Overall I enjoyed my work placement, there are several aspects of the job that I have found good such as the coding i have taught myself and done as part of my placement. Other parts of my job such as taking magnetic measurements have been okay. I have also enjoyed the experience of living in another country.
I have a good working relationship with my manager and supervisors, I usually go out for lunch with people at work one day a week and have been for an after work meal several times. I have also been for dinner with my supervisor when she has been over for a visit. I get along well with my office neighbour and the receptionist and have several colleagues on social media. The work I have been doing is related very strongly to the customer and I think that shows my value.
My supersvisors and manager have been very good for giving me support when I need it. I speak to my supervisor most days giving him updates on my work and I have a weekly Skype meeting with my other supervisor. When a project is starting or finish I also have meetings with my manager and supervisor where we discuss the project and I receive support and guidance.
I have never been overwhelmed with my work load, there has always been plenty of work for me to too but there has been no deadlines set for these projects that it has caused me to be too busy and stressed. As I work in research there is always something I could be researching about and taking data for/ analysing .
During my placement I was given a lot of responsibility I have worked mainly independently during my placement with supervision and advice only when needed. I have been responsible for making changes in the lab and storage room. I was also responsible for my projects as I was the sole person working on them.
During my placement I have developed my: communication , IT, Python, health and safety, research, laboratory and data analysis skills. All of these will be useful in my degree studies and beyond especially the Python and data analysis skills I have developed. I have also been on a metallurgy training course that the company sent me on.
The office is not an open office, pretty much everone has their own office, myself included. However there are two coffee breaks called 'fika' which is a swedish work that are taken once in the morning and once in the afternoon, most people go to the one in the morning and some in the afternoon. During the fika it is a good time to talk to people and get to know them more. Overall the atmosphere in the office is good and the people get along with each other quite well.
Overall the work placement was well organised, before I started work my supervisor had made a plan for me of the projects that I could work on. This changed as this year went on but the plan was largely stuck to. The projects were well organised and it was made clear how best to do them.
The company sent me to do some training for metallography in January at various places in Wales to help me with a project i was going to be doing. I was also sent on a metallurgy training course at Swansea University in June. Other than this there wasn't much personal training and development except being taught how to use equipment, however I taught myself quite a lot.
Above 25 days holiday
My supervisor has said that she is happy for me to be put forward for the TATA Steel Europe Graduate scheme, I think the grad scheme would be quite good and a good salary however the location on TATA Steel sites aren't particularly places I want to live in, so if I receive another job offer that would mostly likely be taking over that TATA one.
There were no other placement students during my time here however there was a dutch postgradute however he was 27 and I am 22. He was only here for 6 months however and I am here for a year. We did a few things together like going to the cinema or rarely for a drink, we got on and were good work colleagues but not friends.
The cost of living is extremely high in Sweden and I live in Västerås which is a city so the cost of living there is very expensive. Fortunately my work cover my rent which cost them the equivalent of over £12000. The cost of food is quite high compared to the UK and the cost of drinking is extremely high compared to the UK with a drink in a bar costing a minimum of £5, usually £6-7 for 330-400ml.
There is one night club where I went once and didn't really enjoy it, also the cost of getting in was very expensive (about £13) also the drinks inside were very expensive. There is one pub in Västerås and there are a few bars however they are also very expensive compared to the UK and are few in comparison to the amount of pubs and bars and clubs we have in the UK.
With the language barrier it was hard to find things to do outside of work because googling things in english doesn't give you any results in Swedish things to do. I play badminton on Tuesdays with people from work but apart from that the opportunities are pretty dismal. I wasn't able to find anything else to do but I could have perhaps tried harder and if there were any young swedish people at work LITERALLY ANY (i'm the youngest here by 5 years and that guy is married with 2 kids) then it would have perhaps been easier.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
19th June 2019