Project Management Industrial placement student.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my 12 months at BAE. It's worth noting that enjoyment levels increased as the months went on due to the changes in oneself as well as the increase in workload, knowledge and responsibility.
Beyond my work the office I have been located in has made my placement even more enjoyable due to the sense of community it has.
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I have felt incredibly valued by those colleagues I interact with on a daily basis and they have contributed to my positive experience. However I'd say you are less valued by those who don't work within your team because it feels at BAE to be valued by others they must see visible contributions to their project/ workload.
The answer to this depends on who you have as a manager but personally for me support couldn't have been better. Throughout I have been given constant feedback, positive and constructive, which has contributed to my professional development. My managers have also allowed me to discuss and explore different career ideas and prospects helping me refine my thoughts.
As with all jobs there were peaks and troughs throughout my year in terms of busyness however overall my workload has been at a sensible level throughout allowing for a positive work-life balance. At BAE your workload is usually very dependant on where the project is in it's schedule and what major events are coming up.
Initially levels of responsibility were low but that can only be expected as I was very new to project management. As the year went on as my skills developed and knowledge developed my level of responsibility increased taking on new roles and eventually having autonomy over different aspects of work.
The skills that I have developed haven't necessarily assisted/ reinforced my degree studies to date yet they will help me in my final year consultancy project and the training I've received and skills learnt will assist me indefinitely in future roles. A lot of what I have learnt cannot be taught in a classroom so having the year has been invaluable.
My office is small one (this is dependant on location) with about 50 people but is never usually full which makes for a quiet atmosphere in general but it is a very happy, positive office.
The office atmosphere is also generally very relaxed with little tensions ever arising which makes for a stress free work environment.
The introduction was perfectly organised however due to being the first PM IP you could see that little preparation had been done to figure out what they required from me/ my workload. I'd say initially I had to organise my own placement but once I had attached myself to one project my job role became much more organised and understood.
The company invest a lot of training in it's employees. Personally in a year I experienced this twice with an outward bounds trip that reinforced the companies values and personal development as well as a training course that taught the basics of my Project Controls. Being an IP the amount of training you receive or are exposed to is reduced a little because there is not guarantee you'll return but I know that as a graduate I will be put through a variety of training that will help my future career.
Extremely. There are so many different career paths you could take within BAE systems because of how big the company is and the different functions it has within. There is little chance that you'd be unable to find a career path that doesn't exist within the company. It is very apparent that if the company believe you have the attributes to be successful then they will continue to invest in you.
There was only one other placement student in my office during my time but we all got along very well and on a couple of occasions the younger colleagues we all socialised outside of work. Also we maintained good connections with those placement students at other sites with monthly calls.
I was able to work from home during my time which made everything a lot more affordable. The cost of living isn't massively expensive but also isn't cheap. Rent down south is always more expensive than going more North however I wouldn't know how much rent costs due to living at home.
There is very little nightlife in the immediate area in terms of clubs however there are plenty of pubs to enjoy of an evening. The closest main clubbing town is either Weymouth of Bournemouth where the nightlife is really good.
There is a local sports club where you can participate in different sports and join local clubs. The outdoor activity opportunities are also really good especially being along the south coast. The office itself also has it's own sport and social club which you can join.