Mechanical Engineering Summer Intern working at BAE Systems on Maritime Platforms.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I found there was some variety in tasks assigned and the work undertaken was generally useful, but would have preferred more actual design work, use of software, and use of degree and practical knowledge. Instead there was a lot of editing documentation, spreadsheets etc. However, overall a useful experience.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Very friendly, engaging and welcoming colleagues. Good working environment, culture and social scene in the workplace. Strict bosses notorious for being as such by others in the business, however.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Some team members were very helpful and good at explaining tasks, whereas some really were not. I think this comes down to social skills more than anything else, not out of any laziness of malice.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Always lots of tasks to do, I worked with a particularly busy sub-team with a board of tasks that needed doing (so no shortage basically). More variety in tasks, and less documentation, would have been nice to keep me engaged, however this was just the nature of their business-critical work.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was allowed to complete tasks fairly independently, with team members close by to give advice / supervision where appropriate. Where security clearances were granted, I completed tangible, business-critical tasks.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
It was good experience of working full-time in the engineering sector, and has allowed me to construct a better roadmap of where I want to go with my degree and in the further future. It has also improved my work ethic, and furthered my professional development.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Good working environment, friendly colleagues, and good relationships with fellow interns.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Poor IT and HR support, especially for security clearances. 10 weeks in I still didn't have access to folders and security clearances that I needed to complete my work. Interview times also seemed to be random (not dependent on when you applied), and gave very little notice before taking place.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I completed various training courses, attended specialist knowledge transfer sessions, and went on various excursions around the site to different set-ups which allowed me to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of my work.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Poor graduate pay, not an ideal location for me. Good options for career progression (especially in specialist engineering fields), but overall not for me.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Barrow is a dump tho
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Rent was very high (£110pw) due to lack of housing supply compared to cities and exploitation by landlords of 3-month tenants- the vast majority of tenancies on the market were 12 month.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As above, Barrow is a dump
I come from a post-industrial northern town but the locals out on the lash are rough, angry and lary.
I'd sooner not go out at all than experience more of it in this place.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yeah, there was a good gym, canoeing, badminton and 5-a-side football. These were just local clubs though, and doing other sport required more travel, which would have been a bit of a pain.