Working for air products was a very enjoyable experience. I very much enjoyed the varied nature of the work that I was given. My supervisor put a lot of emphasis on using the placement year to learn about the job I was doing which made it more enjoyable. My supervisor and manager were also very helpful throughout the year.
Although I don’t feel that I helped many projects progress at all during my placement year I did feel valued by my colleagues. There were many tasks I helped with around the office/labs where my colleagues could make good use of me. Although most of my work did not result in any further development, I still feel partly valued for it.
I was given great amounts of support from my supervisor and manager all throughout the year. My supervisor had regular meetings with me (every 3 months) to ensure that I was progressing well with the placement and to discuss what I could improve upon. My supervisor also kept me busy with as broad a range of tasks as possible and provided me with help whenever I needed it.
It was very varied, some days I would be very busy and other days there would be little work to do. Not being busy was never a problem though as I had work assigned to me by my supervisor to do when I had nothing else to do and there was also the opportunity to get involved with other peoples work around the office.
I was given a lot of responsibility during my placement as I was given my own project to work on when I was not working on the main project of my placement year. I don’t feel like I took advantage of this responsibility enough during my placement year, but the opportunity was definitely there.
I gained actual practical experience during my placement year which will help me to associate actual applications with the engineering principles that I will learn during the rest of my degree studies. I also developed on my report writing skills which should help me with my degree studies. The experience will also put me in a better position to fit into a workplace when I finish my degree studies.
The atmosphere in the office was very friendly and helpful. There were not many people based in the office I was in, so it wasn’t difficult to get to know everyone. There was a lot of different roles contained within the relatively small amount of people in the office as well which made it a very interesting place to work.
The work placement was set up very well with main overarching tasks assigned to my placement with many smaller tasks to do in addition to working on my main tasks. The only noticeable negative in the organisation of the placement was not being told what I would be doing until the start of the placement, but this was not an issue.
My supervisor put a strong emphasis on using the placement to learn as much as possible about the industry, in addition to telling me to take any opportunities I was given to develop within the company. I also attended some training courses during my placement that were all provided by Air Products.
Since I was working in close proximity to people who were on the Air Products graduate scheme, I have a good idea of what the scheme is like and it seems very attractive compared to graduate schemes at other companies. I would definitely consider joining the graduate scheme when I graduate if offered the opportunity.
There was a good social scene with the graduates and placements at the company whilst I was there. Since the office is quite small the social scene is very much dependent on who is in the rotating placement and graduate roles at the time. However, at the main office (1 hour away by train) there will always be a good social scene.
The cost of living and socialising was similar to most places that you would find on the outskirts of the London commuter belt.
The nightlife wasn’t very big in the area I worked but there was still a nightlife nonetheless. Public transport within the city is not great so if you’re not living near the city centre your only option is taxis. London isn’t far if you’re looking for a greater variety of clubs and bars.
There was a lot of activities to get involved in outside of work but most were at the main office in Hersham so I chose not to attend due to the distance. There were some events within the area such as teen tech but events were few and far between.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering