showed me how both academia and industry benefit from working together; most importantly, it helped me learn how professional relationships are formed between people from different organisations and how they work together for a mutual goal.
Although the office atmosphere was a typical office atmosphere, everyone was willing to talk when approached. Fortunately my work required me to spend a lot of time in a lab rather than an office. When in the lab, I enjoyed carrying out my work in a productive environment. My colleagues often approached me or vice versa.
I was the first chemist to undertake a project at the facility I worked at. In that regard, I was surprised at how well I was accommodated. Additionally, the project had a clear goal that I was to pursue and steps to get there were clearly laid out before me.
On several occasions, I was sent to other facilities in South Wales to expand my understanding and knowledge of the company and the type of work the company undertakes. Furthermore, I was instructed how to use several pieces of industrial equipment, so that I could use it safely and independently.
The company seemed very keen to hire me after my final year at university, and offered me sponsorship with a job.
Amongst the apprentices, drinks and other sports were organised outside of the work place. Additionally, there were works drinks that were great fun.
South Wales was very affordable in terms of living costs. Being a student in Cardiff, there were plenty of opportunities to socialise.
Cardiff has great nightlife. There was never a time where I felt like I wasn't able to go out.
My placement required me to work a typical 9-5 working day. In the evening and at the weekend, I was given enough time to engage in activities and hobbies.