Working as a process engineer, using process optimisation and data analysis to improve performance.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement and the challenging role I was in. A combination of data analysis and hands of facility investigation gave me a well rounded understanding of the process engineering role. There were also lots of opportunities for cross functional working and a variety of training courses that provided me with new skills to take forward in both my placement and future work.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My contribution to the team was noted and the work carried out in my role helped identify issues for other engineer's processes. My thoughts on ongoing issues were valued and my decisions about how to go forward with issues were supported. My data was also used to support the requests and investigations of other colleagues.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had a weekly meeting with my mentor where the role and any issues were discussed and any feedback was able to be provided and acted on. I also had a monthly meeting with my senior where trials and any ongoing tasks were discussed to establish if any extra support was required. There were also opportunities to ask for support from any of my colleagues and everyone was always happy to help.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My role required a large amount of day to day analysis both for facility issues and incoming material analysis. I was also involved with hands on strip downs and facility investigations and had daily meetings and tasks. It was my responsibility to respond to increased NG rates and provide direction to both production and maintenance as to how to improve the NG Rate. There was also regular trials analysis and engineering reporting updates.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
My role did provide me with a large amount of responsibility. I was responsible for short check and any issues related to short check, for example facility issues, material running etc. I also provided the data for various trial and have fed back my findings to the other sites. I was also given the opportunity to pass on my knowledge of the process and role to the next placement student.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Going forward, I will use the presentation skills that I have developed in both my degree and any meetings or presentations required for future work. I will also be able to apply new analysis techniques learnt such as Ishikawa diagrams to problems or investigations in the future. I have also developed the ability to write briefs and target them to a particular audience as well as developing my other communication skills. I will also used my improved excel knowledge in future work (eg. pivot tables and formulas)
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office was very focused on achieving the best outcome however, there was the right balance between work discussions and other conversations. Everyone played their part in the general 5S of the office and I never felt uncomfortable being asked to speak with any of the engineering team.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I was provided with a large amount of information about the placement both from the initial emails from HR to the information provided in the 3 induction days. I was immediately set up with IT systems and was provided with all necessary work wear and equipment to successfully complete the role. I was also aware of who my senior and mentor were and was in contact with them before I started the placement.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I attended several Nissan training courses ranging from one day to 5 days. I completed QC story, Try-Z and Kaizen School which all provided me with skills needed for the role. I also completed training provided by an external company on the cell manufacturing process and attended training on both health and safety and the process presented by other colleagues.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am aware of the opportunities available with Nissan as part of their graduate scheme and attended an information session by HR about the graduate positions available and new name logistics role to incorporate production control. Training is provided as part of the scheme and required support is provided during the 2 year period (eg mentoring and monitoring).
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As a department we organized regular socials after work and at weekends for all who wished to attend. There was also a coast to coast bike ride arranged. To highlight important events meals were organized where previous employees also attended. There were also nights out organized amongst the placement students.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of accommodation was £375 per calendar month, however this included all bills and the use of all cooking/living utensils provided by the landlord. There were also several local shops within walking distance and the town centre is just a short bus ride or drive away. There were also several running groups that didn't require memberships which was ideal not being in the area for whole years.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There wasn't much nightlife local to the area I worked or lived as I had specifically chosen a quiet location with good transport links close to work. However Newcastle city centre was only a short bus ride or metro ride away, taking approximately 30-40 minutes at peak times. There were however a variety of bars and restaurants close by on a business park
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was the opportunity to get involved with a fitness challenge that took place for the 3 months after Christmas which was organised by the department. There was also the opportunity to take part in a coast to coast bike ride. I was also introduced to local running groups and park runs by colleagues and was asked about the fantasy football league.