Year in industry student at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
Salisbury
Review Date
Roles
Mechanical Engineering

Connect with this company

4/5

The Role
4.5
The Company
4.5
The Culture
2.6

Role Description

Mechanical and Composite Materials Engineer

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

My role and work was sufficiently challenging, exciting and extremely unique. The work I was doing and what it contributed too gave me a great sense of purpose. The enjoyment of my work came from knowing I was doing something that would provide a very unique capability to the organisation.
4 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

I felt very valued by both the team members I was directly supporting and others in the wider team. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. Team members were also happy to discuss their roles and how their work fitted into the programme of work as a whole. Colleagues outside of my team were also happy to help me with my work.
5 /5

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

Due to my level of competence and initiative I was fairly autonomous while working. Weekly or fortnightly meetings enabled me to update my supervisors and colleagues on progress and access any help or ask questions. My line manager was also receptive during check ins and was conscious of my work load.
4 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

Some days were more busy than others. Due to the nature of my work there were waiting times involved. I was given extra work streams to investigate whilst I was waiting on results from my primary work stream. There wasn't a particular demand for an output on these other work streams but they exposed me to other areas of work.
4 /5

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

The nature of my work meant that I was in complete control of my day to day activities with only rough requirements and an overall aim guiding me. This level of freedom had a great effect on my self confidence given that by the end of my placement I had achieved what I had set out to do.
5 /5

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I gained extremely useful management and practical engineering skills. I also developed numerous professional connections with suppliers and consultants. I was also given a very generous opportunity to attend a week long training course away from work. This provided me with many skills I am now drawing upon in my final year at university.
5 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable. You were free to listen to music and concentrate or have casual conversation with your colleagues about work related topics. The office layout also included break out areas for meetings and more collaborative work to take place. I preferred working on site rather than at home.
3 /5

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

Due to the nature of my work and what I was tasked with doing there was no need for a particular structure to my placement. All relevant staff were ware of my role and what I was tasked with. However from interview to leaving the organisation it was easy for me to follow processes related to my fixed term appointment employment status.
5 /5

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The company invested a lot into me to get sufficient training to enable me to work in various facilities around the site. I also received role specific training to cover the work that I would be doing. There was also significant investment in me to complete a professional training course off site.
5 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • Financial Bonus
  • Above 25 days holiday
  • Working from home
5 /5

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

I have already secured a position on the graduate scheme offered by the organisation with sponsorship. In return I am a brand ambassador for the organisation and the wider industry. I will be aiming to encourage my peers to think of careers in the industry and possibly the organisation itself.
5 /5

The Culture

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

I did not choose to engage with others conducting a placement with the organisation however there were groups and social clubs run by graduates for new starters and younger colleagues offering unique experiences and social activities. The organisation also had various societies and clubs you could freely join if you wished.
5 /5

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

Cost of living was in line with many areas in the south of England. Where I lived specifically was quiet and not student orientated. This is what I prefer personally so I was happy. Others may want to seek to live in a neighbouring city for a more vibrant social scene.
3 /5

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

As stated in the previous question there was not much in the way of a nightlife besides local pubs. If you were after this you would need to travel to a nearby larger city or town. Whilst on placement I would organise weekends to travel and see friends back in my university city.
1 /5

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Yes, the area I lived in had lots to offer in the form of leisure centres, outward bound activates, sports clubs and cycle routes. If you wanted to get involved in something you could easily. Knowing other at the organisation I worked for helped find these opportunities in the local area.
3 /5