1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Lovely people to work with, staff were always so friendly and willing to teach you about what they were doing. Work was interesting and varied depending on which projects were going on at that time. Large number of industry links with a variety of companies and other people. Training provided.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Lovely group of people who did their best to make me feel welcome at all times. Always up for a good laugh and always supported me during work and offered help with tasks that I struggled with. Staff always willing to have a chat and discuss work and personal life.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Provided training for various high tech skills required for my role. These included gas bottle handling, fire safety training, cryogenic training, chemical waste. I was also offered opportunities to develop my presentation skills and networking skills in a variety of events and tours of other parts of the large site.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Depending on the projects that we’re going on. With large high pressure projects, I was very busy either preparing samples, testing or preparing for tests. I was also offered the chance to perform my own analysis experiments and analyse my own data and draw my own conclusions for external clients.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Depending on the project. I was involved in the sample preparation stage for many projects and was able to observe and help with the mechanical testing. I also was left to independently test samples and analyse the data to present in a report to the customer and answer any questions they might have.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learnt many skills beyond my degree specification. I was able to learn the basics of 3 dimensional printing, materials testing and thermal analysis. I also learnt the process of how a specific material can be developed for a series of criteria and the trials and developments in this process.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
As the group of people were lovely and very social it made for a lovely chatty environment. The office encouraged the sharing of sweet treats (biscuits cakes etc) and giving gifts on birthdays or retirement. Everyone approachable and shared coffee breaks and lunch breaks to encourage socialisation.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
This process has been running a long time and so the staff are all very familiar with year in industry students. The only problem was the HR before starting as it took a long time for all the paperwork and contracts to be sent off before my start date
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company gave me many opportunities to further myself in terms of skills and safety training as well as presentation and networking skills. There were many networking opportunities each week and I was always encouraged by management to attend these events as they were interesting and would benefit me in the long run.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There was a lengthy process of appraisals that I didn’t have to take part in. However from my understanding progress up the company can be slow depending on which department you are in. There are plenty of graduate and other roles available and they are constantly hiring for new staff.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes there were a variety of team bonding activities throughout the placement and the staff encouraged the students to socialise and share lunch breaks. There was also opportunities for Christmas meals and other events like this that were offered to all staff and they could take part if they wished
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in oxford which is ridiculously expensive to live and socialise in. The minimum rent for the did it area that I know of was about four hundred pounds for a shared house. Depending on where you shopped food could vary in price largely, as it does all across the country.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is Based for students but I was focused on working and completing university work during my weekends. Clubs are sparse but there are many pubs and bars and restaurants to suit your every need depending on what you fancy. Very small towns so not much going on everyday
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Once a year There was the RAL festival in which a variety of science displays and opportunities were shown to the general public and members of staff. There were also calls for speakers for a series of talks called RAL talks each week and could be linked to your work or something that interests you.