1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I was located in Derby in the Civil Aerospace Assembly Factory for 10 weeks. The placement was very enjoyable, mainly due to the practical nature of the work (on the shop floor, interacting with fitters and having hands on experience with the engines). Although the placement was a typical 9-5, the team made it more of a lovely environment than some of the other offices I have worked in.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt as part of the team, had full autonomy of the projects I was assigned and was treated just like any other employee. I contributed to the team meetings, general office talk and received encouragement from everyone. I was also invited to visit projects from other member of the team to gain a wider exposure which was unique. They even flew me out to Scotland for a day to visit a research center and Rolls Royce site!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
At the start of the internship I was briefly introduced to the team (although it would've been better to have a deeper introduction rather than just names), got a HS&E briefing, IT logins and general induction courses. Each manager of each project had a different approach (some would say what to do whereas some would try to get you think on your own); but overall they were very capable people. There were weekly meetings for each project I was involved in where I could have to review the progress of the last week, and say what I intended to do the following week. Any questions or concerns I had got addressed and as a whole I was happy with the management style.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was very busy every day, either with project work, general meetings or intern actives. I tried to balance the work however near the end I had to make some compromises as there simply wasn't enough time. As always the job is never finished and you can always do more. The organisation side the the job took up much more time than expected (emails/meetings/planning/getting hold of people) compared to the actual technical and problem solving side.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given full autonomy of the projects I was assigned. This meant I could approach the tasks in any way I felt would be best, however of course I checked with the supervisors my intended approach was suitable. The projects I was given were themselves actually quite substantial and not at all meaningless work, one of which was addressing million of pounds of savings per annum. I was told that I was the owner of the projects and the key person people would address for any questions regarding them.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
This internship was the summer before my last year at university, and so I didn't benefit significantly in terms of my studies, although the skills I gained helped in some of the project work. Communication and organisation skills in particular helped more so than the technical side in terms of my degree. I hope to go back to Rolls Royce on the graduate scheme, which evidently will be a better experience now that I have already done an internship.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was quite small and located away form the larger corporate offices so it was a bit more laid back than other parts of the company. People would make jokes all the time, try to keep an active environment and socialise if possible. Of course sometimes people would have to get a lot of work done so would be isolated and usually have headphones in.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There are many interns every year so the system is quite well established but this by no means makes it perfect. The admin side is notoriously quite poor, in particular IT logins and program access can take ages to set up which is a hassle since you are unable to do the work without it. There were several intern events during the placement which were useful to give context to the internship.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Since I was only there for 10 weeks I couldn't really spend too much time on training and development, although I did take a short CAD course which helped a specific part of my job. There was a lot of emphasis on general advice about career progressions within the company.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Although I lived at home and traveled daily, there were still opportunities to meet many of the other interns (in particular those in the building I was in) and generally for lunch we would meet. It was mentioned there was a society for all apprenticeships grads and interns but I don't think it was very popular.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home and traveled daily.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Very poor, Derby is very small.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were a few, generally meals and gatherings with the same team from work. Seemed a bit strange spending even more time with the same people you're with every day anyway. There were also some societies for sports etc but these didn't seem to be very popular and only enthusiasts were members.