1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My placement year at Lubrizol is and will be one of the most memorable years of my life, I met amazing people and made some great friends. I felt that the department that I was working in (Applied & Strategic Research) had a family feeling about it which made it extremely easy to collaborate with colleagues.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by the full time employees while working at Lubrizol. Colleagues would always have the time to listen to your views and opinions about problems and would use them to settle upon an answer to resolve the issue. I was always treated with respect and as if I was a full time employee.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My supervisor and I regularly discuss the next stages of my project and they made sure that I was okay with any work I was doing. Lots of support was given to me when I was writing my year report for university, something that I saw as very intimidating was made easy through feedback from my work peers.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I always had a clear path of tasks to complete and had a perfect balance between working in the lab and writing report, making presentations and processing data in the office. There was never any pressure from superiors to complete jobs unless they were urgent which motivated me to complete tasks to me earliest convenience.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given more responsiblity than I had previously expected while on placement which really gave me the opportunity to develop my skills such as confidence. As well as skills that directly relate to my degree, like being given full use of the lab and using instruments that cost thousands of pounds to buy.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills that I gained from being at Lubrizol during the third year of my degree are very relevant, especially for use in my fourth year as I will be using many of them to progress in with my Master's research project and for future academia. Skills that I also gained were relevant to working in a business-like environment.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in my office was great as I was great friends with everyone and there was a perfect balance between work and breaks. this ensured that everyone was never overworked and always ready to progress with their day. Everyone in my office was always more than happy help each other out, it was a great team.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Upon arriving at Lubrizol each student was provided with 3 brand new high quality lab coats, a pair of Dr Marten's safety boots and a pair of glass lab specs or prescription lab specs if needed. The HR department were also very efficient in answering any queries during my placement year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Lots of time and money is invested into training and development at Lubrizol and the sessions that are run are available to student employees as well, two sessions that I attended were training on the company's culture and training producing and presenting a technical poster. Senior employees also encouraged students to book meetings with them for presentation run-throughs if the student wanted feedback.
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?
I would happily reapply for a job with lubrizol if one were to be available. Since leaving Lubrizol I have wanted to progress further with academia after my degree so I would first complete my further studies and then look into jobs with Lubrizol. Grad schemes are not available but Lubrizol tends to keep strong bonds with past employees.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a great social scene amongst fellow students due to a Facebook group setup by the HR student at the start of the year, this helped us easily plan meet ups and nights out. There were many social events with colleagues throughout the year including a meal and night out at Christmas and meal towards the end of the year!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Living costs directly near Lubrizol can be more expensive compared to the usual student housing rent but if you have a car available then living in Derby and commuting is a much better option due to cheaper rent and food. The commute was a very nice drive through the country side every morning which put me in a great mood every day.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are many pubs and bar in and around Derby that are great for night out. There are also two clubs in Derby; pop world and mosh as well as standard bars such as revolution, revolution de Cuba, walkabout and turtle bay. The best part about being near the Peak District is the huge variety of high quality country pubs!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
While working at Lubrizol's Hazelwood site all new employees are given the opportunity to join the sports and social club which costs a couple of pounds to join and is deducted from your monthly pay 50 pence at a time. The club ran many great trips, from horse riding in the Peak District to mountain climbing in Scotland for the weekend!