Industrial Placement Student at 3M

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Bangor Northern Ireland
Review Date
£18,000 - £19,999
Engineering Mathematics/Statistics

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The Role



The Role

Role Description

"Successful candidates will have a fantastic opportunity to be assigned to an area of a manufacturing site, to work alongside and learn from experienced engineers, whilst attending training including Six Sigma and Lean training with our graduate engineers and taking part in our Emerging Talent Training programme. "

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

As much as I like working for 3M, the Bangor site in particular has been very disorganised with me and I feel like I have been very much left to my own devices from the start. None of my projects have been brought to completion due to countless setbacks and uncooperative colleagues.
The main thing I've enjoyed about the placement was meeting the other IPs from across the UK and the training courses that we did together.


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

Most of my colleagues have been very helpful and made me feel welcome during my time here. Unfortunately it took a while for this to be the case because I was supposed to have introductory meetings with everyone to get to know them and their job roles. However, my supervisor never got round to setting up the meetings for me even though he said he would. So although I got to know everyone pretty well, it took a lot longer than it should have.


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

My supervisor has been less than satisfactory during my time working at Bangor.
From the day I first started I was completely left to my own devices as if he couldn't be bothered showing me the ropes. I understand that I am expected to use my own initiative but not during the first weeks of getting settled into the job role.
He would blame me for not doing enough work or not getting more involved, even though he was giving me hardly any work to do in the first place.
He believed that I was holding back because I was "intimidated by a male dominated industry" which was absolutely not the case.
He always seemed too busy to help; for example when I asked him to go over something with me he said he couldn't because it would take too long.(I went to another colleague instead who went over the entire thing with me in 45 minutes).
He refused to give me a project when I asked when I was going to finally get one (I was supposed to have a project from the start but the scanner computer required for it was broken and still is), because he said I wasn't ready yet, so I had to go looking for projects by myself.
There are many more reasons I could list of why I have been unsatisfied with my supervisor this year but I will leave it there.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

It really depended on the day. Most days I wouldn't be busy at all, then out of the blue I would have dozens of things to do in one day. I really felt like my usefulness has been wasted this year and I was not used to my full potential.


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

Apart from the OEE presentations and a few SOP updates, I have been given barely any responsibility this year because my supervisor didn't think I was "ready for it". I also feel like I was very much put to one side because the postgraduate's job role was more important. I understand that his responsibilities were more important than mine but I did feel like I was being completely ignored at times.


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

I have learned quite a lot about the working world that I wasn't aware of before and I now feel more prepared to enter into new jobs once I finish my degree. This year has however confirmed for me that I do not want to go into a career in manufacturing.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

I share an office with the postgraduate student whom I get on very well with. The office is right beside one of the machines so it is consistently noisy; there is also no natural light. Our supervisor is in a smaller office within our office, completely closed off from us. He told me I should come into his office more often to ask/tell him things, but whenever I did I usually got the sense that I was inconveniencing him. I wish I could have been in a different office as ours is quite a distance away from all the other offices.


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

I felt like there wasn't any preparation for my arrival last July. Everything has felt completely unorganised and there was no back up for the project I was supposed to be doing over the course of the year. I was even tasked with trying to fix the computer even though I have a very weak IT background.
Comparing myself to the IPs based in the other sites, I feel like I was very much let down by the Bangor site.


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

I have been extremely fortunate to be able to travel over to England multiple times and attend all the training days that were offered to us. They were all very beneficial to me and I loved spending time with the other IPs. I am very satisfied and grateful for how much the company has invested in me in this regard, as the travel costs were quite expensive.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Above 25 days holiday

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

I would definitely consider returning to work for 3M, but not the Bangor site. I was lucky enough to be able to visit all the UK sites this year; my favourite was Clitheroe. I feel that I would very much enjoy working there or in Loughborough or Bracknell as they seem like much more well-rounded sites.



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

There isn't much of a social scene in Bangor anymore as the majority of colleagues are approaching retirement age. We did have a Christmas party and that was a lot of fun but besides that there aren't any other social events of that nature.
When all the IPs and O2s were gathered for training we had many social gatherings and we all got along extremely well with each other.


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

My dad's house is a 5-10 minute drive from work so I have luckily been living at home this year and saving a fortune because of it. I grew up in Bangor so I have many friends here and I go out quite often. The cost of socialising here is very reasonable.


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

To me, Bangor nightlife is really good but that may be because I am very used to the area and know a lot of people here, so it may be a different experience to somebody who is not from here. If you want to venture further, Belfast is only half an hour away by car or train and the nightlife there has something for everybody.


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

Compared to the other sites like Loughborough and Bracknell that have football societies and breakfast clubs etc., Bangor really has none of that. If I did want to get involved in any activities myself I had to go up to my university instead which is 30-40 minutes away from my house.