1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Nissan Sunderland. The work was real hands-on engineering, solving different problems day to day. By the time I had finished I felt like I had accomplished a lot and learnt much more than I had expected to before the placement. I will be able to apply the skills I learnt here to my next year at university.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt extremely valued by my colleagues. I fitted into the team very well, everyone was friendly and easy to get along with. If I ever had a lack of work to do and I asked a colleague, they would be very helpful and find an interesting task for me to look at.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
When I needed help my senior was supportive but at times it felt like he was quite distant as he was very busy and didn’t really have time to be looking at the jobs I was doing. However my graduate mentor was very supportive and I had daily reviews with him to see how I was getting on and what my workload was like.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The workload varied greatly from day to day but there were very few times when I felt I had nothing to do. I was working during the summer shutdown, during which there was less work. I never felt like I had too much to do but there were times when I was working under pressure to get jobs finished.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A fair amount of responsibility was placed upon me during the placement. After the first few weeks I was given jobs that were actually going to make a significant difference at NMUK and felt like I was treated just like an engineer, not just a placement student. It was a good level of responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
At Nissan there is a great focus on being efficient and methodical when carrying out work. I have picked up these skills and will be able to apply them to my work at university next year. I feel I can now work a lot better under pressure and am able to prioritise my workload a lot better.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
In the office there was a good atmosphere. Most people were very easy to get along with and great to talk to. You were not frowned upon if you had a five minute chat with a colleague and the managers weren't constantly watching over you to check you were working.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was fairly well organised. The first three days you have a company induction. You are then assigned a mentor who is in your team and you work closely with during your placement. The workload was very well organised for the first few weeks but could be planned better throughout the whole length of the placement.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I didn't complete any training and development courses as such, however I did learn a lot. You get out of the placement what you put in, so if you are willing to learn a lot then this is very easy but you must be proactive in asking questions and have an interest in the work.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future employment prospects seem very appealing. There is a great graduate starting salary which raises quickly over the 2 year scheme. The only negative aspect is the current automotive industry climate and the problems that they are facing, which may make future employment uncertain as to whether there will be as many graduate job positions available.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were 8 summer placement students on my scheme, we all got along really well and went on a few nights out together outside of work. I felt that because we were all the same age and in the same boat this made it easier for us to get along.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home with my parents during the placement but some of the others rented a house in Sunderland which I believe was fairly cheap. In terms of socialising, Newcastle is probably the best place to go as there are lots of cheap places to visit over the weekends.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in nearby Newcastle is very good as there is a big student population. Lots of cheap bars and good venues. Sunderland on the other hand is not great for nightlife. A few of the placements were renting houses in Newcastle were perfect to stay at after a night out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There weren't a great amount of opportunities to get involved with activities outside of work. There were football teams and golf teams the join however that was about it. The location of Nissan makes this tricky as it isn't walking distance to a town and people come from all over to work there.