I have really enjoyed my year at Lubrizol working in the HR department. The team are so friendly and were always there to help me when I needed it. My work was mainly split between recruitment and training and development which was good as it meant I got to experience different functions within a busy global HR environment. I had the responsibility of leading my own projects which were sometimes challenging but rewarding and from this I have been able to develop many new and exisiting skills.
Everyone at Lubrizol is so friendly and welcoming and I have felt that my opinions have been valued this year. They treat their students just as they treat any other employee and I have felt a part of the team right from the start and people were always open to hearing my thoughts and ideas. This was shown through being trusted to lead my own projects for example creating a student charter for Lubrizol, which is now going to be used as a recruitment and onboarding tool for their placement schemes in the future.
At the beginning of my placement I felt slightly out of my depth as I had never worked in an office environment before and recruitment at Lubrizol was very busy at this time of year. I had to quickly learn the recruitment process as well as adapt to this working environment which I struggled with. However, having weekly 1:1 meetings with my supervisor helped me to plan out what work I needed to prioritise and how to better manage my time. I found these meetings really useful as they allowed me to ask questions and clarify anything about my workload for the week ahead.
During my first 6 months I was extremely busy with the student recruitment and we often had assessment centre's running Monday-Friday of every week in the lead up to Christmas. I enjoyed leading this process as it meant I got involved at every stage from screening the intial CV's to organising the studen't onbarding, so I always had something different to learn. After Christmas, I started to focus more on the training and development so it was nice to get involved in a different aspect of HR. The training is dependent on whether the demand is there so the workload for this often varied, some weeks had lots of training to organise and some weeks there was none.
I was given a lot more responsibility on my placement than I initially thought I would have which was daunting at first but this has enabled me to become so much more confident over the year and I have definitely developed my organisiational and communication skills as a result of this. I was in charge of the student recruitment process and as Lubrizol take on 30+ placement students per year this was a big responsbility! It was create to be able to make changes to the process and share my ideas with the team and know that these changes would be implemented. I also enjoyed being able to see this process from the start to finish, from screening CV's to seeing the new students on site! I was also responsible for organising training programmes for employees at all of our UK based sites.
I have definitely become a much more confident person throughout the last 12 months! My organisation and prioritisation skills that I have developed throughout the year will help me in my final year at university and in my future career. The placement has provided me with a range of skills and levels of confidence that university alone could not have taught me and I am excited to transfer these skills into my future career.
The HR team all get along so well and it has been a pleasure to have been a part of the team this year! The office atmosphere was always relaxed and I could always ask anyone for help and they would be willing to give up some of their time to sit and talk things through with me.
The placement was well organised as I enjoyed the split between the recruitment and the training and development. The only thing that I struggled with was the onboarding process at the beginning and I think this was because I was so new to working in an office environment so I didn't even know how to schedule meetings into my calendar etc. I think I would have found it useful to have been provided with a checklist for my first couple of weeks to help me through the basic training. However, there was always someone to show me how to do these things if I asked!
Even though the students do not usually get the opportunity to attend training courses, Lubrizol spend a lot of time helping their students to develop soft skills such as communication skills, presentation skills etc. I had the opportunity to present infront of 30+ students when I organised the Student Familiarisation Day in April and I was able to get some feedback on my presentation skills. This is something I wouldn't have seen myself doing at the start of my placement.
Although Lubrizol do not have a lot of graduate opportunities, a high percentage of past students have returned to the company in full time roles. However, I have noticed that this is primarily in the labs or engineering based roles.
It is great that there are so many students on site. Lubrizol have around 30 students on placement and many of them live together in Derby city centre. This meant that there were often nights out/social events organised on weekends which was nice as it meant there was still a slight university feel when we all went out together. Lubrizol also have a Sports & Social club who organise and run many different events throughout the year at a subsidised rate. This is a great way to meet new people from different departments and try new activities!
The cost of living in Derby is very affordable compared to the prices I was paying at university. If you are living in Derby city centre then everything is primarily within walking distance which is nice as it means you spend less money on petrol and taxi's. The only thing I really used my car for was getting to and from work since Hazelwood is 20 mins away from the city centre.
The nightlife in Derby is not great but there are plenty of pubs and bars to go to. We often got the bus or train to Nottingham for nights out instead where there was much more going on. There is a bus that goes directly from Derby to Nottingham and runs until 3am so this was very easy to organise.
I was on the Lubrizol Charity and Communities Committee so I was ablew to get involved in lots of different fundraising events across the year. I was also part of a small team who visitied the YMCA in Derby and cooked a meal for the community for over 100 people. It's great that Lubrizol organise this kind of thing and allows there students to get involved as it was very rewarding.