I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at BAE Systems. It gave me the ability to experience a broad spectrum of the engineering opportunities available. Alongside a competitive pay for industrial students, it has enabled me to improve my professional and technical competencies. The attributes learnt during my placement will definitely help with my understanding of problems when I return to university.
As an IP, I was surprised at the responsibility and value given from line managers. You are truly considered an asset - especially due to the funding lines making you effectively a "free" resource to a project. Even though you are less experienced than your colleagues, it is a true meritocracy and good work is rewarded through recognition and internal award schemes. Your value may only not be recognised fully when you're working outside your immediate team e.g external OEMs.
My mangers have been incredibly supportive throughout my placement year. All managers that I encounter were genuinely invested in ensuring that the quantity and quality of work was suitable for you. I was even given 1 to 1 weekly meetings where I could express my concerns, aspirations and how the team could support this.
During the starting month of my placement, I wasn't very busy due to the long onboarding process (access to government controlled sites can take time). However, once I was fully settled in, I was became very busy. This was especially true during intense delivery periods when your work is heavily relied on.
Similarly to the above, responsibility grew with my time in the company. You are given work within your competence. If your manger things you are capable, you are given the work. This may mean that you are given work which is completely new to you but the support is there to help if you require it.
I wholeheartedly believe that my 12 months+ in BAE Systems have thoroughly improved my technical abilities. It has built on what I have learnt at Uni thus far by giving real world practical problems that require solutions not always found in a textbook. Furthermore, my stakeholder management and communication skills have improved much more than would be possible by University learning alone.
For the majority of the time, the atmosphere within the office was enthusiastic and entertaining. Especially within my team, mental health was considered a top priority so even during hard working periods we were encourage to take short breaks together as a team. The atmosphere only tended to drop in environments outside my team.
On a whole, the scheme is very well set up. The major problem is the onboarding process as this can take a while to complete and without full IT, it is impossible to do anything substantial. However, the scheme doesn't hold you back. If you want to do something, all you have to do is ask.
I was able to complete a myriad of internal and external training during my placement year. One example being a technical writing course which is imperative for report writing. There are limitations to what can be done due to cost but most requests can be accommodated. There is also a budget to complete personal learning unrelated to your job.
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Healthcare from home
From my time with BAE Systems, I will definitely look to return once I complete my university studies. I have currently had my placement contract extended and will look to enter the graduate scheme within the team I am currently in. Furthermore, there is a great scheme available for transitioning from IP to graduate posisitons.
Yes, there was a good grouping of IPs as well as summer interns. Outside of work, we were able to and were encouraged to organise activities including go karting. In addition, there were multiple work outings including Christmas meals and birthday outings. From my encounters, everyone was engaging and socials were encouraged.
The cost of living in Southsea - Portsmouth wasn't outrageous but wasn't the cheapest location. There are cheaper places to live but Southsea was the best in terms of locational proximity and things to do. There are also plenty of social activities close to and just outside Portsmouth. If you are a keen Sportsman there are plenty of clubs to join.
Due to the Uni of Portsmouth being nearby, there are plenty of nightlife options available. There are a lot of nightclubs and social locations. Even if clubbing isn't something you like to do, there are casual pubs and clubs that are available for a relaxed evening. If you fancy mid week clubbing there are plenty of student nights out.
If you are interested in sports there are plenty of clubs you can join. As a employee of BAE you are able to join the united forces clubs such as hockey, rugby and football. There are also other non-sporting activities available in Portsmouth. Additionally, there tends to be a discount associated with some if you work for BAE.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
8th June 2020