Mechanical Engineer - Summer Intern at BAE Systems

Internship (1-4 Months)
Portsmouth South East
Review Date
£16,000 - £17,999
Electronic and Electrical Engineering Mechanical Engineering

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The Role



The Role

Role Description

Designing and implementing solutions for power and propulsion equipment on Type 45 Destroyers.

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

Overall, the 12 week internship was good, and I had the responsibility of delivering a multi-disciplinary project through its detailed design stage. This gave me valuable experience in defence product standards and general engineering standards, which shall be useful for my future career progression. The only set back was learning about the changes to the new graduate programme if I were to return to the business.


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2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

The team I worked in was quite large, but everyone was very welcoming and extremely supportive.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

Alongside a placement manager, I also had a day-to-day manager who was always on hand to assist if I had any queries. On top of this, I had a manager for any work relating to stretch assignments, which are the extra curricular activities the company encourages all interns to get involved with. As a summer intern, these opportunities are some what limited.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

The workload varied across the internship, but this is mainly due to the type of work being completed. Sometimes, I would spend all day at my desk, which did get a little tedious and mundane at times. On other occasions, I had the opportunity to work closely with Royal Navy personnel on ship, which really added to my internship experience.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I was given the opportunity to lead two projects, one of which involved producing the entire design documentation for an electronic control box onboard Type 45 Destroyers. This involved working closely with electrical engineers within the business to fully develop and understand the design. Additionally, I lead a task to generate requirement compliance packs for all mechanical engineering projects within the team I worked.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

Gaining a solid understanding of product / functional requirements production and engineering / defence standards will be very useful for future career progression. Additionally cooperating with ship staff developed my communication skills, as I had the opportunity to liaise with personnel of a variety of rank in the Royal Navy.


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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The atmosphere is generally very quiet, but this is mainly due to the new office layout. Everyone I worked with in the team was very friendly. Socials outside work would be organised by other interns and graduates, varying from sporting activities, to karting, and just sitting in a beer garden having a few drinks.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

The organisation of my internship was pretty poor. I didn't achieve full security clearance until week 9 of my internship. My initial medical was delayed until the first day I started, which then back logged my IT set up, which took 5 weeks to complete, due to the number of issues experienced. Generally, IT systems are very bad within the company, and quite out dated for a company of BAE's size.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

As a summer intern, there wasn't a lot of financial investment put into me, but managers did their best to give me time to develop and steered me in the right direction when required.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised Canteen

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

I do have a graduate offer for when I finish university. However, the graduate scheme has completely changed since I signed the initial acceptance contract, and I am seriously reconsidering my options, as the new scheme is very poor for someone looking to develop as a well rounded engineer. The new scheme is ideal for someone who knows exactly what they want to do once they leave university. If you don't, applying to BAE Systems will be a big risk.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

The intake of new Industrial Placement students was delayed by a month, so the social scene was quite small to begin with. However, once the new industrial placement students arrived, a number of socials were planned, including an Isle of Wight bar crawl.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

The cost of living is a little on the higher side for somewhere decent, although compared to other parts of the south, Portsmouth is considered pretty low cost. I would recommend living outside the city or living in Gunwharf/Southsea if it is within your price range, as you will have a more pleasant experience.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

Quite expensive and generally pretty poor. There are a few good places to go, but they're more bars and pubs than clubs.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

The company actively encourages all early careers students to become STEM Ambassadors. I loved my time working with UTC Portsmouth and leading projects with classes of year 10 students. I would highly recommend anyone who works in Maritime Services of BAE Systems in the future, to get involved with this activity.


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