Technical Specialist - Power Academy Scholar at National Grid

Placement (5-9 Months)
Warwick West Midlands
Review Date
£18,000 - £19,999
Electronic and Electrical Engineering


The Role



The Role

Role Description

Prepare cost benefits and analysis reports for computer systems upgrades.
Research and evaluate emerging technologies, including both hardware and software.

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

It was a great and very enriching experience in all aspects. When I started the internship I was not very convince about the idea of spending few months far away from home. But when I finished I could have not be happier of doing it. Not only by all the things learned and the great times at the office, but also all the people I met during this time.


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

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.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

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.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

Busy-ness varied depending on deadlines and point of time within the internship. There were some points where I had too little to do and needed to keep requesting work and there were other points where I felt that I was almost overrun. All in all the balance was good though with the extremes only tending to last for a couple of days at a time rather than being an ongoing issue.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I was given a huge amount of responsibility during my internship. The team of four that I joined very quickly became a team of two as two members took long term sick leave. This left a large void in the workload, a lot of which was handed to me to do. The work required regular interaction with our external customers and even resulted in me presenting some work to representatives from our government regulators within my first six weeks!


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

This is hard to judge as I am yet to fully see the effects of the internship on my personal development going forward. I have however had a lot more experience of interacting with a lot of people of different levels which has really helped me to expand my ability to communicate effectively. The discipline and work routine required with holding a job are both benefits that I will take forward with me in terms of managing my studies.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The National Grid Warwick office houses around 3,000 employees and so it can seem daunting seeing unfamiliar faces around the office every day. However, there are opportunities to attend events such as business awareness talks and sports clubs which allow you to network and meet people across the business. This ensures that all employees are made to feel valued and welcome. The office also has a hot desk policy and so it is easy to meet new people around the office which creates a good atmosphere.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

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.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

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.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • National Travel

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

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.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

Spending evenings and weekends with the other placement students really adds something to the placement experience. It was harder to do that this year, not being based in Warwick, but I still managed to see them occasionally. As there are fewer people in the Aztec West office, it's harder to get that same social aspect, but I did still go out for dinner with my managers, so it wasn't all bad.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

The nearby towns are Warwick, Leamington Spa and Kenilworth which are all very upper class areas. This meant that the cost of living was extremely high. As a result, I decided to live further away from work and commute in. This meant that although my cost of living was a lot lower, I did have to spend a lot longer travelling and it made socialising quite a lot more difficult having to get the train in to go to events.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

The night life pretty good in Leamington and there are lots of things to do and see with friends. Being close to two universities and the company having taken on a fair amount of undergraduates and graduates, it has been easy to meet people and develop relationships.There are a couple of clubs but Leamington is mainly good for its bars, which host live music near enough every weekend, and the bars are very close to each other so you won't have to taxi between them.So I imagine that it's alright.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Yes! At the beginning I was not too sure about what to do. However, the companies new employee's group called Newnet gets you involved in lots of activities outside your day job which allows you to meet new friends, volunteer and learn about different aspects of the business. I managed to make a reasonable number of friends during my internship but it was a long shot from blowing me away with the number of possibilities.