From day one I was made to feel a part of the team. My roles and responsibilities were outlined in my two week handover period and I was given details of my standard work which I later used as guides. I found the whole experience very insightful and feel that I was able to develop much more as an individual due to the challenges faced and the projects I was given the opportunity to be a part of. I believe these have shaped the individual I am now. Overall, I would say I enjoyed my placement year with Eaton.
I worked within the HR Team at one of the larger Eaton sites which meant there was a team of us who worked together and supported each other with projects. This was beneficial for me as I had constant support from my colleagues and knew that I could go to them with any queries.
My team consisted of several HR Generalists and then the HR Manager, I was lucky enough to receive lots of support when required. I had a few 1-1's throughout the year and knew that if I required more or needed any additional support it was available to me. In addition to this, we completed quarterly placement self reviews which allowed me to recognise my achievements and areas of improvement at several points throughout the year.
I worked at one of the larger sites which meant day to day I was very busy but that is how I work best so it benefitted me being in this environment. I often produce work to a higher standard when under pressure so this was a good environment for me to develop my skills in.
I was given more responsibility as the year went on, I had to cover for an absent colleague for a 12 week period and this allowed me to develop my skills in HR systems that I only had basic knowledge of. In addition to this, one of my personal achievements was completing the whole site payroll for that 12 week period. This was something that to begin with I didn't imagine I could manage but as time went on I had confidence using the systems and feel that this also allowed me to develop my interpersonal skills when discussing pay with colleagues and also my technical/excel skills.
Eaton are very supportive employers and have a strong belief in development and personal growth. We had several training days at the Loughborough/Doncaster sites and these allowed the cohort of interns to come together and work on their communication, teamwork, leadership and presentation skills. I believe that these workshops and projects have already helped me in my first term back at University. I also believe that the skills I have developed will help me when looking at graduate roles once I complete my degree.
The general atmosphere was very friendly and I work often chat to people from different departments in the morning whilst making my breakfast or a cuppa. Whenever there was a celebration there would be cakes, gifts and lots of chatting which was nice every once in a while. It was an open plan office so was easy to talk to people if you felt necessary.
I believe the work placement at my site was very much taking over a full time role. It didn't have a set structure but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I was able to pitch my ideas to my colleagues if there was any things I felt could be developed within my role and if things were completed which we're not necessary they could be changed or removed from my standard work.
I feel that Eaton invests a lot into young talent especially placement students. They offer several training days throughout the year and for me personally they supported my on-going academic work by allowing me to return to university for one day per month which were in addition to my holidays.
Due to location and my desire to work in another sector it is unlikely that I would return to Eaton. However if a role came up closer to my preferred location and one that I believe I could be successful in I would apply. I would not rule out working for Eaton in the future however I have a different career path in mind for me now.
I was put in contact with other placement students prior to my employment and we decided to live in a student house together which benefitted us all greatly. We also made friends with some of the younger employees and the apprentices which allowed us to see each other outside of work. Overall I would say I had a very social year.
The South of England is much more expensive that the Midlands where I am from which meant that Travel and general expenses costed more, however my salary was higher than many of my friends who were based in the Midlands or the North.
Living in a student city meant there was a lot of nightlife all days of the week not just the weekend! This ranged from nice cocktail bars to typical pubs and nightclubs.
There was a free gym a short drive away, Yoga evenings and a football team to be involved in if we wanted too.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
28th October 2019