Facility Mmanagement of Plant Swindon.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with PA-52, Swindon. My colleagues made a great effort to make me feel welcome from the start and continued to do so. The working environment and culture they have created is unique to this office making you feel valued and part of a team. I have been supported and encouraged throughout my time here with enough responsibility to get on independently with the tasks and projects set.
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I have been made to feel both valued on a personal and professional level. Each member has taken time to sit down with me to listen, explain and advise me on the tasks and projects set while also empowering me with the confidence and responsibility to be able to carry out any of the tasks with independence. They have all made me feel welcomed and included within conversations outside the world of work allowing me to get to know them all on a personal level.
All team members of PA-52 have taken time to support me with answering any queries I had as well as providing necessary guidance on tasks and projects whenever I asked. My manager was incredibly supportive through his advice, encouragement and appraisal of my work. Also a special thanks to my supervisor who never failed to make time for me even during busy working periods, provided endless support and guidance while also having enough faith in me to be responsible for getting on independently with my work.
From about mid-August to December I was fully immersed in my two main projects which kept me busy but not overworked. There were deadline clashes but that’s all part of project and time management which I was able to handle. My balance of work has understandably fluctuated overtimes but overall I would say has been a great balance. For the score of 8, my only comment is that during the start of the placement settling in, establishing file access, getting to know the team and job role etc. meant there was little physical work to do for the first month. I would recommend identifying a few little remedial tasks to help pass time and make the new intern feel as though their job role adds value to the team from the off.
I was pretty quickly given the responsibility of coordinating a major data update project. I was tasked with coordinating the data update between Engie the Hard Services Providers and PA-52 and led the project to a near full data update as well as being a key role in the phases of the project which followed. I was also tasked with a small replacement project that was happening across the site that required me to carry out site surveys, write specifications and draw up a contract to be put out to tender, communicate and liaise with suppliers, purchasing and finance to ensure project completion.
The placement and job role as a whole has few direct links to my degree subject, however with that being said this role has provided me with many indirect transferable skills that I can take with me into my next placement, Uni and beyond. I have developed my presentation and communication skills, time management and project management skills just to name a few.
The atmosphere created in the office, despite me being the only female on occasions more often than not, was incredibly friendly, supportive and funny at times, but it was also peaceful which meant you could get on with work without any distractions. The collectivist culture brought about by the nature of their personalities ensured excellent group cohesion which is essential when monitoring the whole site.
The Oxford bias meant that there was an uneven focus on Interns working at Oxford over Swindon such as us not receiving all forms or being missed off of Plant Tour lists.
There was also the settling in period which seemed a little unorganised at the start of my placement but this was due largely to the team not having had an Intern before and not having set enough time aside to spend with me.
However overall, the placement set up over the last 6 months has been organised quite well.
We were given free online training to do as Interns but I have not been on any training courses, nor were any offered to me. Perhaps if my placement were to have been the full 12months this may have become more of an opportunity.
I have been overwhelmed with the feedback I have received from colleagues and partners on the work I have done for PA-52. Their words of appraisal have been incredibly encouraging and I am humbled by the future employment offers made to me during this placement.
I was very grateful to have receive an offer to partake in another 6 month placement in Oxford starting January which I was sad to turn down due to already having signed another contract earlier in the year.
On starting my final year at University I will be keeping an eye out on the Graduate Programmes available within BMW, especially in FM as the prospect of another job offer within the company is very exciting!
The welcome Oxford interns received in their first week compared to us here at Swindon was quite noticeable- named T-shirts, jumpers, work phones, events, pictures were all organised, talked about on the communication emails yet not replicated here which was quite disheartening. Not only that but there were many events which happened in and around Oxford organised by the Intern group throughout the placement that, because of their location, were tricky for us to go to.
Among my colleagues we went for our Christmas meal and farewell drinks which was a great way to round off the placement.
Among the 4 Interns at Swindon, of which I am 1 and another two I lived with in rented accommodation, we had a great time and got to know each other really well which contributed hugely to my enjoyment of the placement as a whole!
The cost of living (renting) has substantially increased from University prices however that was expected given my Uni is in Wales!
I managed to find rented accommodation for myself and two other Swindon interns 5 minutes from Plant Swindon which was ideal and meant the cost of my commute was considerably small.
The local big Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Weatherspoon’s meant my cost of living and socialising was not too dear.
In the end I didn’t stay that many weekends in Swindon due to traveling back to University, home or to see friends most weekends. However, when I did go out Old Town was a really lively place to go with many great bars, pubs and restaurants, as well as The Dockle by the Plant which provided a good, easy and cheap alternative!
There were opportunities advertised to get involved in charity work and other events outside of work that would have been supported by the company.