1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
This internship was great! The team I was working in made it a fun place to work and the projects that I were working on were both interesting and exciting. I would highly recommend this internship; its opportunities for travel and work in corporate-level activities which I haven't seen in any other internships.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt like my opinions were valued lots by my colleagues. At BAE, they were really interested in finding out the opinions of graduates and undergraduates. There was a strong push for 'reverse mentoring' where young people like myself could offer advice to more experienced colleagues, in addition to traditional mentoring from seniors.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given great support from both my manager and other colleagues that I worked with. However, I did feel like there could be more opportunities for more formal feedback sessions, as I valued having conversations on areas that I could improve on. There was also perhaps slightly less guidance from my manager as they were based at a different UK location, though this didn't bother me too much as they were always free to chat when I needed them, and I enjoyed the freedom that it provided also.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The vast majority of the time I was very busy. As I mentioned, the tasks were stretching and required a lot of my time to be completed. There were occasions towards the beginning of the internship which weren't quite so busy, though these were easily filled with research into areas which supported the projects that I was working on.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given very high levels of responsibility in a lot of my tasks. I never really felt like an 'intern'. The projects that I was involved in were strategic and I felt like they were making a company-wide impact. I never would have expected that an internship could provide these sorts of opportunities.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I have learnt are highly transferable and I'm sure will aide me whether I return to BAE, or elsewhere. I also look forward to putting the skills into practice during the final year of my degree, especially in group projects. I'm sure it will also help with time-management and being proactive with my studies.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Generally, there was a great atmosphere in the office. It was friendly and there were other interns to chat to. Sometimes, due to the team travelling, it could get quite quiet; this was also evident on Fridays when many colleagues would work from home. Overall, a great office experience though.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There were plenty of projects for me to get involved in, which had been sought out for me. This gave the internship a clear structure and ensured that I would have tasks to work on throughout the internship. Some admin tasks took a while to set up and travel was often booked last minute but this gave me the opportunity to get involved in organising it which I enjoyed.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company invested a lot in me throughout the internship. The personal training / development came mostly in the form of learning on the job and then reflecting with my manager. There was a mid-placement review which allowed me to reflect with my manager on what I had learnt and areas I could improve on in the second half of the internship. There could have been more opportunities like this though. A lot was also invested in me in terms of travel opportunities also.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The Graduate Scheme at BAE is very appealing to me. On my internship I was given the chance to chat and work with a number of graduates. This was a great chance to get a flavour of the scheme and I would certainly like to work there when I graduate.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I got on with my fellow interns and colleagues and there were a number of times when we went out for a meal or to the pub. I do feel that there could have been more of this, but it was limited in that most colleagues didn't live close to the office and would be driving home. I also attended the 5 a side football which ran most Tuesdays.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It was quite an expensive area to socialise in which was a bit off-putting. I was living with family so the cost of living didn't effect me so much.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There wasn't really much of a nightlife in the area. You'd have to go quite out of your way for a night out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As I mentioned, there was 5 a side football most Tuesdays which was really great fun. I was only able to go a handful of times though and sometimes it would be cancelled. I do feel there could have been more opportunities for activities outside of work on this internship.