1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the work when it related to my degree however there were often instances where I would be doing administrative work. The more I would ask for tasks the more enjoyable the tasks got. It was a good experience however due to the short duration of my stay I wasn't able to really get stuck into the work.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues were friendly and open they were understaffed and often were very busy. The complexity of simple organisation within the company often resulted in my getting confused about simple administrative tasks and having to ask multiple people which many of the employees struggled with however once I got to grip with the organisation things flowed more easily.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support is great almost all colleagues are happy to answer questions and explain things through especially for things unique to the job and company. Although you are given help and advice I often found myself researching online and reading papers to learn about industrial concepts that are not taught within the degree.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were times where I was super busy and times when I had nothing to do. It varied a lot which I wasn't too keen on. Especially at the start of the placement when waiting around for clearance and at the end of the internship when trying to sort out leaving paperwork and handovers.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had to go above and beyond to show to my colleagues that I could handle more responsibility and only then would they apprehensively give the work to me. I would recommend taking every opportunity to take more responsibility and actively seek/ask for jobs that require more responsibility. Even when they do give you responsibility they do help you if you require it.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learnt a lot about the industry and how to work as an engineer rather than be an engineering student. However I did get to use a chunk of my degree with the longer tasks. I found these tasks more enjoyable than the other tasks. Most of my learning was about the engineering industry which I didn't come into contact with in my degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone is really friendly and open however management keep a very watchful eye on you. People are willing to have a chat every now and then. Most people are however very overwhelmed with work and are running from meeting to meeting trying to ensure they have completed everything. Therefore it can be at times intense.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The Early careers department were well set up and although understaffed were great in accommodating the interns, following up with managers and interns and providing support throughout the internship. The individual placement managers were unaware of the interns arrival until a week before we arrived. Therefore a lot of waiting around for clearance and IT was required.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company have a lot of their own facilities which you can tour around however there are very few resources for training. The company however do invest in an all expenses payed residential trip for all the interns to meet each other within the first week which is a good investment. There are other courses which you can opt into however managers are not too keen if you spend lots of time out of the office.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future prospects at the moment are great as the company are going through a hiring phase however the job security is not great and depends on the time. There are opportunities to rise through the ranks however they are not advertised and management aren't very open about the possibilities.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The initial work trip with the interns and early careers fosters a good environment within the students. There are group chats and social activities for the first week organised by previous intern students however the following weeks require the students to organise things themselves, which depends very much on your fellow interns. I became good friends with my fellow interns and often in weekends we would plan trip and outings to pass time in the location.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The area was extremely cheap with the minimum cost for a taxi being £1.80. Food is cheap as well depending on the restaurant however travelling to and from the location, since it is very remote is much more expensive. With trains to London costing £70-80 return including a student discount.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was poor with very few clubs or bars. However the company are very strict with alcohol testing and therefore interns rarely go out to clubs. Often the interns would go to each others houses for games nights or would go out for a meal. The location a rather run down industrial estate and therefore when going out at night one has to be careful.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were many activities organised between the interns from 5-a-side football and badminton to movie nights and pub quizzes. However the opportunities within colleagues depends on the team that you are placed in as well as the extent that you would like to get involved in. The options are limited however interns can often organise events if they feel something is missing.