1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I learnt such a lot in 8 weeks of placement with Buro Happold. In terms of technical skills I learnt how to use useful programs such as Robot, Tedds and Rhino which was useful as being at university does not equip you with these skills. I also enjoyed learning how the company works as a whole, meeting people from other disciplines and witnessing collaboration through design reviews. However, some days can be more tedious.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
At times I was left without any work to do despite being assigned to a manager. At other times the work I am assigned to feels like the boring tasks that no one wants to do, although this is understandable as an intern. It was rewarding when managers showed me the outcome of what I do for example by including me in the following emails etc.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The managers are always there to ask for help and friendly. However, they can sometimes leave you for days and not check up on you if you don't approach them first. This is probably because they are all busy with their own work. Sometimes, they expect you to figure things out by yourself through google etc.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
On some days I would have nothing to do at all and on other days I will be stressed out when things take longer than I thought e.g. modelling issues etc. On average, I would say I worked at a comfortable pace and didn't get too stressed on most days.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I didn't feel like I was given too much responsibility as everything I did was either checked thoroughly or just small tasks to begin with. Towards the end I was assigned to a project which got me more involved as I worked on it for a longer period of time. This is when I felt more part of the team with responsibilities.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
This internship has given me an invaluable insight into how the structural engineering industry actually works and has given me renewed excitement to carry on my studies for my final year. It has given me a strong practical background to the theory already covered in university. I am confident now to apply for similar jobs in structural engineering and I think I have learnt some basic skills which will be vital.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It is a very relaxed environment with colleagues wearing casual clothes and chatting to eachother, being generally sociable. It is nice that it is not too quiet and everyone seems to be friends with eachother. Over the summer, the office is very empty so it is quite sparse, I am not sitting close to anyone.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It is well organised as our line managers look out for us. However I do feel like there wasn't much work cut out for us to do in the company and I sometimes doubted the fact that they needed any interns at all. However, while I worked here I was treated like a graduate with my own card, headshots taken, details on the company system etc.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I did not train in anything that was not required for the tasks I had at hand. I was not encouraged to learn new things or take part in training programs. However, there are optional talks and workshops after hours which are open to everyone. For example, the fortnightly Hackademy.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would like to work here after graduation as it is a pleasant environment and the people are welcoming and sociable. The work is exciting and the projects undertaken by the company are impressive. I like how there are so many disciplines in the company and the collaboration between them.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were not many interns in structures although in the other disciplines there were more. There was no organised event to meet all of them so we were quite scattered, making it difficult to have good socials. However, some of us met at work events and got to know each other quite well.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
By Tottenham court road there are a lot of places for socialising and drinking which are charged at typical peak prices in London. Rent is around £190 a week around here for a room and food £12 a meal, roughly. You can always find a café for cheap lunch though.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The company is opposite the Roxy so there is always a club to go to. There are also so many pubs and bars you will find most of your colleagues in them on a Friday night.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are a few clubs which are announced opening through emails etc. For example, sketch club, Hackademy, running, lunchtime circuit training and running club. There is also a basketball club that most of the employees seem to be part of. The company also organise camping trips and bbqs to socialise.