1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I found my placement with Air Products very enjoyable. I was given challenging work and excellent support throughout the year. From the beginning I had real responsibility and was given genuine work that was valued by the team. The graduate council really contributed to how much I enjoyed the year, providing a great community of young professionals for guidance and advice.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
This year I really felt like I was a valued member of the team. I was trusted with important work from team members, who would sometimes come to me for answers to queries. The good work I did was recognised and rewarded by my manager and supervisor, which made me feel valued and respected.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I have had an excellent supervisor who encouraged my development by allowing me to work independently, but also giving great support and guidance when needed. He has given me continuous feedback which has helped me to recognise areas that I need to work on, leading to significant development in core skills such as communication.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I have been very satisfied with the level of work I have had this year. Work has come in waves with very busy periods, and some quieter periods depending on the project timeline. But I have always had work I could be getting on with and have had very few dull moments throughout the year.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was the project engineer for an important productivity project and was given the responsibility to ensure it was delivered safely, on time and on budget. I had to lead meetings and report progress to senior engineering and business managers as I was the one accountable for the project delivery.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Developed vital communication and teamwork skills in my project engineering role that will be important for the rest of my time at uni, and when I go into a graduate role. My technical skills have been developed slightly as I've seen concepts in practice and got to work with a variety of engineers, but didn't have the most technical role.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There is a great sense of community in the office which makes it a pleasure to work in. People will go out of their way to help you, and take a genuine interest in the work you're doing and your development. Everyone is very approachable and will be happy to answer any questions, or point you in the right direction.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was well organised by the HR team. I was given the job description ahead of time and helped to settle in with induction days and a 'buddy' scheme. The structure was clear and sufficient information was always provided. Any questions are always answered quickly, and it was clear how progression onto the grad scheme could be achieved.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I took part in several training courses throughout the year which will be useful, however these were mainly company specific. Opportunities for external training courses could be helpful.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would be very excited to join the Air Products graduate scheme, as there are a great variety of roles available and I have thoroughly enjoyed working for the company this year. The scheme is accredited by the IChemE, and you are assigned an IChemE mentor to assist with getting chartered. There is also a great CDP community and support system.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The CDP council provided an excellent social scene for placement students and graduates, with regular social events after work and eating lunch together. Events varied from casual trips to the pub, to exciting events such as curling and trampolining. I have made some great friends throughout the year, and the social scene has really contributed to my overall enjoyment.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As the office I work in is based near London, prices of both living and socialising were high. About half my months wages went on rent, meaning it was hard to save money. The cost of socialising is high, but there is a lot to do.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
In the immediate area of the office there is not much to do with only a few pubs, but London is half an hour away on the train which meant there was always something to do! Also there are other places within half an hour, and a good social scene with other people from the office.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The CDP council provided plenty of things to get involved with outside of work, including many social events and a customer site visit. There were also many opportunities to get involved with outreach activities to promote STEM to younger children. This was supported and encouraged by the company and training was provided.