1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my internship within the Ground Engineering Division of BuroHappold Engineering. Right from the start I was working on live projects and helping the team develop more efficient processes of working. I gained lots of valuable insights and learned a huge amount from my colleagues who had a lot of experience to share.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Overall I felt very values by my colleagues. Once I had come to the end of a task, my line manager would review the work which I had done and gave me structured feedback regarding how useful the work is to the project and how I can improve my work in the future. Also - at the end of my internship, the team bought me a really nice gift and card thanking me for my work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I feel that during my internship I experienced a good balance between being guided by my supervisors and them allowing me to work independently and learn how to do things on the job. At times I was left to figure things out myself, which allowed me to learn autonomously, and at other times I was guided by my line manager as to how I should tackle a particular task.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
For the most part during my 7-week internship, I was very busy. The Ground Engineering team had quite a lot of work going on at the time of my internship and so there was a lot for me to get my teeth stuck into. Because of how busy I was, it made the internship experience a lot more valuable and interesting.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Considering the fact that I was only a 7-week internship employee, I was given a considerable amount of responsibility. I was treated as if I were a graduate and was able to complete calculations for live projects which were checked and signed off for construction by senior members of the team.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Completing an internship within the Ground Engineering Department of BuroHappold Engineering gave me a lot of skills that I have been able to take back with me to university, particularly with regards to Geotechnical Design modules. Applying the theory I had learned in class provided me with some much needed context which allowed me to gain an in-depth understanding of how to design geotechnical structures.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office is very welcoming and friendly. Even though I was only working at BuroHappold for 7 weeks I was still able to make lots of friends. Everyone is very nice and sociable, making it easy to approach anyone for help in case you have any questions.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The organisation of the internship was excellent. The Human Resources department were very flexible with my internship start date, which meant that I was able to work the internship around pre-existing commitments which I had during the summer. My contract and pay was sorted very smoothly and I never experienced any issues in this department.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
During my 7 week internship, I attended two different continuing professional development events which counted towards my development towards becoming a chartered engineer. One training focussed on new ground investigation techniques using drones, and the other training focussed on using visual programming software to automate engineering calculations. Both events developed my understanding of how technology is changing the workplace, both on site and in the office.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Employment prospects at BuroHappold Engineering are very appealing. They are a very international company with offices all over the world. As a result, it is very exciting to thing that after graduation I could be working on so many different projects around the world, including Europe, North America, the Middle East and across Asia.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a fantastic social scene amongst the placement students and graduate employees at BuroHappold. There is a very active Young Engineers Forum which organise socials on a regular basis, including surfing and camping trips! The Forum also supports young engineers with career progression in the company and hosts lots of interesting debates regarding what we can to do mitigate climate change as engineers.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Bath and Bristol are both quite expensive places to live, both in terms of rent and the cost of food and drinks.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Bath does not have a good nightlife. Most people go to Bristol.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, there are many sports groups which you can get involved in - from badminton to rugby or running to sailing.