1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It is generally good fun to work here. Peaks and troughs in the workload, but overall a very rewarding experience in terms of seeing something be built, especially when you get to be involved first hand. Placement students are often given a lot of responsibility too- which is daunting but also exciting, and the best part of the placement.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Other engineers were always willing to help, and were very keen to give you feedback and help you to develop. There was a really good team spirit within the project and I felt like I became part of the team very quickly. People rely on you to do important tasks which makes you feel valued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Managing engineers on my project were really helpful. They were always keen to discuss progress, things I might like to get involved with etc. despite being busy themselves. Sometimes they didn't quite act on what we discussed which was a shame, as it meant I missed out on a couple of things.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It is typically a strange mixture of being really busy, and then really quiet. The workload peaks first thing in a morning and often towards the end of the day as people want to get things done to go home. Everyone depends on the engineers so there is pressure (for one of the engineers) to stay to help.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
One of the best things about LOR. They throw you right in at the deep end. After a bit of time shadowing people you get given your own tasks to do, or things to take responsibility for which is when you really get invested, it becomes fun (and challenging!) but really rewarding.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Civil Engineering with a contractor like LOR is not very connected with an engineering degree. Obviously the fundamentals of structural analysis etc are important to understand the importance of different tolerances etc, but I feel you could do this job without needing the degree, and in terms of helping with degree studies it was not overly useful. However, the skills you learn which include time management, talking to different groups of people, and working under pressure are super valuable and transferrable.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Generally good, and people from main contractor and subcontractor got on reasonably well. A few times when pressure built up and the general morale went down, but everyone was mainly friendly towards eachother. Most of the time is not office based, and working on site is a... 'unique'... experience as there are some 'characters'.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The general scheme is really good. A 6-week core placement with learning sessions and a big group task with other students. Sometimes the placement team were hard to get hold of, but I can't fault the overall structure. I didn't get my promised laptop while I was there, and was repeatedly told it was on its way, which was very frustrating and knocked my ability to work independently.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
They invest well in running the learning programme, and asking for placement reports for use in ICE accreditation later in your career. I feel the main investment is essentially getting another member of the workforce over summer who can somewhat cover for when people are away. It generally works well.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
They offered me a graduate job following three summer placements. Unsure whether to take it, but the documentation seems to take a while to come through. Like most engineering companies, HR seems a little bit slow and I can imagine they miss out on a number of good candidates because they get good offers elsewhere in a more timely manner.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
On the group events organised within the scheme it is good. However there was limited opportunity to meet with others as everyone is on different sites and the hours are so long its difficult to have the energy to socialise in the evenings. With colleagues we went to the pub a few times and watched the world cup.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Pretty cheap. Around a university area so it was all studenty prices which was pretty good. Obviously this depends entirely on where the placement is. Lots of people were based in London which is obviously expensive. I imagine Hinckley Point placements may be cheap for socialising but there isn't much there!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Pretty good due to being in a uni area. I didn't really get involved with much, its not far from where I live and the job was pretty tiring so generally preferred to rest rather than going clubbing or anything. Again, depends on the location of the project they put you on.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Don't recall there being anything while I was there. A couple of people were talking about trips etc in the future but I didn't have chance to get involved with anything really. No sports teams as far as I could tell, probably due to the project based nature of the work.