Working in an electrical engineering environment, working with customer requirements and scrutiny for large projects.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Due to a slow start to my internship, lackluster environment and infrequent meetings with my line manager, I can confidently say that I haven't enjoyed this internship as much as I intended to. It has been rewarding, however, ensuring skills and personal development.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Not only did my colleagues express their appreciation to my contribution to the projects I was part of but there was a Personal Development system in place to allow insights and praise in a formal format.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support and guidance systems were in place through a Personal Development system. This worked through monthly meetings with my line manager, however, numerous months this meeting was either cancelled or delayed. Redeeming this, I was allowed to move to a project closer to my personal development goals.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I did frequently find myself lacking specific tasks, however work was always there. If I ever found myself looking for something to do or too busy, then my team lead would point me in the right direction.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
This is one of the main highlights of working at GE, you gain a level of responsibility that any normal employee would have, as long as you're comfortable with it. This pushes you to grow and gives you a realistic view on the responsibilities of a full time position.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Even though this placement (as a Systems Engineer) was not directly related to the context covered in my degree (Mathematics and Computer Science), the skills that I have developed will assist me greatly beyond my degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone in the office was friendly, eager to help and welcoming from the start. I rarely encountered negativity or anyone that was intimidating. This was refreshing, even though it wasn't the most fun office, it wasn't dull or boring!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
At the start, I had an idea of what project I would be part of and the work stream was fairly consistent. I wouldn't say the process of setup was seamless as there were horror stories of other interns being laptop-less for weeks, but overall satisfactory.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was little personal training and development, mostly coming in the form of day to day work, or online pdfs/powerpoints/E-tests. I gained experience in a lab through work which was beneficial, but I didn't feel any investment into my skills nor offered any personal training.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Due to the size and nature of the organisation, I feel future employment prospects aren't as appealing to that of a newer, smaller more technological company.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Even with a large number of interns (around 50), due to the size of the site there was a bit of a disconnect. However, there were a number of interns interested in social events, going out, socializing at lunch and more!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cheltenham is not known for being very cheap, however there are at least two weatherspoons in town if you're looking for a cheap pint. The cost of living I found was higher than whilst at University, but this was mainly due to travel out of Cheltenham.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are multiple bars, pubs and even a few clubs for people to go and visit at night. A spoons right next to bierkeller! What more could you want?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were numerous volunteering opportunities, a few of which I was involved with, including teaching python at a school in London for a day.