Intern working with Collaborive Robotics on the production line in the MINI assembly building.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Very much, it was a great opportunity to see how the business works in the various departments and to start learning the basics behind the career which i want to persue beyond University. So for me this placement year has been invaluable to get a start in my chosen topic. However there were a few down sides which stopped me from giving a 10.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Although some colleagues were very friendly and helpful during my internship there we were some employees who you could tell were slightly reluctant to help projects i was doing as i was "just an intern". This definitely was not the case with all employees however there were a few through the departments.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was very helpful during my placement, he showed a regular interest in my work constantly asking for status updates on my project and working alongside him was one of the best parts of my placement year. My manager frequently asked if there was anything he could do to help me with anything and this made me feel at ease.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The work load was varied. By this i mean one day my projects would need a lot of work done to it so i would be busy all day completing it to ensure i would have something to show my colleagues at meetings etc. then the next day i would be waiting for a response from someone, or my project would be at stand - still leaving me with no work.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a good amount of responsibility, i was put in charge of one of the key projects from the Plant and spent months working on the project which was nice as i heard the project mentioned in different meetings and some people showed a real interest in it. I was still allocated the typical intern jobs like picking people up from reception and delivering parcels which obviously is a lot less responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As i have been working with Collaborative Robotics this year this has ensured me that this is what i want to go into after my degree, and this year has given me the introduction to this allowing me to select a robotics based project in final year now i am confident with using them. I have also learned various programming which will become useful upon my return to studying.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was nice, people were very chatty and i felt comfortable to engage in conversation with my colleagues but there was also the serious side where when work needed to be done the office was often silent with people getting their heads down to work. I enjoyed this.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I felt the internship wasnt that well organised as a lot of interns were picked up late on their first days and contracts were delivered late to them. It came across like it was all very unorganised. Once we had all started work it seemed like there wasn't much work or projects planned for the internship it was more of a "get up and go talk to people" and find your own work.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I feel like during my placement the company offered me training in the sections where i needed training including safety, however for personal development i feel most of that on my own and the company didn't have much of an interest in that. I made a conscious effort myself to go out and push myself and do things.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I dont think there are any future employment prospects and every 2 years the company employs 10 post graduates, and currently none of the 10 post graduates did an internship at BMW. And there is talk throughout all employees that interns in general don't get asked back. This was demoralising and really put some interns off their jobs.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a good social scene emongst interns at the company however this was nothing to do with BMW at all. Intern have created their own group chats and events amongst themselves as BMW dont do anything to encourage interns to meet new people. I think this is something they should really look into.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Oxford is a very expensive place to live in and to socialise in, although this didnt stop interns from doing so. Only problem is every intern would be complaining towards the end of the month as rent, bills, and life in general in oxford is very expensive considering we get the same salary as people who live in cheaper areas such as Swindon.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Oxford was good as there is a large variety of clubs through the city center. There are clubs and bar with different genres of music and even fancy cocktail bars if thats what you prefer. However all these venues come with a large price tag if you want to go there for a night out unless you want to go during the week and get up at 6am the next day.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The interns themselves organised a lot of events such as paintballing, go karting, ice skating, or going out on a night out which was nice as it meant you could meet all the other interns and talk to them on a level that wasnt work orientated. However the company dont get involved in stuff like this and i know other companies who have interns take a great interest in this as i think they care more about their employees than BMW do.