Gain wide-ranging experience in the design, development, test, maintenance and support of fixed wing military and training aircraft systems. Disciplines you’ll cover include aerodynamics, electromagnetics, structures, integration, airworthiness, support engineering, mission systems, test engineering, flight systems and training systems integration.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the experience of working next to an active runway and getting tours around the site to see some of the interesting work being carried out. However I did not particularly enjoy my actual work as I found it unchallenging and not the kind of work I expected when I applied for an aeronautical engineering placement.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
On the whole I felt very valued by my colleagues. I got to know the people sitting near me very well and found them all to be friendly and more than happy to help me with anything. They all treated me the same way they would treat any other colleague as well which was helpful for getting integrated into the office.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager's style of management was to give me a fairly broad task and then to leave me to approach it however I saw fit. I liked this style of management as it gave me more freedom and responsibility. He was however also always available to give me guidance if required which was great as well.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were periods where I was very busy, which I enjoyed, however most of the time there simply was not enough work available, or the work that was available was essentially just admin which is not what I expected from a placement as competitive as this one. I found that, at least for the office I was in, no one really seems to be particularly busy and this slow, relaxed working culture personally did not really suit me.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a reasonable amount of responsibility and freedom to carry out tasks however I saw fit, which was good. The issue I found was more that the tasks did not seem particularly important to me and I did often wonder why they had brought someone with a science background in to do work which you definitely did not need a university education to carry out.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I gained a deeper understanding of how a large engineering firm is structured and how it operates and that was helpful for someone who does not come from an engineering background. However, in terms of skills developed, I do not feel I really gained anything that will help me with my degree or beyond.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
My office was a very pleasant place to work as everyone was very friendly and welcoming and I got on well with all my colleagues. It was a fairly old office which is due for an update however I did expect this as the site has been there for a very long time.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The general organisation of the placement was terrible. The IT systems, which were vital for our work, were not set up properly when we arrived and for many people took over a week to be fixed. No one knew where they were going before they arrived and it seems as though peoples' academic background and the role they applied for were completely ignored when placing us within the company. The communication between the team organising the placements and the line managers was also minimal in many cases which meant to the line managers, in many cases, were unable to prepare suitable work before we arrived.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
It is unlikely I would return. From talking to graduates and people in other departments I have found that there are definitely some interesting and challenging jobs available, however these roles seem to be few and far between and I cannot guarantee that I would be able to get into these roles on the graduate scheme. I also am wary of how badly the placement was organised and so I am not sure if this would be the same for the graduate scheme.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I got on with most of my fellow interns and found them all enjoyable to work and socialise with. The majority of us lived in Preston and there were a reasonable number of good bars and clubs to go to as well as other activities and nice places to go eat.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Preston is a fairly cheap town to live in, although the cost of the busses is absolutely extortionate.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Given that it is a student town there a good number of bars and clubs. These were sometimes a bit empty as all the students were at home for the holidays, however we were always able to have a good night as there are enough interns that it was easy to find a big group to go out with.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I did not take part in any out of work activities however there were definitely a good number of options available. I received multiple emails during my time there inviting me to join sports clubs or go to other social events. There is also a gym and sports club on site, although I did not use these facilities.