I found my placement at Schlumberger Cambridge Research very rewarding and pleasant. I learned a lot and I improved in a technical level, I found my work very interesting and I had a lot of freedom on choosing my projects. I also found life in Cambridge very nice, as Cambridge is a very beautiful city to live in.
I always felt valued by the people that I was working with. My opinion was always taken under serious consideration. In general, every person that I met in the company was very friendly and always open to ideas and suggestions.
My supervisors made sure that I had everything to complete my tasks after some research and the necessary development. They were always eager to provide technical help, support and guidance. They also gave me references to relevant learning materials and I took part in relevant company training if possible.
Throughout my internship there was not a time at which I was not working on a well-defined project with clear requirements. I always had frequent communication with the people supervising me and had a clear idea of the short and long term tasks that I was expected to deliver. Nevertheless, I never felt too stressed and pressured in terms of time. When something took long to implement my supervisors were considerate and when I finished a task earlier there was always something extra for me to do, so I think that the work-life balance was good.
I was given enough responsibility to be busy and feel important but not too stressed. My work was relevant to research conducted in the centre, so it was to some extent experimental and not that critical for commercial applications of the company. Nevertheless, I always had stuff to learn and interesting things to implement.
I believe that I have significantly developed my skills during my placement. My programming skill and ability to work in a team have improved. As part of my placement I conducted research and wrote a detailed technical report, which will certainly help me for my final year project and in the future. Lastly, I think that I have improved in terms of communication, networking and I have a good idea how a corporate environment is.
The interns in mine or similar positions get to have their own office, which is nice compared to other companies. Throughout my placement the office had one to three interns (including me), based on the number of programming interns at a particular period. I found this good for productivity as the office is usually quiet, has sufficient space and is always very clean. The offices of my supervisors were close, so I could easily go and ask them something in person.
It was very well structured in general. The first weeks are a hand-over period when the previous intern passes the knowledge he/she has acquired to the next and some essential technical training takes place. Then, I have been working on a main project with some small contributions to other projects. There was always help from supervisors.
There was a fair amount of training during my internship. Except for some compulsory safety training there was technical training for some of the tools that were necessary in my work. There are also relevant company learning resources and from time to time technical presentations were taking place in the site, which was a nice opportunity to learn new things.
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
I would like to work for Schlumberger again, as I found my work very interesting and stimulating. Nevertheless, the site in Cambridge is focused on R&D and academic research, so a software developer would have to work in a team remotely or be based in a different location.
There were at least ten other interns and in some periods more, so a lot of people in my age group were around. Most of the days we took our lunch together and we took part together in company events. The company organises social events from time to time, like pub nights/quizzes, an intern day, a summer and Christmas party etc.
Cambridge is expensive in terms of the accommodation, but the cost of food, groceries, pubs, etc. is the same as in other UK cities. There are good offers for monthly bus tickets and I believe that an intern could find cheap accommodation after relevant research. Also, the company site in Cambridge has an excellent canteen offering dinner style meals in very cheap prices (about half of what a similar meal would cost in a pub), which helps to save money.
Cambridge is famous for its pubs, both traditional and modern ones. There is also a wide variety of international restaurants and other activities like a bowling alley and cinemas. In terms of nightclubs there are not many, if this is what someone is interested in.
The interns take part and organise various activities. For example, we were playing volleyball, football or tennis some days. An initiative of the interns was to also organise movie and gaming nights. There were also the company's social events.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Computer and Systems Engineering, Computer Science
East of England
25th May 2020