1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The work throughout the placement was challenging and helped me improve on skills and techniques I had learned throughout the first couple of years at the university course. I learned how these are applied and used in the real world enviroment.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The teams made me feel very welcome and helped me with any queries/difficulties I had faced throughout. They had patience and taught me a vast array of skills in many different areas and never ignored me no matter how silly the question.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The support was great from the start with managers and more senior engineers helping me out and answering any questions I had. The HR side could of been better in the lead up to starting placement with their communication and help but it was still a decent standard.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
For 99% of the placement I always had work to do and get on with. If I ever ran out of work I could easily contact the team leader and be given extra tasks to fill up my day. There was plenty of work to go around and I got a variety of different difficulty levels to test my knowledge.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
After the initial starting phase I was treated like a normal junior engineer and expected to work and perform to that standard. I was given tasks that would vary in difficulty level that would keep me going but there was always someone to contact if I got stuck. I was tasked with handling certain parts of the project on my own and left to my own devices or within a team.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I was able to build upon the skills that I learned throughout university and see how they are used/applied in real world scenarios and situations. It was good to see how the team used these skills and how it changed slightly from person to person with the core concept reamaining the same. I will be able to take these and apply the work ethic in my final year of studies.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The 2 offices I worked in where quite different with one being more open planned and sitting beside 2 other engineers to a more smaller individual desk situation in another. Both offices you were able to chat with others and as long as work was being completed it was not a problem. You could use your headphones if you wished.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I think the overall set up was good although there were some kinks in the start due to HR problems. I had to relocate 8 hours away when there was an office less than an hour away from my hometown which was not ideal. Also it is very long compared to other placements at 57 weeks.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company invested some into training and development but you are definetely treated as an engineer rather than a placement student which has advantages and disadvantages. Being able to have time to do more training/familiarise with new technologies and areas of work would of been good. Help to relocate/find places to stay was not provided.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would definetely consider a position here if it was to be offered. The company is great to work for and will be around for a long time in the future. It would of been nice to of felt more welcomed/appreciated with some help in moving across country and they could definetely invest more in the placement students.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scenes where very different at the 2 different sites I worked at. I think this was mostly due to the age demographic and flexi time as people come and go for what time suits them meaning that organising something for after work is a pain and there isnt a finish time. I was also the only placement student so it could be quite isolating but other staff made me feel more than welcome.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The sites where in smaller towns and far away from large cities so the CoL was generally quite good and not too expensive. The first area I went to the rent was quite high due to it being majority retirement town and the company did not help find/provide any help for searching or paying for living areas.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
In one of the areas I worked the nightlife was almost non existent, there were a few local bars, not the most inviting of places, and there were very few social events organised within the company and being the only placement student it could feel quite isolating at times. There were some nights organised which was a good way to meet the team members.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were some activities to get involved outside of work but these only ran for a few weeks of the year so once that was over there wasn't much to be doing/socialising with the team. During the work day people played football/other sports but these bit into your working day time so it was not the best to balance the working day hours.