1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I had a very enjoyable experience working as an infrastructure intern at BuroHappold Engineering, which only got more positive with time. I pretty much always had a task to do, some of which were very achievable and some which stretched my ability significantly. Aside from the work there were many socials to get involved with during my placement where I got to know my colleagues more and in out of office environments.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I worked with a lot of people in my team over the 8 weeks I was at the company, and even when tasks were more basic, I always felt my work was appreciated. It was recognised when I put in hard work and pushed myself to deliver drawings etc. All my colleagues were very supportive and did not hesitate to provide help when needed.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
When I was tasked with any work I was always given the opportunity to ask questions and ensure I knew at least how to make a start with confidence. If I ever came across any unknowns or difficulties throughout my work I would feel confident asking questions from who had set me the work, or even anyone else in the office.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The great majority of the time I always had work to be getting on with, sometimes even multiple tasks at once. If I ever felt I had too much to be doing for a certain time, I would never feel pressured to keep going in silence. I felt very comfortable explaining I might need more time or to pass work elsewhere.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I felt I was given a significant but suitable amount of responsibility during my placement considering the position of an intern. I was put on projects with external deadlines early on in my placement, which required working under pressure efficiently. Therefore, I felt my work and efforts were valued, whilst the workload was under control and achievable provided the hard work was put in.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I developed throughout my placement will assist me to a large degree through both my studies and future career. The wide range of project and teamwork I took part in at BuroHappold will be incredibly helpful for my final year at university where there is a large focus on bigger projects similar to those faced in industry. The software skills I built on placement will also help me in university modules, but more importantly boost my employability post-university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was a very social and friendly environment which was incredibly welcoming to the interns from the offset. A significant amount of young engineers worked around me, who I could relate to and speak to about advice regarding finishing university and early careers. Everyone was very supportive in terms of work and tasks set, and I always felt I could ask for help if needed.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I felt my placement was very well organised. The first day or two was set aside for completing inductions and health and safety procedures, as well as getting used to the team and office environment. I did not feel pressured into work at the beginning, but was set on a project quickly with plenty to be learning and getting on with as I was ready. At the end, I was given the chance to reflect on my time and talk about future careers at the company.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was given a lot of support in learning new software and technical skills, especially the time of my mentors and others in the team. My exposure to construction sites was great and I felt people went out of their way to ensure I got the most out of projects and fully understood the engineering behind what I was working on.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I was given very positive feedback at the end of my placement from my line managers and the head of the department. It was great to reflect on my time and hear that those working with me had appreciated the work I had put in. I was encouraged to apply for a graduate role, which I certainly will do.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes - all the inters from multiple teams across the company were very sociable and we often met at lunchtime and at company organised events. We also ended up meeting outside of office hours as we got along so well. There is a very strong presence of young employees at the company and efforts to organise social events for them were strong.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I worked in the London office so the costs of socialising were high, although very plentiful in terms of options. I was lucky to live at home during my placement, although the travel costs were steep.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are many good places regarding nightlife in the area, as it was central London, however they are not cheap and often not feasible if you do not live close to the office due to the travel time home.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Due to my placement being during the summertime, there were multiple team events and socials to get involved with outside of work. The Young Engineers Forum (YEF) held a lot of events from BBQs to picnics, and there were opportunities to participate in sporting and volunteering (like STEM) events too.