The placement was divided into two six month rotations of which I particularly enjoyed the first. I was given a choice for where my second rotation would be and chose this placement to learn about an area away from my area of expertise. I did feel during my second placement I was not as utilized as much I could have been, but still enjoyed my time while I was there.
During my first rotation I was given plenty of work that felt important and that had an impact on the team. Due to this I felt valued in my team as I believe I was making a difference. The second placement I felt less valued as I believed I was underutilised, but I believe I was helping the department and therefor still felt quite valued.
For the entire placement I always had a point of contact for guidance and support from my managers and any member of the departments I was working for. I was also given a workplace “buddy” who was outside of my department that I could discuss any issues with. This placement has excellent support and guidance.
Except for the first week where I was waiting for security to allow me access to certain places on the site I was always busy with work. Many of the tasks I were given were bigger than I could accomplish during my time on placement and will be passed onto the industrial placement student replacing me. This meant I always had something to do. During the first two weeks I was placed on a training course; in this time I could have been asked to complete my security application for access to certain rooms. This would have allowed me to start my placement and be productive straight away.
During my first rotation I was put in charge of a project and was responsible for everything involved with it. This included the timing, budget and liaising with both the project themselves and the external customers. There are also many extracurricular activities that can be volunteered for such as open days, organising a stand at RIAT air show and organising a conference about early careers at NATS for the wider company. All of which you are either responsible for organising an event or representing NATS.
The main skills I learnt / developed were the soft skills such as teamwork, problem solving and working in the workplace environment. These are all very important skills that cannot always be taught in University so I have found them to be extremely helpful. This placement has also allowed me to greatly develop my software and presenting skills, particularly in excel.
The general in both six month placements were both excellent. Everyone I spoke to was friendly and more than happy to help in any way they can. This made the experience of working at NATS extremely good. I only have experience working in retail before working at NATS but have found this to be the best general atmosphere at any place I have worked.
The placement has a clear structure for both project management and engineering placements with both doing two six month rotations. There felt like there was a less structure when taking into account the analytics and safety placements. However, there are changes to these schemes so they are all run under the same department. It is because of this I have no doubt that the organisation of these placements will improve over the next couple years.
The start of the placement everyone is sent on a 7 day training course which provides an overview of the company. There are also many opportunities to shadow departments and members from several places around the company. We were also given trips to help gain an understanding of how certain outstations work such as a Radar Tower.
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
The company is one that has many employees nearing retirement. This means there are many job opportunities going for younger employees in the near future. It also is a company going through great change, with many roles and responsibilities being created around the company. There is also a clear structure to progression within the company.
There were plenty of people in the early careers scheme which means there is a definite social scene amongst placement students. The placement is directly opposite whitely shopping centre so there is plenty for people to do at lunch / after work. It was always a bit more challenging to organise things outside of work as everyone lived quite spread out from Southampton to Bournemouth.
I cannot comment on this as I was living with my parents for the duration of the placment.
The nightlife in the area that I worked was rather limited. There is however many places to go in the two nearest cities Southampton and Portsmouth. If someone was living there there would be plently of places to go out. I however lived in a village making this more challenging.
Yes there are many social clubs which I got to take part in. Some of these clubs include, badminton, go karting, tennis. the sports and social club also give out tickets to many events such as football tickets, shows, plays and races. There was always a promotion going round for tickets to different events.
Placement Year (10 Months+)