1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed working at Lubrizol for a number of reasons, but a big part of it was how supportive and friendly all of my colleagues were. This made working much more fun and there was a really good balance between work and social life, I would definitely go back.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Placement students at Lubrizol are given a lot of responsibility and in turn a lot of appreciation and acknowledgement. You are treated as a full time employee and are included in discussions and decision making. Right from the start you are made to feel included and part of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given lots of support from my supervisor as well as other chemists in the department and project managers from the business segment. Sharing an office with my supervisor meant that I could always ask questions where needed, and I didn't have to waste lots of time trying to contact my supervisor. It also really helped to have my supervisor's input when writing my university report.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was fairly busy on a daily basis but in a good way, I was largely in control of my project so I could organise my own time as long as I was making good progress with the work. At times the intensity of work could increase but I think that is the nature of working in industry.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given lots of responsibility during placement, such as organising my own time, making decisions about which experiments to run and when to do them. I was also responsible for creating my own powerpoint presentations to communicate my lab work in meetings. It was also my responsibility to conduct my lab work in a safe manner, without constant supervision.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As a final year student now undertaking a final year research project, I have found that many of the skills learnt at Lubrizol have given me a head start. Additionally, now I am applying for jobs, I have found that I have plenty to put on my CV and examples to use for competency questions.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There was a good balance in the office between a quiet environment in which we could get on with work, discussion regarding the work itself and also general chat. I felt comfortable to talk to everyone in the office and pipe up with any questions or comments whenever. Because yo are given your own desk, computer and work space it feels very welcoming.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was really well set up. At the beginning there is a handover period during which the previous student helps you settle in and passes on what they have learnt over the year. The responsibilities gradually increase so it is not overwhelming. Lubrizol is also well aware of what they should be doing to support you and ensure they're fulfilling your uni's guidelines.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was no hesitation to train students on everything and allow us to experience all of the different aspects of work. Each student learnt how to use most of the equipment in the department, rather than being trained to do one thing and repeat it everyday. We were also able to get involved in lots of different committees and extracurricular events which improved our soft skills.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Unfortunately, there is no organised graduate scheme available at Lubrizol, so getting a job with them would be a case of waiting for a vacancy to arise. However there are a large number of previous students working there now as full time employees and I think that doing a placement enahnces your chances of getting a job here permanently.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were around 30 placement students at Lubrizol and lot's of young full time employees, so lots of people to socialise with. There were often organised events, both non-drinking and drinking, so it is friendly to everyone. Each year there are two hiking trips to Scotland which was a great bonding experience.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in Derby which was fairly cheap for both living and socialising.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Slightly lacking nightlife in Derby but some great pubs in the city centre and country pubs in the surrounding countryside and more wholesome activities available.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are lots of opportunities available, such as organised trips for example to christmas markets in nearby cities, trips to London and Liverpool, Scotland for hiking and a horseriding trip. There is also a weekly badminton club and big running scene on site too, with lunchtime runs and pub runs after work during the summer.