I was employed as an Undergraduate Engineer over a 57 Week period whereby I undertook three 19 Week placements in various engineering areas including flight systems engineering, software engineering, aerodynamics and flight test.
I very much enjoyed my Placement at BAE Systems in the Air Sector. Throughout the year I was able to experience a number of areas within engineering as the year long industrial placement gives you the opportunity to take up three roles across the year. As the placement allowed me to change roles it meant that I was able to gauge what role I enjoyed most and what sort of discipline I would want to work in within the future. I only chose roles I thought I would be interested in so in the end I enjoyed the whole year.
In all three of my roles I felt valued as the work I was given in each role was of importance to the projects within the team rather than being given smaller insignificant tasks just because you're an undergraduate. My colleagues would always try to include me in meetings, even if not related to what I was doing, in order to give me experience and understanding of what was going on in the team. There was always more important tasks to do whenever I finished my current one so it made me feel like a real member of each team I was in, so much so I would have happily and easily stayed in each role for longer.
All of the management within Early Careers and each of my roles were incredibly helpful and supportive. From the start of the year I was encouraged to always ask questions if I was unsure on what to do or how to approach something or if I don't understand something going on. The managers of each role were very understanding in that University is very different so you wont know everything and whenever I struggled with something they would be very patient and helpful. The majority of managers I have worked with had either been on a Industrial Placement Year or completed a Graduate Scheme so they knew what it was like.
On how busy I was very dependent on the work coming in and which role I was in. The majority of the time I was busy but there was the odd day where I was quite bored. However, if I felt like I needed more work to do, my manager would give me something else if I asked. As you can choose 2/3 of the roles you complete over the year, I'd recommend only joining a team you know has a lot of work going on.
I felt as though I was given enough responsibility to feel like a full-time member of each team rather than just an undergraduate. Each of my tasks had deadlines to them related to when they needed to be delivered to a customer so completing what I was given on time was very important and made me feel more responsible for my work and how efficiently I completed it.
I think all the skills I have developed, I will use throughout my last year of University and my career. Spending time in industry I've been able to observe and understand how to manage a team, which I would like to use within group projects in Uni. I increased my competency in a number of computer software's which I will no doubt use throughout my career. I also learnt about processes and methods to completing tasks which would be useful in Uni and definitely in my future career.
Was very dependent on the role. My first role, the office was very quiet, there was not much general talking, everyone was very focused on their work. This isn't to say the atmosphere was bad, just very quiet. My second role, the atmosphere was slightly more lively but the role was also a lot busier so there were a number of quiet periods where people are concentrating on what they're doing. My last role had a fun atmosphere and people were a lot more talkative. So it very much is dependent on who you're working with and where.
At the start of the placement, IT took a very long time to be set up and running so the first week was incredibly boring as you couldn't do anything as we couldn't complete initial training activities. The rest of the year it felt like it was up to me to organise and set up any new roles, which I liked, I felt it was good experience for me, but If I ever needed support my placement manager would be able to help.
Unfortunately, I did not attend any training activities during my year, which is due to spaces available, whether it was related to the role I was in etc. However, from speaking to other undergraduates, the company is very happy to an willing to invest in undergraduates person development, especially if the skills you learn will be of asset to the business.
I feel as though if you work hard and complete your work on time and to a acceptable to high standard, you're likely to be asked back on to the graduate scheme from your placement. The company has spent a year investing in undergraduates development, it would be a waste of their money if people didn't return and bring their new skills with them. The company is very enthusiastic about employing younger people in order to improve the company demographic for the future and also to use undergraduates and graduates ideas for future innovation.
As I lived not too far from my placement, I lived with friends from home so didn't spend a lot of time with the other undergraduates. However, I felt like when I did socialise with them, people got along well. I know that there was a weekly football and a weekly basketball night each week, where the undergrads and grads would have a friendly game together. There would also be nights out organised. When we first joined, there was a night out organised with the purpose of all of the Early Careers community socialising and meeting each other.
As said before I lived at home, but knowing the area, living is very cheap, its possible to move into a cheap furnished house share on the outskirts of Preston. Having been out in Preston once for the works Christmas party, socialising is a decent price also, meals and drinks are priced normally.
From the one night I was out for a Christmas party, the nightlife appears very busy, however, I've not been out enough to say much more.
I cant really add to this.