Computational biologist at BAT

Top Employer
Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
Cambridge East of England
Review Date
Salary
£16,000 - £17,999
Roles
Biology Computer Science Science/Research

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BAT is a Top Employer

8.9/10

The Role
9.7
Organisation
9.4

Socialising

7.2

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

I have been extremely happy during my placement year. I worked on very interesting projects, had all the support I needed, and massively boosted both my soft skills (presentation, leadership and team work to mention a few) and my hard skills (through formal - e.g. acquired on courses - and informal - acquired on the job - training).

9/10

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2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

From the very first day, I felt I was treated just like everybody else - same respect and same rules. It did not take me long to settle down and very soon I became familiar with my surrounding, which was largely due to how friendly and welcoming everybody on site was.

10/10

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

At the beginning I was given enough time to settle down and especially to learn a lot about the treated subject, by reading online publications and material. My supervisor as well as all the colleagues I worked with (even from different teams) were always happy to help. I learned a lot also from shadowing them.

10/10

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

It varied - I had a slow start as I invested a lot of time making myself familiar with the science behind my project, so I spent a lot of time reading and planning. However work quickly built up. I was always happy to stay busy and even when I was not I caught up with reading. Therefore that to me seemed like the perfect balance.

9/10

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I was given all the responsibility I needed to run my projects and beyond. I was in charge of coming up with plans and contributing to existing ideas and plans already in placement. I felt like I was heard and had all the time I needed to read and study before coming up with a suitable idea or plan - which means I was not just expected to know everything and felt comfortable to ask questions.

10/10

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

Undergoing a placement year at BAT has made an immense difference in my personal, academic and industrial preparation. I will be continuing onto my final year of undergraduate education with a broaden experience and a largely better idea of how to progress in my career, in terms of personal development and studies.

10/10

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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The atmosphere in the office was generally just fine. There was a good balance between quiet and louder moments, which honestly for me was really good. There were usually a lot of meetings going on at the same time and people going from office to labs and moving around quite a lot.

8/10

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

The organisation of the placement was spot on. All the events were set up properly to ensure everything run smoothly. Since I travelled quite often from site to site, I had an account to reimburse my travel expenses pretty much straight away. I knew who to contact in case of emergency whilst traveling.

10/10

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The firm invested in me. For example, my supervisor was keen on sending me to applied coursed and workshops to learn more about the subject, and so I applied. They provided recommendation letters, references etc. Moreover, I was part of all the important meetings regarding the main projects (especially the ones I was involved with) to make sure I was familiar with the details and keep me in the loop.

9/10

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • Financial Bonus
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Working from home
  • Travel loan
10/10

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

I secured a job with BAT - the global graduate placement scheme - to begin in September 2020 i.e. just after my final year of undergraduate studies. In order to secure it, I had to undergo an assessment centre with my fellow placement students which consisted of an interview, a group task and a presentation task.

10/10

Social

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

The social scene with the other interns was really good. We did not see each other very often since I was based in another site but I bonded with them, and when I was there we often went out and socialised. They were also invited to visit the site where I am based so I organised the visit.

9/10

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

The cost of living around the area is very expensive. When finding a house, I knew there were cheaper options but I did not want to be too far from work or too far from the city centre. Socialising is fine - there are many young people looking to make friends here.

6/10

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

The nightlife was okay however not the best I have seen. Usually it gets very quiet when it's not term time because students tend to go home for the holidays. I usually went out to pubs and restaurants to have a meal however that can be expensive. Pubs were mainly okay (but expensive) and clubs too.

6/10

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Yes. Firstly, there is a subsidised gym very close to work. I did not join it but I know that they also run classes.
I went to yoga classes at first, then did ballet and contemporary dancing. I know a lot of people do rowing here.
Apart from sporty activities, there are many theatres and a couple of cinemas. Volunteering is also another good option.

8/10

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