1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Three months into the placement I am really enjoying it and have noticed that everyone genuinely wants to help you progress in your desired career direction. Since starting I have had a tailored work package which helps me gain knowledge which will contribute to my university course and towards my general interests as well. The working hours are flexible which helps because there's not as much stress and you can manage your own time better. It's clear that they have also made an effort to group placement students together so that you have someone that is your age and has more simillar interests because the majority of the office is much older.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The best thing so far is the amount of responsibility that I have been given when I started my placement. Everyone treats you with respect rather than just a student who is on a placement year. Everyone in the office and the teams I have worked with has been welcoming and I have had the opportunity to get to know both the other students and engineers.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
In the first week I started there was no IT set up for me which wasn't the best and my placement manager was off on long term sick which also caused problems in what I was supposed to be doing. I was given a large document to read which was a bit advanced for someone on their first day. I read this for a couple of days and was then given books to read to help further my understanding of the field. The good thing is that throughout this period of reading I was asked if I wanted any other resources or help to learn.
Throughout the process I have also been given many meetings with managers and other employees to increase my knowledge in the subject domain. Throughout these one-to-one meetings I have learned a lot and really appreciate the amount of effort that has been put in to helping me.
There seems to be a heavy emphasis on self-learning, however there have been recommendations on what to learn.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was given a lot of independence, for example I could spend time learning and researching in the first few weeks. However, during the first two months I didn't have any real work to complete apart from learning and getting the IT working. I think this is partly because I had to switch teams due to manager illness and the process of acquiring specialised IT equipment which was a long process. However, most of the time though I feel as if though I could progress towards starting work and completing stretch assignments in my free time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I have been given a lot of responsibility. I have been tasked with being involved with a small team working on the design behind a product. This involves review others work, creating my own work and getting my work reviewed. In the future I will be involved with implementing part of the design that I am contributing to.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I think that the skills that I am learning can be applied directly towards my degree. For example I have already had the chance to learn a new programming language. I have also learned a lot about the other parts that relate to my subject such as working in a team to produce a large project and the different ways of implementing a complex design. I have been given a place on a project that interests me outside of my degree subject as well. I think that the skills that I have and will learn will be invaluable in finishing my degree and pursuing a career after university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It is okay, there is a however a large age gap between myself and the average age of the office. I think that the company recognises this though and is trying to change it. Everyone is nice and there's someone to speak to no matter what your interests are. For instance there is an office fantasy football league and football is played every month.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I think there could have been a lot more done for when I first started my placement. For instance I didn't have a laptop for the first week and then I didn't have a desktop for two months after that. Both of which were required to complete work. Also, when I did get the laptop it was 32-bit and I needed a 64-bit machine to run some of the software that I was using and therefore I had to wait before my machine got upgraded.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I have been given a lot of opportunities to learn using books that have been provided and time which I can use the internet to search for learning materials myself. I have had trips to Portsmouth as well which have been useful and fully funded by the business and whenever I needed to stay the night at a hotel. As well as this I have had ample opportunity to learn from more senior members of staff during one-to-one meetings where I have been able to ask any questions which I've had.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future prospects look really promising. If you do well enough during your placement year then you get offered a place on the graduate program without having to attend any further interviews or assessment centres. The graduate program looks really good with opportunities to learn a lot and travel around different sites to learn about different aspects of the business.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There is another placement student and two other graduates which means that there is a bit of a social scene at work. This is good because it means that you have someone to talk to and get lunch and have banter with which definitely breaks up the work. It seems like the company has made an effort to put at least some of the students together. As well as this there is another business ran by BAE next door which is good because they have their own placement and graduate students who eat in the company canteen during the lunch times.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It seems reasonable to being a bit expensive. Rent seems expensive, that is to me however as I normally live in a cheaper part of the country. Pints are expensive because they are usually around £5 unless you go to a Weatherspoon’s. The pub I go to offers good discounts on food on a Monday and Tuesday though which is good so if you look around then I'm sure you could find things which are cheaper. For barbers it costs around £8 to £12 which is a bit expensive to me it usually costs around £7 where I live.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?