Work within operations management, whilst also leading projects
There was lots to enjoy; and lots to endure. The placement gave a very good opportunity to tailor your position, so you could get out of the experience what you wanted too; but this isn't made clear from the start. On top of this each role has its fairly mundane daily tasks that need to be completed; but after you've done your daily 'stuff', that's where the internship really shined. Allowing you to basically have free range to lead a variety of projects, take online learning courses provided by GE and generally work outside of your regular role, and in those regards the internship was excellent.
Wales is a very friendly place in my experience and this was the same within the workplace. A lot of people are very receptive of interns, and are very willing to help you out with projects and just generally learning the ropes; with that said, there are still a few occasions where people aren't the most helpful considering what you're doing and in my experience this can be quite frustrating. But in general, my experience with my colleagues has been extremely positive.
You are given guidance initially and considering you work next to your manager it's pretty easy to have any queries answered and any help needed upon request. BUT, if you're looking for guidance on how to develop, other than the one touch point meeting at Christmas and one towards the end of the internship there feels to be little regular feedback. After the feedback sessions though i've definitely felt clearer on which direction I need to be heading, and when we do have them they were very useful.
This one is difficult; as I have mentioned this internship is really self catered, and by no means spoon fed. You can choose to take on projects, additional work and responsibilities and you can choose to do the bare minimum.
That being said, for me personally I found sometimes I'd have several projects running at the same time which kept me (nicely) busy; but sometimes where there was little to do on top of my daily role which made the days drag.
There is A LOT of potential to take on responsibility; I ran a morning production meeting, I managed two teams that were responsible for £££s of parts on a daily basis and could adversely hinder production, I also ran some high profile projects with senior management and implemented planning systems for several teams.
Long story short, they give you a lot of opportunity to take responsibility if you're willing to take it.
As a business student, seeing various management practices, planning, LEAN/Six Sigma projects etc being run in a workplace environment helped to contextualize what you've sat in a classroom being told for 2 years+ and with that in mind its pretty good.
The skills i've learnt this year, regarding all the above, and in general just workplace people skills is something i see being really useful going forwards into further study or into a job role.
Also a side note- theres plenty of things you could do here that could turn into a pretty good dissertation if youre going back in your third year so with that in mind its super super good.
The office environment was really good, it helped i was in the same office as two other interns which made the environment a lot more chilled but even the staff in the office were really nice, and inviting, plus they were an interesting bunch of characters so there was never really a dull moment
It was pretty well organised in terms of the actual programme, as apposed to the job structures.
The internship followed a 12 month development programme with regular intern calls and relevant ge workplace training to make sure interns were up to speed with everything within ge. The touch points also helped with personal development.
GE offered a variety of online training courses for free which awarded certificates, and although i cant talk about how credible and usable these certificates are going forwards there was still some interesting things you could learn.
There was also occasional group training sessions with other interns which provided training for working within GE, but didnt really help with specific skills like project management or planning etc.
GE dont have any explicit project management roles which is something i would like to go into so in that regards i am pretty on the fence with the thought of future employment; with that said they do offer several good operations based roles and grad schemes that do touch on project management so there is still some appeal
There is about 40 interns as a whole which sounds like a lot but the site is huge, although over the course of the year and because of the frequent socials you will probably meet most of them and make friends with a lot of the interns. The social aspect of the internship is great particularly if you decide to prearrange living with the other interns (which also helps for getting into and from work)
I commuted from cardiff like most other interns and we generally carpooled so transportation was pretty cost effective for everyone and also living in cathays (cardiff) was pretty cheap and pretty average considering the price of student living (~£90+/- a week). Cardiff also isnt the most expensive too with local supermarkets and the town centre being so close to cathays.
Cathays is a student area so there are a lot of pubs bars and clubs to accommodate that, there is a lot of choice in these as well from grungy, to classy, from studenty places to 'locals' kind of places. Theres a lot of choice and its always going to be lively with the amount of students about.
GE ran charity events throughout the year people could participate with as well as offering tutoring/ mentoring in STEM subjects in local schools, including GCSE maths tutoring etc.
There is also a wide variety of sports clubs ran internally, like GE football, rugby and golf teams to mention a few so there really is something for everyone with regards to activities