Applied Mechanics Placement Student at Cummins

Placement Year (10 Months+)
Darlington North East
Review Date
£20,000 - £21,999
Automotive Computer and Systems Engineering Engineering Manufacturing Mechanical Engineering Product Design/Industrial Design

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The Role



The Role

Role Description

Applied Mechanics is a team that tests and validates components and engines that Cummins manufacture. If a part of an engine is failing then it's the job of the applied mechanic's team to test that part to understand how it's failing (Vibration, Temperature, Stress etc.) and inform the relevant teams such as design on how they can improve the part.

The role is highly technical and includes a large variety of test work in the field and data analysis.

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

I really enjoyed my placement year. My role was a great combination of working in the office and in the field. The work was very technical and challenging but Cummins has a great support system to help you with any difficulties you come across. I worked with another 20 placement students and some great colleagues which really made the whole experience.


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

I worked in a 7 man team and it was a very close-knit group. I always felt like a full-time employee instead of a placement student and I was given work that challenged me but wasn't so hard I found myself constantly asking for help. Knowing I could always ask for support helped grow my confidence in the job.


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

My manager and I had formal one to one sessions every month. This helped me keep on track and make sure I had a clear roadmap for the next few months. This allowed me to constantly keep busy and develop as an engineer. The other team members were always happy to help with any questions I had as well.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

I rarely found myself bored or little to do. If I wasn't working on a project or program by myself I'd support my team with testing and analysis work. Failing that, Cummins offers experience days in other departments which I attended a couple of times to gain some experience in other areas of the business.


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

I supported other team members for any testings and analysis for the first couple of months. Once I became more competent in the testing and technical side of the work I started to pick up projects of my own. I also had the opportunity of picking up a dissertation project for my final year from Cummins.


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

My work ethic changed dramatically between the start and end of my placement. I found myself getting work done more efficiently in my uni work after getting used to it doing it for a year on placement. Gaining soft skills like how to interact in an office and presenting was invaluable and I was able to come back to uni a more professional and well-rounded worker.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

It was an open plan office with a good work environment. The desks were large and all the equipment was to a high standard. The office went through a major renovation just as I was finishing my placement so It will be even better now I think.


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

As there are over 20 students on site there is a proper placement programme. The students have a meeting once a month to organise charity events as well as fun activities to do. There is a 5 module course that students undertake to develop in skills like presenting, business etiquette and confidence building.


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

I attended 4 separate training sessions across the year that were all highly relevant to the work I was doing. These were all over the country so Cummins invested a lot into my technical development in the area I was working. I also attended training on site to help grow soft skills.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Company Car
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • National Travel
  • International Travel
  • Financial Bonus
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Above 25 days holiday
  • Working from home
  • Healthcare from home
  • Healthcare/Dental
  • Travel loan

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

Very Appealing. I have effectively spent a year working and training in a very specific and technical role. Performing tests and analysis that I'd struggle to find in many job roles so being able to come back after a year at uni would be great. It is not uncommon for Cummins to do this.



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

We had team building events every few months which were fun. As there are lots of placement students that live across the country so there are plenty of other students looking to find accommodation at the same time which can cut the costs of living if you're in a shared flat. The students socialised regularly and as there are so many of us it's hard to not find people of similar interests.


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

I lived at home so don't have much knowledge of this but other students managed to find relatively cheap accommodation in areas of Darlington. Living costs are also fairly low with plenty of places to shop.


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

Darlington can be a good nightout if you have a good group of you with plenty of bars and a couple of clubs. Newcastle, York and Durham is a short and cheap train ride away which can give you a few more options for nights out and be socialising.


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

Yes either with work colleagues or other students we went go-karting, mountain biking and plenty of nights out. There is plenty to do and explore in the area.