1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement and learnt a lot about how big buisnesses work. There were some periods within the year that the work flow was very slow, however, I was able to use this time to improve on my CAD skills and read up on Engineerng topics. I imagine this extra knowledge will help me greatly in my final year.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
As the year progressed I felt like my team really valued my input. I had the confidence to chime in in meetings with my own opinions as they were always recieved very well and I was listened to just as much as my senior colleagues. Members of the team would often come to my desk with a problem they wanted me to help solve.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My supervisor was very involved and I fely very supported throughout the year. We had various formal and informal meetings throughout the year just to see how I was getting on and if I was enjoying it. This was great as it allowed me to give and get feedback during the placement and not just at the end.
Unfortnately there was little to no support from management, I think I was lucky to have this particular supervisor.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were large portions of time, especially in the beginning and during the plant shutdowns, where I had no work. This was extremely boring and at times me and the other interns were really not enjoying the placement.
When I was busy, however, the work flow was perfect. I had lots to do, was constantly away from my desk going to meetings, testing parts and collecting cars and never felt overwhelmed.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As expected, the responsibility I was given increased throughout the year. Once I had worked on projects fully supervised, I was given my own projects where the changes I proposed were implimented. My conclusions from testing were accepted which meant I was resposible for making sure I was doing evrerything correctly.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Everything I learnt will be very helpful in my career, especially the buisness skills I aquired. Most of the learning was not directly relevant to my degree, however, I have learnt how a large factory works and a lot of the logisitically constraints you have to consider when designing something.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Generally the atmostphere was pretty good, we have a large open plan office which encourages people to be friendly with eachother and my team all seemed to be good friends. We had a few pub/dinner events with the department which also boosted the mood in the office. A lot of thought has clearly gone into the office layout to make it a friendly place.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Throughout all of the interns in the plant there has been a general dissapointment with the organisation of the internship. A number of us didnt get contracts or pay until a few weeks/months and some were waiting to be picked up at the gate, on their first day, for over an hour. There was an issue with the lack of communication from being accepted and the start date meaning that a lot of interns assumed their place had been revoked and started looking for another job.
This has been addressed recently and they are making a lot of changes for the next group of interns, so hopefully this will not be an issue next year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
At the start of the year we did some mandatory online training, mainly for confidentially awerness and safety around electricity. We also took part in a safety seminar.
I was lucky to get the oppertunity to go to a workshop where we learnt about plastics which I'm sure will come in useful for the rest of my degree.
Most of the job was learn as you go.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
It seems to be very rare that interns come back to work here, although there are a few within in the office. There is a great apprentice scheme in the company and it seems that most of the young starters come from there, rather that uni graduates.
I would like to come back if the job was offered.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Excellent social scene, we have socials every week organised by the interns and emailed out to everyone during the week. These include pub visits, paintball, iceskating etc. As well as the organised socials there are a lot of other interns so everyone has a lot of friends around. I'm generally doing something with the other interns 3/4 times a week.
Most of us live in a house with other students working at BMW, it feels very simular to uni life.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Oxford is very expensive compared to most uni towns. However, the pay here is relative to the cost of living so I am able to save money as well as socialising pretty regularly.
As any town there are ways to go out on a budget if you avoid the fancy places.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Oxford is pretty dire. There are many good pubs and restaurants around but if you want to go clubbing your options are pretty slim. As we have a big group of interns it's always fun to go out, even if the clubs are some of the worst.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not many oppertunties provided by the company, but Oxford is a big city with lots to do. Some of the interns play football once a week, which is a great way to meet fellow students, and if you look around the city there are so many clubs filled with students from the nearby universitites.