Applied Mechanics Placement at Cummins

Placement Year (10 Months+)
Manston South East
Review Date
£20,000 - £21,999
Engineering Mechanical Engineering Voluntary

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The Role



The Role

Role Description

The main focus of my job was writing technical reports. I was told I would also get to assist in planning new types of testing and running the tests, but this did not really materialise for the first 6 months.

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

I enjoyed the second half of my placement significantly more than the first. I had some trouble with a colleague in my office for the first 5 months, but things improved significantly when I moved offices.
I also had very little work to do at the start of my placement, so after the initial 5 months I requested to work with another department as well as my intended department, which increased my workload.


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

When I had problems I had to escalate it through multiple people and levels before anything was done.
I would speak to my manager about my workload and it felt like I was not listened to and nothing was done.
The additional department I worked with gave me much more responsibility from the get-go and my work felt more meaningful.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

I was usually given support when I asked for it, and often left to fend for myself and find alternative people to ask for help.
I like to try things out myself before asking for help, but sometimes no useful support was given even when I did ask for it.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

The first 5 months of my placement I was not really given anything to do. I constantly had to ask for more work and the work I was given did not feel valuable. Until I started working with another department and asking people other than my manager for work I was very bored.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I was tasked with writing technical reports, however everything was triple checked before it was released, even after I had written over 5 reports.
However, later in my placement I was able to set up and run tests on my own, and the other department that I worked with trusted me to manage the build of a prototype engine.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

The work that I did was very specific, so if I go into testing again in the future it will be useful since I have a good understanding of multiple tests now, and I have experience which makes it easier to know what to do if something goes wrong.
In terms of personal development, I massively improved on my confidence, my communication skills and my networking.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

I have been in 3 offices during my time on placement.
My first office was outside in a porta-cabin and I got constantly bitten by fleas.
My second office was beside the compressor room and the load banks, so it was really noisey. I also had to spend a lot of time with someone who made me very uneasy, so it was a very tense atmosphere.
My third office was very open plan and busy, so it was much more enjoyable.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

Well organised before I arrived. All of my training and familiarisation with the company was very well laid out.
Not very good in giving advise on where to live and what you could do outside of work.
My work plan was reasonable well scheduled, and I was always given deadlines to work to which kept me motivated.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

Sent me on training that I showed an interest in, but only the introduction courses, never for a full week.
There was a set of 6 placement training courses that everyone had to undertake regardless of their department. Some of these were useful and others were not.
I was allowed to attend any on site training that interested me and was relevant to my role.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

I thought initially that it was more the job role that I would not be interested in doing again in the future, but I was not impressed with how problems were dealt with and how long it took to resolve issues. I would not want to work for the company again



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

There were very defined groups of friends and everyone gossiped.
There are not many clubs or things to do outside of work in this area if that is something you are interested in.
Everyone was busy and rarely made the time to do stuff outside of work. From my personal experience I had to try and really encourage people to spend time together outside work hours.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

Living costs significantly more expensive than it would be at home for me, but much less expensive than other areas that my friends lived in.
There was a cinema very close by that was not too expensive, but that, bowling and golf were the only things to do close by.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

I do not go out much so I can not give the best representation for this, but from speaking with other people it was pretty terrible. There are no local clubs worth visiting, and if you are here during the winter months there is literally no one around. Summer was better with festivals and activities on.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Nothing was offered or suggested through work.
There is nothing of interest in the local area apart from some shops.