I really enjoyed my summer placement with Tata Steel. I had not done a proper structured work placement before so don't have anything to compare it with. I really enjoyed being in a new environment, learning lots of new thing and making some great friends. I was based in Port Talbot which is the biggest UK site so there were lots of other students there which was really nice.
I felt like I was appreciated there. The induction was extensive and time was taken to show me around site and all the IT systems. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of time everyone was willing to invest in me. Senior engineers would be giving their time to teach me things.
My mentor was not the most talkative man, however, the team I was in was great and looked after me well. Most of the engineers enjoyed offloading their wisdom and wanted to teaching me about the trade, business and wider industry. There is always a HR contact outside of the department that you can contact if you have any problems
Sometimes I was lacking work to do. With my mentor I had to keep badgering him for extra work whereas some students had mentors who would check up on them, ensuring they always had something to do. I never found that I had too much work to do, projects generally move quite slow here but that is probably true for the whole industry.
Given the nature of the business, an intern will never be given that much responsibility within the steel making process as it is critical to the business. Parts of the manufacturing line can cost the business millions of pounds every day it is not operating for. There is an opportunity for students though to make a real impact on supporting services such as helping develop a VR training system.
I believe that I have developed a number of life skills, skills that are not necessarily taught but are acquired through real world experience, such as communication skills and time management. Some experiences have helped me to understand and reinforce ideas taught in my degree. There is good opportunity to develop your technical knowledge through courses that they offer if you wanted to.
General atmosphere in my office was good. People felt calm and relax but motivated as well.
The placement was very well organised. The week long induction was great as you got to understand the company and what they do, which can sometimes gets lost in a company this size. HR have made sure that we have been supported through out the placement. IT equipment, PPE and everything you needed was ready for you from the start.
I found that the company invested in me, in terms of how much time they put into me to learn new things and go on new courses. My mentor didn't set any objectives for me like he was meant to but I have found that I have learnt a lot of skills required to work well within a business.
Above 25 days holiday
I am yet to hear whether I have got a job at the end of it all but I have heard they often look to offer you a job as this is one of their recruitment strategies to get young talent into the company.
I was based on the biggest site, Port Talbot, so there were lots of other students here as well. There were no official socials within the group but if you go out your way to make friends then you can easily form a group and go to the pub or something.
The cost of accommodation I found was quite cheap. I just used airbnb which was about 25 mins drive from site and was only £20 a night. You get paid a pretty basic salary so you might find a good proportion of that gets spent during your placement but on the whole I haven't spent much.
No nightlife in Port Talbot. Would recommend going to Swansea or Cardiff for that sort of thing.
Yes there are opportunities to go to networking events or help fundraise for charity.
Internship (1-4 Months)
24th July 2019