Just experience, did some coding, mostly shadowing and listening.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Personally did not enjoy much of it, hours were long and often spent doing nothing, requests for more work were often ignored and when I did get work there was little training and guidance for me to get it done well. Other interns enjoyed the experience more with teams that had more work available to distribute and more human resources to help acclimatise them.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Colleagues were generally nice, especially given my position In a team full of nothing but seasoned professionals. They did make an effort to be nice and interact with me ,however, we did not interact much beyond polite greeting. Other teams around me seemed much more comfortable interacting with each other. (they had team lunches and coffees but my team did not)
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Very little guidance was given by supervisors, often found myself not knowing what work to do and when asked, not being given anything. I spent a lot of time just reading through documents that were thrown at me during my first couple weeks as my "guidance", however, these were just specs for the general project rather than applicable to anything I was doing.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Very few good days in which time "flew by" as I was so busy. Most days were endless, filled with doing nothing but staring at the clock and calendar. I applied myself to every piece of work I was given but found I was just extending the work to try make it last as I knew there might not be more work around to come.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A lot of the work I was given was trivial with very little responsibility, just book work or self teaching. However, one piece of work gave me full artistic control over a piece of software. Depending on the quality of this software (for which I was the only person developing), the company might use it in a bid. Only a rating of 6 because they had an alternative software to use, so there was no real weight on me producing anything and was more a time filler project they had created for me.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Though there was not always a lot of work, just being in a professional environment, learning to persevere and wake up every morning for a job (even if it was boring) was invaluable. Also just listening to the conversation around the office and reading the documentation gave me a real insight to the engineering process and an idea of the professional environment. These social and professional skills will definitely be used in my next job that I did not have at the start of the summer.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Perhaps because it was summer holidays and because my project was smaller than others my floor was quiet, often empty and no atmosphere compared to the other floors. Again this cannot be said for the whole company as just walking through other floors and speaking to other interns shows there are very social (but professional) floors in the office
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
In theory, the internship was well organised with a promise during my induction that a supervisor sets you objectives so you know exactly what you will be doing throughout your entire time and are never sat doing nothing, in addition they promised 2 reviews so your supervisor can measure you against these and you can get an idea where your efforts should be refocused. I personally didn't get the benefit of this structure as my busy supervisor didn't set me objectives.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Thousands of online training courses could be searched for and done online, this provided a lot of my experience teaching myself interesting skills and signing up to workshops. In addition the company gives motivational talks and always had a number to call if you wanted more information about a project or equipment
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Any working experience is invaluable so I would take it if I had no other offers, however, given my personal experience not having a lot of work and not feeling like I was given a chance to prove my skills I would choose to work on a different team if possible or look at a different organisation.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
A couple colleagues were regularly trying to invite people to do stuff however people were always hesitant and ended up always being the same 4 people and I in social events. Figure its because a lot of the placements lived further out in the area and have their own lives back home so did not see the use in expanding their networks further here.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Very well priced, company was located near a lot of lower social economic areas, however without a car it might be hard to do everything that you might expect. And with a car, price becomes more because of gas, however still relatively cheap, but as a result the area was also a little unsafe
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Never personally went out because I was told this was not the best. Was warned against going out in these areas if I could due to the slightly more dangerous environment and generally it not being very worth it. However, various pubs, beer gardens and alternative night activities which were very nice
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Weekly lists went out at work with a list of sports and socials going on and their times. Very inclusive and free. Company even advertised barbecues when the weather was warm. And the local pub only a couple minutes walk is frequently advertised to be holding post work drinks for BAE employees