During my placement year I had the opportunity to work on a good variety of different projects, covering a range of process technologies. This meant the work was varied and enjoyable. There was also the opportunity of me to influence what work I was given which helped as I was able to work on things that interested me.
I worked with a huge number of different people in the company and on the whole was made to feel very welcome, valued and included; especially by the members of my immediate team and supervisors. Some of the work I did involved communicating with people in the wider organisation, such as people on site, I sometimes found this more challenging to make my voice heard.
I was given excellent support throughout my placement, including fortnightly catch up meetings to review my workload, discuss any challenges with the work and assessing how to approach them, and discuss new pieces of work for me or projects I could get involved in. In general, I was left to get on with the work I was given, but felt very comfortable to approach my supervisor with any questions.
The nature of the work means that some days were quite slow, and some days I was busy with short deadlines to meet. However, in general the workload was balanced and deadlines I was set were realistic. I was encouraged to ask for new work or speak up if I felt I was too busy.
I was given a good amount of responsibility during my placement. Some small projects I was given in their entirety to co-ordinate and manage, while at other points I would be assisting more experienced engineers with small pieces of work. Overall, I feel that during my placement I had a good level of responsibility.
Many of the skills I have learnt this year are softer skills in relation to working in an engineering company which will certainly help me in future jobs. My technical skills were also developed and my process knowledge hugely increased, I will be able to take some of these learning's back to university with me, particularly the understanding of how a processing plant operates in reality and the process safety considerations.
There was generally a good atmosphere in the office, everyone was friendly and helpful. In particular, the graduates and placement students would have socials outside of work to get involved in. Also, the team I was in would occasionally go out for lunch on a Friday or similar which was a nice way to get to know the people I was working with and helped create a friendly office atmosphere.
It was well organised.
Training varied from lots of online training courses, to attending classroom training sessions and other informal training by senior engineers. As part of my role I also had the opportunity to travel to sites, both in the UK and abroad. My supervisor was keen for me to have these development opportunities wherever possible.
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Healthcare from home
I have taken many positives from my year placement and therefore it is very appealing to return as a graduate if possible.
There is a graduate council which organises socials throughout the year, a mixture of drinks, dinners, and other activities such as picnics and bowling! There is generally a good social scene with more informal events such as a drinks after work or for birthdays etc. among the graduates and placement students. There is also the opportunity to join sports club which are a great way of meeting more people within the company if you enjoy running football, rock climbing or touch rugby.
The down side of being based in Hersham is that Surrey is generally a very expensive area of the country, so the cost of living and socialising is pretty high. That being said it's a great part of the country to live and close proximity to London so I think it's worth it. Also, the graduate socials try to bear cost in mind and are generally at reasonably priced places.
Hersham itself has very little going on in terms of nightlife but again being close to London and Clapham socials/ nights out often happen in these areas so there is still the opportunity for good nights.
Yes there were opportunities to join sports clubs such as running, climbing, touch rugby or football, attend events such as corporate games, and get involved and become a member of the graduate council or be a STEM Ambassador and attend outreach events. Also, just general social activities with other placement students and graduates.
Placement Year (10 Months+)