Assisting in the development of new products and processes. This mostly involved sampling and testing product/chemical samples and analysing results to come to conclusions about whether new products/materials were viable for production/use at the site.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The placement was challenging and I got a lot of responsibility for important projects for the site. It was made to be very difficult because of the university work that I had to complete at the same time of the placement, which took something away from the experience. However, it will be very useful experience for my future career.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt that my colleagues appreciated the work that I completed and the help that I gave them in work that they were completing. There could have been more feedback about the work that I completed however, and perhaps more praise for a job well done. This would’ve given me a better idea of how I was doing and made me feel more confident in the work that I was completing.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was very supportive throughout my placement year, especially with regards to my university requirements. My manager allowed me to complete my dissertation in work time as he realised that it was very much related to the work that I completed in day to day work, which really helped with workload and my home life as I didn’t have to do as much in my spare time.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was much too busy on a day to day basis. I had to ask to drop projects as I had too much to do, and along with the university work that I had to complete it was all way too much to do. I believe this made me a lot more stressed than I should have been throughout the year and made it the placement year less enjoyable experience than it could have been.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility throughout the placement for major projects for the site. This was probably good experience for my career, but I am not sure if all this responsibility was necessarily entirely a good thing, as I believe that it was too much responsibility in some ways for a placement student.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I don’t know how much the skills I have developed on the placement will assist in my degree as most of my degree is theory based and I didn’t learn much theory of anything on my placement. However, I do think that it will be good experience for my career as it has given me some exposure of real world engineering and it has allowed me to put some of my university education into practice.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There was a relaxed atmosphere in the office most of the time, with people chatting about all sorts of things while they worked. I think the department has done well to be so relaxed in an area that could be quite stressful and frustrating at times, and I think this helped with the stresses that I had.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was not very well set up. There was no structure or plan for the placement, which was frustrating as I had seen plans for the entire year that had been created for previous placement students. I feel that this made me miss out on several experience opportunities on the placement, as I did not get exposure to many other areas of the site. It was also frustrating as I did not know the direction in which the placement was heading for much of the year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I completed all of the basic training that was required at the start of the placement and I also completed a course in coaching safer teams. Apart from that there was not much other formal training, and I think I would have benefited from more training in areas such as safety and data analysis.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would like to come back to work for the company and they have encouraged me to apply for the graduate scheme to start when I graduate. However, if I did return I would like to experience many different areas of the site and have a more diverse job than the one I had during my placement year.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Many of the placement students and graduates met up locally quite regularly, but I lived quite far out from work during the placement year so I wasn't able to participate in any of these meetups. It would have been good to be more involved in the social scene but the distance made this difficult.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As I lived quite far out from where I worked I can't really say what the cost of living in the area local to my work was, but my cost of living in the area I lived in was actually reasonable considering it was quite a nice area and within a short distance of the town centre and many facilities.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Again, as I lived far out from where I worked I can't comment on the nightlife in the area in which I worked, but in the area I lived in it was quite good as I was close to a town centre with lots of bars and pubs and restaurants so I had a lot of fun nights out during my placement. It was also quite close to Liverpool so there was also opportunities to go out there too.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were a few opportunities to get involved with activities outside of work, such as my colleagues asked if I would be interested in playing squash after work on some days. But once again because of the distance from my home to work I couldn't really get involved in activities outside of work in the area.