1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The placement was enjoyable and equally challenging. The environment created within this company was second to none. During my time working for BuroHappold I was exposed to real-life projects and handed appropriate responsibility within the team. This helped improve the skills in which university provided as a more practical approach.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The culture of the company encourages friendliness and the ability to help a colleague if in need. During my time here I felt part of the team and also was engaged in extra-curricular activities such as 5-a-side football. The environment was relaxed and regular meetings were held to discuss ideas and challenges.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Internal guidance was always provided if needed. Due to the friendly and open environment within the office, approaching line manager is as simple as walking to their desk. No obstructive politics were present within the office and company and any advice required was readily available on hand. The ability to improve yourself was encouraged and to be a valuable member of the team.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Throughout my time here, I was always provided with a relevant task. These related to an on-going project within the company. In the event of having no tasks to do, there were always plenty of new objectives to tackle to fill the void. The placement provided me with the ability to develop new skills in this respect.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During the placement, tasks provided were relevant to an on-going project. This helped provide practical examples with their own sense of responsibility and accountability. In the engineering industry, the responsibility placed on placements is higher in order to develop their skills better. This may not be the case in other fields whereby menial jobs are provided. The ability to provide an end-product was rewarding.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The placement has helped me focus on what needs to be explored further during my masters year. This has helped narrow down the modules required to help me become the most effective structural engineer possible and possibly avoid areas which I will never practically use in the structural engineering industry.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
This was my first exposure to an engineering office environment. My first impression was how friendly the people were and how they encouraged personal responsibility and freedom. Outside of office-hours, the company readily provided opportunities such as Football, Go-Karting and social gatherings to help get to know your colleagues better.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The work placement process was a few months in the making. Starting from interviews in February, regular emails were sent until the placement start date providing relevant information. Upon the start of the placement, it was clear as to how to get started and how I could contribute to the team.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
With regards to training and development, this was highly encouraged to be a personal undertaking. However if need be the colleagues were available to help at any moment. It can be compared to being thrown in the deep end in some respect, which is the best form of learning and development.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The company values placements and provides the opportunity to either apply in the future for further placement roles or apply for the graduate scheme. The employment prospects within the company appear to be high and important relationships are developed. The sense that you could work for the company for a significant period of your life is evident, as well as the ability to develop your skills as an engineer with them.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Leeds is cheaper than many major cities in the south of England, so enjoying the city and socialising will not put a major dent in your wallet. Due to the walkability of the city, if you so wished, public transport could be avoided. However I took the train which was cheap using a railcard.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Leeds being a city with a large student population provides a large range of nightlife opportunities. This also may extend to individuals slightly older and of any age range. The pricing is not extortionate so a good time could easily be had within the city. All depends on the individual.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Within the company , a young engineers forum is present. This provides the employees with various opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work If you so wish. During my placement, I participated in activities at least ten times from football, to go-karting to watching T20 cricket at headingly.