1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
the work is engaging and challenging and the big picture of what this company does to facilitate printed circuit boards feels meaningful. sometimes work can be a bit dull but there are plenty of exciting things that make the work enjoyable. two things to mention, I got my drawings sent to a manufacturer and saw my work come to life and be used in the machines, that was really amazing to go from concept idea all the way through to having it built in front of me. second, I was involved in some testing, working with lasers to collect and analyze data was interesting to see what was happening in the machines to such a precise level, really puts into perspective the level of work going on.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I'm expected to complete work with deadlines always being set and progress updates. deliver presentations of progress and findings of experimental results. they expect and appreciate my attention and input to generate ideas, solutions and analysis which is well received and actioned on. they rely on my information being accurate and have confidence in my assessment and decision making. socially we get on well and have a friendly atmosphere.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I have been assigned a mentor who is someone that I work on projects with and is a first contact if I don't understand something or to receive work. other staff I have worked with have also been encouraging and helpful to show what is expected and patient to explain things that don't seem clear at first
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
like most places there are busy and not so busy periods depending on the stage of the project. some times I've had almost nothing to do and spent time researching for my final year project, sometimes ive been so busy I ate lunch in 10 minutes. the management is good though, even when its a bit too much and theres a lot of drive to get things done, they acknowledge that only so much can actually be done in a day
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
my responsibility has gone up and down over the year depending on the size of the department and the level of work. in a larger department my engineering skills we expected to be high as they don't want to have to repeat sloppy work. however there was several stages for work to go through to get approved so mistakes were easily found. in a smaller team later on in the year my responsibility went up as they were more reliant on accurate and quality work that people will make decisions out of. that said there was still local team collaborations and a manager to share information with before this got disseminated
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
this has given me opportunity to test what I know and put into practice the theory from university. this was actually really useful !
work in development needs refining and feedback from the senior engineers, this helped me to get a better understanding of my work, developing engineering skills, how things go through the stages of concept, development, prototype, testing and calibrating and onwards. I have a much better hand on the working practicalities of an engineering role and feel more secure in my understanding.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
friendly and good banter. people are happy to discuss work and help each other. coffee in the mornings for a catch-up about the work ahead for that day and to discuss what we might need or information to send out. this made things relaxed and happy to be there so its not all work work work but that comes with the expectation that you do get your work done on time
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
the contact who managed the placement, gave me details for admin on start dates, payment, contract etc all went really smoothly. even through out if I needed something or something changed there weren't any issues. the work itself is involved with developing the current project, so if there is a drop in work there isn't some kind of activity for you to do. the set up is parallel to the rate of current work.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
there was no training courses for me to do that in some way made me a better engineer. the training and investment all came form colleague interactions and their time spent to talk about the work. this was very helpful though as the feedback was quality discussion and clearly outlined next steps to take to help me learn
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
the work is interesting and there is plenty to discover. there is a lot to learn here and i should think that there would be good career development as the work drives you to explore for better solutions and improve existing ones.
this is bolstered by patent incentivisation were it is encouraged for everyone to come up with ideas and present them, if approved theres a bonus and something impressive to add to your CV
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
there are things to do and evenings are organized to get people together for dinner. its not a weekly or monthly thing that is set or has any expectation to go, its just ad hoc and organized between colleagues. the sport and social club do tend to do some extra stuff with a summer and Christmas party among other sporting events
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I really couldn't say, i commuted from Bournemouth. the odd dinner in town was priced as expected for most restaurants... it is Weymouth so there wasn't anything too fancy. friends of mine rented locally and they didn't seem to have any problems, there are places to eat and have a drink
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I really couldn't say, i commuted from Bournemouth. some bars are open till late, there are plenty of pubs to get drinks and socialize but that's kind of it. if your looking for night life and something exciting then your gona have to find this in another town, and it isn't Dorchester.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
there are sports clubs that have games every week. the badminton and football are popular and are available to everyone. you just need to put your name down for the teams to get made and then turn up. there is also an event set up every few months to have a day out doing something within the department