I loved being on placement at the Met Office, it was the one placement I truly wanted and to this day I'm still astounded that I actually got in. The people were great, I was able to learn so much in so many different ways and I was sad to leave. I really felt like I was part of the organisation and not just a placement student. The work was varied which allowed me to get involved in many different areas.
I felt really valued by my colleagues. From day one they helped me settle in and adjust to working in such a professional environment. I had numerous mentors during my time on placement who all helped me massively. I would definitely say that I feel I have made some true friends with my colleagues.
I was given plenty of support from my managers, supervisors and mentors. My mentors would always help me when I was learning the ropes and even after if I had any questions about the work I was doing, they were always lending a hand. My manager was always helpful if I had any general queries and we regularly had meetings to see how I was doing. The supervisor of the placement too was always helpful if we had any questions about the scheme they would always be sure to answer them and check up on how we are doing.
Towards the beginning of the placement I wasn't too busy but this was mainly due to a delay in my clearance meaning I couldn't start the work that I was supposed be doing, this did however give me the opportunity to work in an area of the team I may not have otherwise had the chance to work in. Once I had my clearance and I was getting used to the work I was regularly busy, working on a variety of different things. Towards the end of the placement my workload had began to slow slightly but this was because I had finished the projects I had been assigned.
I was given quite a high level of responsibility during my placement year, my main role was that of a system administrator which meant I was often dealing with peoples accounts, solving any issues users may be having with them. Other areas of responsibility I had were patching the Linux desktop estate and decommissioning old Linux servers
The skills that I have developed should hopefully come in use whilst completing my degree.
The general atmosphere in the office was fairly laid back most of the time, allowing me to get on with my work without too many concerns as long as it was done on time and done well. However there were a couple instances where the atmosphere was bit more stressful than usual, this however didn't often last long.
The placement scheme was organised really well I would say. Each of the placement students were placed in teams which were deemed to fit their skills for the course of the 12 months, with regular meetings and presentations given to the placement supervisor to discuss progress and to generally talk about the placement which I liked, especially the final presentation which acted as a full overview.
In terms of personal training and development, I didn't have too much professional training. I was given training on how to do much day to day job, and how to use the new system when that was introduced. But I never specifically went on any training courses that lead to qualifications unlike other placement students at the time.
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
During my time on placement there was talk of the possibility of coming back on a graduate scheme which is exclusive to the placements, however there hasn't been any word since leaving. I would definitely like to return someday as I enjoyed working for the Met Office, especially since after completion of the graduate scheme you get placed within a team permanently.
The placement students got on really well and over the course of the year we all became good friends, hanging out during lunch as well as outside of work. We also got along with the graduates and apprentices who we also occasionally spent time with outside of work. We would often catch lunch together and even went out for drinks, meals, even bowling and the cinema.
I commuted so didn't experience the local living costs, but socialising was fairly reasonable for the city I would say, there is always plenty to do. Only real expense I noticed was parking costs when heading into the city, but this can be negated by making use of public transport.
Didn't experience much of the nightlife myself but have heard there is a lot to offer from the graduates who returned.
Outside of work there some opportunities to get involved in activities. As I mentioned before the placements would get together at times to do stuff outside of work such as going out for a meal or drinks, going bowling or to the cinema.
Placement Year (10 Months+)