Human Factors assistant at Arup

Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
Solihull
Review Date

3/5

The Role
3.3
The Company
3.3
The Culture
2

Role Description

Using Human Factors skillset to assist the Operations team on a variety of projects.

The Role

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

Varying range of projects involved in with different levels of involvement. However, the main project for which took up the majority of my time, was not related to the skill set I chose the placement for. However, other projects I was able to demonstrate and practice skills.
4 /5

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

Very welcoming team to be involved in. However, this is let down by senior management who showed an apparent blame culture, putting blame on individuals when issues are managerial issues. No consideration for the wider root cause. For example, not enough parking on site causing parking on verges. Blame was put on individuals rather than the managerial issue of employing too many people based on the size of the site.
3 /5

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

Support was received when I needed. Supervisors were very supportive and particularly my line manager was very good at ensuring I was developing throughout the placement.
5 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

This varied based on client work and requirements. I always had something to do each day. However, some days I had many responsibilities to get out.
3 /5

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

Based on the leads for each projects, responsibility varied. For example some leads only trusted you with meeting minutes. Whereas other project leads trusted that you would be capable of leading client facing sessions.
3 /5

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

As stated, much of my human factors skills were not utilised. However, I was able to develop other skills such as how to manage multiple projects, facilitation of sessions and how to be useful to clients when they give you push backs.
3 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The office itself was quite quiet. This was even quieter when the car parking situation previously discussed came to light. We were prevented from driving to Arup Campus 5 days a week and only allowed to drive to the office on 2 days. Therefore people stopped turning up. Other offices like London and Leeds had a brilliant atmosphere. However, the Campus office I was based was particularly quiet.
1 /5

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

The placement was very much self driven. It was recommended by me that more structure is put in place from the start. However, the team was relatively new to having placement students.
4 /5

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

There were many learning opportunities available. Arup had an online training programme which I could utilise and a number of sessions held in different offices across the country.
5 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • National Travel
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Working from home
3 /5

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

It would be great to have an opportunity in a different office, particularly a northern office as there is currently a lack of Human Factors opportunities in the north east.
4 /5

The Culture

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

A number of social events occurred, organised by the team for us to attend. No events with other placement students but the specific team events were brilliant.
4 /5

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

Houses were very expensive to rent, half of my wage went on rent. My house was fairly social. However, the Solihull area wasn't particularly accessible from my location.
3 /5

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

Solihull wasn't great on a night out. Birmingham was close but It hasn't got a great reputation and even people who live in the area don't comment on it being very safe.
1 /5

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

Not aware of many things going on in the area. It would be worth having an app to assist this.
1 /5