Working EHS Department for a year, completing day to day EHS activities and working on some specific projects.
Work included: waste management admin, chemical database management, incident management etc...
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall I enjoyed my placement. The role was very varied with no one day the same. Being part of the EHS team meant that I had the opportunity to work with a variety of different departments and on variety different projects. I had lots of training opportunities and a very supportive manager. Through undertaking this placement my EHS skills/awareness has improved as well as my general, computing skills and professionalism.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I definitely felt valued by my colleagues, given a variety of non critical and critical business tasks to complete/assist on. I got given more responsibility than I had anticipated; which was refreshing and definitely challenge me. For example I completed important work actioned from site and department meetings
However their were occasionally times were I felt I was given too much work and I also felt it was work palmed off by others that they didn't want to/make the time to do. Though this was very occasionally and I think comes with the territory when doing any placement role.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I found it very easy to reach out to my manager for support. In my first month they organised weekly catch up meetings and then after that monthly meeting; so their were regular opportunities for me to bring up work related issues and seek support.
If I needed any guidance I always found that my team and colleagues were always willing to help/point me in the right direction.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This really varied. I had a good level of work throughout out most of my placement, which stretched me without challenging me to much. Around the times that monthly metrics were due or actions came out of a site meeting, I sometimes found myself to be extremely busy with short lead ups to deadlines. However these period were short in duration and manageable.
During quiet periods I used my initiative and asked my manager for work to do. There was always plenty to be getting on with, if you asked.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given more responsibility than I expected. For example I presented at quarterly EHS meetings and at a site town hall (which all employees from site attend). I also attended as a deputy for my manager at escalation meetings.
I was also given flexibility by my manager to work on self driven tasks e.g. setting up a sustainability team and driving initiatives/.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Doing this placement has helped me with career aspirations, in terms of what skills I'm strong at and what I need to work on. I found the communications and events planning part of my placement the most interesting so I am going to seek out an internship or role in environmental communications. Although I have enjoyed my placement overall it's made me realise that I prefer aspects of a role that get me away from my desk, so I'm also going to explore roles in the conservation field,
I think working 8-4 will help me in my final year of university studies, as I'm used to putting the hours in and meeting tight deadlines. My organisational skills have improved massively and I'm much better at getting a work/life balance.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Our office was fairly social with the departments within the office all speaking/mixing with one another on non work issues. Lots of friendly office banter and competition e.g. step counting challenge.
People were always willing to help if you went up and asked.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My placement was the first year that they had done an EHS placement. It wasn't very structured but this suited me and after a few months I had an idea of what monthly tasks needed to be completed. However I liked the variety of the role and with an EHS role there's always going to be some random adhoc tasks depending on business requirements and EHS alerts.
I think when this placement is more established there is the opportunity for it to be tad more structured, perhaps with list of key monthly tasks.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
My manager enabled me to complete a variety of different trainings including: Manual Handling Training, Mental Health Awareness, DSE Ergonomic Training and Energy for Performance training.
I also was able to be involved in CSR projects outside my role such as being part of an allotment project with colleagues.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I'd be really happy to work for this company again, albeit in a slightly different role.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The placement students socialized initially although the overall group did break off into small cliques which was a shame. But the rest of the placement students that made an effort with one another and I socialized with the same small group of people outside of work. I'll miss those that I did get along with.
The company Christmas ball was a highlight.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I'm a student at the local university so I was living with friends from my course who were doing their final year or also doing a placement in Leeds. I'd say Leeds is fairly cheap in terms of housing, although it can be quite challenging to find good quality housing on a budget.
Socializing depends, you can definitely socialise on a budget in Leeds, equally some places are expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Leeds is great for a varied nightlife. Loads of places to suit different music tastes.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes there was a work football club and opportunities to be involved in CSR projects outside of your main roles e.g. The allotment group I was involved in. The PA team also ran a multitude of different CSR activities e.g. sponsored hike to get involved in.