There is a great variety of roles that you can fill as an engineering summer placement student so there's bound to be a role that you will enjoy. I have enjoyed the fact that I have had multiple short term and longer term tasks/project that have given me an insight into different parts of the sub group I was working for.
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Unlike other placements I have heard of through friends at university, Cummins gives you a chance to complete tasks that you would be doing if you worked full time. This means you have the opportunity to help your colleagues, adding value to the company and the sub system you are working for so you feel part of a team working towards the same goals.
Seen as my manager sat at the desk behind me I could ask him questions about the tasks he had set for me when he had a few minutes. For more in-depth support and guidance we arranged to have a 1 hour meeting once a week so I could ask him and questions I had and for him to see if the work load provided was suitably manageable.
To start with as a summer placement I found that there wasn't much for me to do, but as the placement progressed and I learnt more, I was able to work autonomously on tasks with little help. This allowed me to ask if I could attempt to complete more complex pieces of work which kept me busy. There is always to opportunity to say no but I wanted to get the most out of my experience working here.
During the school summer holiday period where a lot of the full time employees were on holiday I had the opportunity and the responsibility to help complete testing of an up and coming product that, if successful, would mean the product would be moved to the next stage in the production process. I also had the chance to chair a meeting and present a piece of my work over Skype to colleagues in India that lead to the redesign of a component due to it not being suitable for the application.
I now have a reference of what the working environment is like and I can now link that to my studies to better prepare myself for when I graduate and get a full time job. The most important thing I have learnt was that you should not be afraid to ask questions when you are in a meeting, especially when you are new, there are likely other people in the room that have the same question or find that the question you asked helps them understand the work that is being presented better.
On a daily basis there is a friendly atmosphere in the office. Everyone is approachable and are willing to answer any questions you have to the best of their knowledge. There are also many team building and social activities you can be a part of to get to know your colleagues better.
I managed to get my laptop and obtain access to the key databases that I required relatively quickly. Also friendly meetings once a week with my manager to ask questions and to allow me to relay my progress to him gave me assurance that the work I was doing was to the correct standard. The rest of the placement was like working as a full time employee (just with less responsibility and stress!)
I was given time by my manager and other members of the sub group when I wasn't too sure on how to progress the work I was completing. There was also many opportunities to attend training lectures in which you were able to learn technical details, how to use systems and to find out who were the right people to go to when you had a certain task to be completed.
When you complete your placement you are able to give the company a review of your experience and your manager writes a review of your progress through the placement. if you have shown that you are able to add value to the company you are likely to be considered first if a job vacancy opens. there are many placements students that end up working here full time and there are many opportunities to progress with job vacancies being advertised internally before externally.
There were opportunities to be apart of social activities that the company organised as well as gaining good friendships outside of work with the other placement students. Other activates such as EEEC allowed me to gain links within the company that I would otherwise never made and build better relationships with people on my sub team.
Huddersfield is a cheap place to live as it is in the north and is not a large city. Nevertheless the train links from the town are great if you prefer to spend time in cities such as Leeds which is only a 2-30 train journey away. Huddersfield also has a university atmosphere with cheap places to eat and drink.
Huddersfield is only a town but it does have plenty of bars and some clubs. It does also have a university so as you would expect the night life is good. If you would prefer going out in a city, Leeds is only 20-30 minutes on the train away from Huddersfield.
There are many in work and out of work social activities. These range from activates at lunch and free food to taking part in a competitive indoor obstacle course with your colleagues. There are also pub crawls arranged outside of work hours with the rest of the company or just the placement students.