One of the most enjoyable aspects of my placement was the people you got to meet along the journey. I worked with some good customers and colleagues. Unfortunately there were other areas that would let this down and would hinder the factor of enjoyment.
Although there were various colleagues who I believed valued me and my effort, there were also many who I believe would take you for granted. I do not feel as valued as I would have liked to have been.
Support was usually an area you would receive if you needed it. Whether that would be help with your workload, or areas which needed development and so on. Sometimes however many people would be too busy to offer support / were not there to be able to offer any.
The work I conducted on a daily basis was fairly repetitive and could become boring when there was nothing new involved. When I could do something new it was less boring, however I would find myself too busy to be able to make my work less repetitive. Many people would work overtime, this was captured by "flexi-time". The flaw with this procedure is that your overtime hours get capped at a certain level of hours. If you did work over these hours and did/could not spend them, you would have built up unpaid overtime.
Responsibility was something that was not easily given in my experience. I had to work hard for it and even sometimes I feel as if there was resistance to "students" being given a certain level of responsibility. In the cases where I was given more responsibility, it made my work more interesting and allowed me to develop on existing and new competencies. !
Although I was very busy on a daily basis, I developed and learnt a large amount of skills which I can use in my degree studies and beyond. These range from skills in the industry, to skills in my job role, even to skills in my own personal development!
The general atmosphere was very 50/50 in my case. On occasions the atmosphere was great, everyone would be making conversation and it would be quite pleasant. On other occasions however, it would feel as if there was a very tense atmosphere. There would be a lot of stress across the board and it would be fairly quiet.
The general organisation to the work placement was as to be expected. Upon starting we were briefly given an introduction on some issues we may encounter and what we should do if those issues arise. There is little plan set out with goals throughout the year however. While you knew what to achieve at the start, there was less of a need/indication to reach towards anything once you have achieved what needed to be worked towards originally.
In terms of personal development and training, there was little that wasn't a part of your daily procedures. All of my training was from carrying out tasks, following check sheets and reading notes. I believe there could be more investment in external training, or product training earlier on in the placement year.
Although there are a lot of various positions available at Prysmian, the view I was given was that there are little opportunities to be able to progress in the company vertically in the hierarchy. Many similar firms also appear to pay a lot better, and offer better reward schemes and benefits.
The other placement students & apprentices are one of the most enjoyable factors of working at prysmian. The students often meet up and carry out socials. After placement many of the other students still keep in contact. You will have the opportunity to work alongside each other to carry out a charity fundraiser.
The cost of living for me was fairly cheap as lived about 30 minutes away from the site. The cost to commute stacked up however. Social life in the area was relatively inexpensive too as long as you know the right things to do and/or right places to go to.
The nightlife itself was good as it could accommodate for many different tastes. Closer to the site you have many bars you can go to (including a Wetherspoons if you are working on your savings). There are also many big cities around with have a big nightlife scene with lots of choice.
There were little activities to get involved with outside of work. The only activity outside of work that was organised by the company was the Christmas party. Any other activity would have to be organised individually and would be difficult to orchestrate across all of the parties you would like involved.
Placement Year (10 Months+)