Summer Student at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

Internship (1-4 Months)
Review Date

Connect with this company


The Role
The Company
The Culture

The Role

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

I enjoyed my time at DSTL so much that I am planning to come back next summer! For me the job had the perfect balance of being both super interesting and challenging. Being a research facility, the work also tended to vary week on week meaning I was constantly learning new things.
5 /5

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

My colleagues at DSTL were really good at getting me settled in quickly. They were really kind and supportive and didn't mind answering any questions (even if it seemed silly). The 'new starters' events DSTL hosts also helped me to meet people in the same position as me, helping me to make new friends quickly.
5 /5

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

When joining DSTL I was given tonnes of support from my line manager and colleagues. The first week was all an introduction to my role and making sure I liked and understood my tasks. I also was given an experienced 'buddy' who I could ask upon at any time during the year if I got stuck.
5 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

How busy I was depended on the tasks I wanted completing that week. My line manager and buddy were really good at checking that I was neither bored nor overworked. This meant only times I wasn't busy was the times I chose not to be.
4 /5

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

This role was the first time I found myself responsible for completing my own work. With 'flexi-time' I could also control when I wanted to work too. The only limit I had came from issue with my vetting (from an external company), meaning that some tasks needed supervising. However, DSTL did well to give me tasks which didn't require this.
3 /5

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

Having taken this placement just after my 2nd year in a Physics course, I found the level of training I received fitted perfectly with my level of understanding from my course. The tasks worked as both revision from previous years as well as learning about topics in we're yet to be taught (leaving me well prepared to go back).
5 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Of course being part of a tightly secure facility understandably meant that there are strict rules to abide by, but that doesn't mean you can't be happy while you work. Most people here have a real passion for the work they do, making it an enjoyable and productive environment to work in.
4 /5

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

DSTL have had many summer interns before I arrived meaning that the routine for a new intern was well known. Once given the suitable equipment I found myself working on tasks that had been prepared before I arrived. Compared to other companies which decide what to do with interns AFTER they arrive, this was an well thought out and organised progress.
5 /5

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

To be able to even understand some of the tasks I was set, DSTL knew that they had to give summer students like me some personal training and development. The first week was effectively a whole week of personal training, meaning I could start working on the tasks more quickly and with greater efficiency than I could otherwise.
4 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • National Travel
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Working from home
5 /5

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

Having worked well here as a summer student in my second year, I was offered a place next year with another summer intern. If I am to do really well in that internship there is a chance I could be offered an immediate full-time position at DSTL after I graduate.
5 /5

The Culture

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

There is an optional 'new starters' group that is in charge of the social scene for all new starters. They offer events such as Bake-offs, Pub quizzes, networking events and paintballing just to name a few...
5 /5

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

The cost of living in this area is slightly higher than the national average. There is opportunity to go out on weekends however lots of people hang out with friends from home on weekends.
3 /5

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

Having grown up in the local area, I can safely say that Salisbury is not renown for it's nightlife. However, saying that a night out in the Chapel Nightclub can always be fun and you can't beat going on a pub crawl.
2 /5

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

There are lots of sports clubs in the area as well as historic sights and markets. I'm big into the downhill biking center around Tidworth at the moment which I didn't know existed until recently. If you go looking for things though, you will find them.
4 /5