Agreeing budgets, timescales and specifications with clients and managers
Producing and implementing designs and test procedures
The work placement was definitely enjoyable and incredibly eye opening, especially for a student with a technical background such as myself. A company as welcoming and exciting as National Grid was definitely a great place to start my career. Being able to travel as part of the placement really added something to the experience, and it would have been much harder to enjoy the placement without it (I was based in a fairly quiet satellite office with just one other student).
I felt very valued by all my colleagues, not only by the students who were living the same experience as me, but also by the team that I was working with. They made me feel that what I was doing was important, encouraging me and providing me with constructive comments, at the same time that they offered me their help in everything I needed.
Throughout the whole time my internship lasted I was given excellent support and good guidance by my line manager. I was given a project for my own, which no one to really work with or compare and discuss results, but thanks to my managers' help I never felt alone and I knew I always had her to support and encourage me.
On a daily basis I had a perfect balance of work. I was never stressed about the amount of work that I had to do, but I was also never sitting back and doing nothing. Before coming to work every day I knew what I had to do and how much time each activity was going to take me.
During my internship I was given a lot of responsibility, I had an individual project to develop by myself where at the end of the internship I had to present a report with conclusions so that the team where I was working needed to make a decision about the continuation of the project. This also including visits by my own to substations where I had to talk to engineers, and a lot of calls to other companies related to the project.
The skills I developed and the training I received are skills for life, skills of which I have already benefited in my first weeks of my fifth year of university, many of the things I learned in this internship are topics that we are dealing with in class right now. But not only in the most technical and theoretical aspects of my degree but also in essential aspects for any engineer as time and project management for example.
The general atmosphere in the office was great. National Grid office in Warwick is an incredible place to work. The office is huge, lots of people work there and there seems to be something going on every day. The atmosphere is very relaxed and that is noticeable when it comes to work. However, the chance to travel to different National Grid sites helped to make up for this, and I did go out to dinner with my managers, so all-in-all it was decent. Just the office itself which wasn't great.
The organisation of the internship was fantastic. HR was always making sure we knew what we were doing, that our managers were helping us and that the amount of work that we had to develop was adequate. Halfway through the placement we had a interim review with HR and our managers to see what we were doing and what could be improved, and a final review to let us know how we had done it during the internship.
National Grid offered many opportunities for training and development during the internship, not only with things were needed for the development of our project, but also offering extra opportunities to for example, be able to work with a certain software.
To go to many of these activities, the only thing necessary was to enter your name in an online list.
Future employment prospects within the organisation are very appealing. After this internship I know the place where I want to work is National Grid. Starting your career in one of the most powerful companies in your area of interest is a dream opportunity for anyone. Also having in mind the size of the company and the amount of opportunities they offer.
Yes, all the placement students and colleagues were very friendly and were always having meals and taking part in other activities. The placement students always me up for lunch and I felt that this helped build a strong network within the organization. Furthermore, my colleagues in my business area were always having regular meals and I went to larger functions with the whole department.
As I commuted I did not feel the impact of living costs in the area as other students. However, I believe the monthly rent for some accommodations varied from £300-£500, so there is a variety in what you can get. However, if you are planning to commute by train I did then you can catch the free bus from the train station to National Grid House, the average time for single journey is approximately 10 minutes.
The nightlife in Leamington Spa and Warwick is decent with a few clubs and bars around. There is the University of Warwick nearby so you may bump into some students from there. There are also other graduates and apprentices from National Grid and other surrounding businesses that you can hang out with as well. Overall the nightlife was good.
Some out of work events, but your options are limited over such a short period, and as I've mentioned, there aren't really enough people based in Aztec West to offer many options on that front. The office could barely form a five-a-side game. A lot of the company groups/societies are based in Warwick, and that hasn't yet trickled down to Warwick. The situation might improve, as Aztec West is a very new office. As present it's not ideal though.