1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year in the Product Safety and Compliance department at Lubrizol in Hazelwood. The placement as a whole has shown me different opportunities available for science-based degrees which don’t involve working in a laboratory. The placement has given me valuable experience essential for my future career path.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Everyone in the department was friendly and always happy to help if I had any questions. I was treated as an employee and not as a student which was really helpful to gain a genuine work experience.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had regular one to ones with my supervisor to ensure I always had the support I required. If I had an issue which needed the support of my supervisor, it would be provided, and the issues solved quickly. My supervisor was incredibly helpful in expanding my knowledge on certain topics and aiding in my development.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was fairly busy on a daily basis. At the start of the placement there was mainly training and a small amount of work. However, as I became more comfortable the workload was steadily increased. If I had too much or too little work, I could always talk to my supervisor to help to manage the workload.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a fair amount of responsibility whilst on placement. My time was spent managing between project work and daily work. I worked both independently and as part of different teams to help within different processes. Project work involved working on a prearranged supervised project to investigate a specified topic and gain an understanding of the subject.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Overall, I gained multiple skills whilst on placement including time management, presentation skills and organisational skills. These soft skills will be useful for my degree studies and for my future career. The regulatory knowledge gained can be beneficial towards investigating safety aspects in the laboratory. Skills gained in report writing will be incredibly beneficial when doing my dissertation in my final year.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I worked in a four-person office which included another PSCD placement student. The office was really great to work in. Everyone was incredibly friendly and would help with any questions that I had throughout the year and the office really helped to make the experience as memorable as it was.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Overall, the placement was well organised. There was a two-week handover with the previous student and a large amount of training at the start to ensure I had all the required knowledge for my role. The project I worked on was well planned out and had a clear aim overall.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
At the start of the placement I was given a large amount of training to ensure I had the required regulatory knowledge to effectively perform my role. I was given a large amount of support towards developing presentational skills with multiple opportunities to present to a wide audience about the project I had been working on. Other skills such as report writing were also gained throughout the placement.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Unfortunately, Lubrizol does not have any graduate schemes available. However, Lubrizol does occasionally hire previous students back into the company following their placement years.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were around 30 placement students at Lubrizol. The placement students were a great part of the year. The students would commonly sit together at lunch or go out in the evenings after work. With most of the placement students living in Derby it was fairly easy to meet up without having to travel far.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in a house with 3 other placement students in Derby. The cost of living was fairly cheap which made it easier to save money whilst working on placement.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Derby was nothing special. There were some nice places nearby which the students would commonly go to. Nottingham is also close by, being only a short bus journey away in case people wanted a change of scenery.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The sports and social club had many great subsidised activities throughout the year. There was a large variety of events throughout the year, some of which included go karting, laser quest and a trip to Alton towers. These were a great way to spend evenings and weekend as the students would all commonly go together.