I thoroughly enjoyed my year at Air Products. There was a wide variety of projects I was involved in, with a huge scope covering many areas of the customer engineering business. Due to the nature of my department everyday was different with new tasks and projects meaning there was never a dull moment. The skills I gained and knowledge I learnt mean I have returned to university a better engineer than before joining Air Products.
Within the first few weeks I had been introduced to everyone in our team and many others from neighbouring departments. Throughout the year I was able to build up relationships with these people either through projects or just seeing them at lunch. When completing any work for people it was great to feel that they appreciated what you'd done.
Whenever I had any questions or queries I was able to go to my manager without feeling I was wasting their time. When working in projects I also received support from many of the other engineers. If there was any issues I always felt I could ask someone and if they didn't know they would help me find someone who did.
Throughout the year I was kept busy almost every day, when projects ended there may be a slight lull but you are soon back at it. Due to the nature of the department there are long running projects which can constantly be worked on, and there are short tasks such as carrying out some calculations for someone which can be done in an hour or two. Which a constant stream of work you're never left with nothing to do which is the best outcome.
After only a few days I was carrying out work and contributing to projects. After learning the ropes the work becomes more important and I was given more responsibility. At the end of my placement I was working on projects were I was mainly responsible for its planning and then carrying it out. With frequent talks and discussions with my manger and other key people I could report my progress back and outline what was happening next.
Having returned to university, I can already see how much of an impact my year in industry has had. By working in a similar way, working during the day time and have evenings off, I have been able to enjoy time outside of studies. I have contributed to group projects more with increased confidence I have been able to produce ideas with more real life examples and theory to back them up. My understanding of many modules has also increased having seen the application of the theory.
I worked in the smaller Basingstoke office and the atmosphere was very relaxed but professional. With fewer staff it was very easy to get to know everyone there making making it a friendly environment. With people from various aspects of the company working there I also saw many other projects and work being carried out.
The program is extremely well organised from the moment you've been offered a place. Before starting [This section of the comment has been removed by a member of the RateMyPlacement Team because it did not meet our site terms and conditions] contact you and let you know where you'll be based and who you will be working for so you can sort out accommodation. A Facebook group was set up with the other placement students so you could talk and get to know each other before getting there. The first day in Hersham allows you to meet the supervisors and many of the senior engineers in the company. With regular meetings with your manage you can track your development throughout the year. Towards the end of the year you present to supervisors and sponsors detailing what you achieved and worked on, an appraisal also highlights what you worked on and how well you managed it.
I received the same training as new graduates and employees, this training covers the fundamentals of collecting the gas through the ASU and what we then do with it. More detailed training was given relating to customer equipment, this explained why it was used, how it was used and how to select the correct one. Safety is key at Air Products and there is
Air Products offer a many placement students to extend their contracts over the summer allowing up to 15 months. They also take many placement students onto to their graduate scheme after they have graduated.
Many of the placement students become friends, being similar ages and experience levels means its easy to get on. Students often live together and socialise outside of work. Basingstoke had 4 placement students which
Basingstoke is a similar price to living in Hersham, meaning it isn't the cheapest place to live. People often live together to help reduce the price of rent.
There are plenty of bars and restaurant in Basingstoke, particularity around Festival Place but don't expect it to feel like a major city. There is plenty to do, but since London is only 40 minutes by train it isn't uncommon to head there for a few more activities.
Getting involved with outreach gave me the chance to help with liquid nitrogen demonstrations, many of these happened during the working day but some are run at schools in evenings. In Hersham there are many clubs such as the running club.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
6th November 2018