I loved my work placement. I was based in Lincoln where they make small industrial Gas turbines. The balance between work and home life was great, and the level of trust I gained from my colleagues was also fantastic. I had the right amount of freedom to do what I wanted, and support when I needed it. There is also a great network of fellow interns, apprentices, and graduates to make up another network of people to make friends with on placement.
I felt really valued by my colleagues. I was given real live projects to work on, and important tasks that people, and the business, relied upon. I was given regular feedback by my colleagues in my department and in other departments. I felt like part of the team and was treated as a real engineer whilst I was there.
The support that I received was just right. There is a variety of support as you have direct support within your assigned department, but also support from the entry level talent team. There is also an intern development program to help develop business and organisational skills. The support I received was helpful without being overbearing.
I had a variety of ongoing projects throughout the year. Due to the nature of my role, some of my actions were somewhat dependent on others’ availability so I did occasionally find I had some free time. In these time periods i would often take advantage of some of the online subscriptions Siemens has for its interns and do some online courses or further reading.
The level of responsibility I received was great. I was trusted to work directly with suppliers and lead teams, meetings and investigations regularly with little aid. I was assigned projects where I was team leader, and liaised with a variety of departments to complete projects with cross functional teams. Including members from other companies and sites.
These skills have already helped me in my degree - and certainly help outside of that aswell. My confidence in my availability to succeed in the world of work has been affirmed. I am able to conduct meetings and presentations with ease at university as part of my course and society at uni. I can react well under pressure and my problem solving abilities have been enhanced through processes and skills that I have learnt on placement. My approach to work has also changed, and I allow more time for myself in my own time rather than feeling that I should constantly be doing work.
I adored my colleagues. There was a lot of banter and sarcasm within my department which suited me really well. It was like being in an extended family and I was genuinely sad to leave (and I think they were sad to see me go too). There were regular outings with people from work (pubs restaurants etc). The work/ play balance was good and i feel like the management were pleased that workers were friendly and getting along together whilst still getting work done.
The scheme is well established and there is a centralised training program that is done regardless of job role. There are “entry level talent” contacts that can be contacted at any time. The program of work that you do is pretty down to your department and you can have a lot of influence in that which is a great aspect to the role.
There were 3 external courses that you are sent on as part of the program including business influencing skills, professional development, and 7 habits of highly effective people. I also completed first aid training, and ISO 9001 quality management training as part of my role. My IMechE membership was funded for the year. The system for business expenses is also good and I went on regular business trips which enhanced the experience a lot.
I believe that if you make a good impression on your internship then it is very likely that you will be offered a place on the graduate scheme or a full time role. It is worth noting that different business divisions are ran by different people so it would be in relation to that particular site.
This was one of the best bits of the placements! There were 32 interns in my intake in Lincoln so we regularly went out together and had a real big network of friends. People sorted shared accommodation for the year which was fun. We made friends with graduates and apprentices so there was a really fun element of the placement and a lot of similar minded people to get along with. At the end of the year there is an entry level talent gala which was a great celebration to round off the placements and graduate schemes.
Lincoln was pretty cheap to live. I stayed in a shared house and as we were placement students we were able to stay in a student house so that helped. Food and drinks out were reasonably priced and there is a good range of restaurants and bars to choose from considering how small the city is.
There wasn’t a great deal of choice but we still had a good time. There are lots of really nice bars and pubs so if you enjoy a pub/ bar crawl then that would be perfect... although you might have to navigate steep hill. As for clubs there is only really one main club which isn’t great, but there are smaller bars which are better and still have a friendly atmosphere. Student nights can be funny but are midweek.
There were loads of opportunities to get involved with extra curricular activities. There were team walks, and cycling challenges. Regular volunteering opportunities were advertised. Charity events were held regularly. External people also came into work quite a lot. You could also become a STEM ambassador and work on external events.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Logistics and Operations, Manufacturing, Mechanical Engineering, Purchasing and Supply
17th October 2019