Work with global CTP team to act as a technical interface between the Wales facility and US headquarters, as well as other parts of the global business and customers.
Strong focus on engine 'workscoping' (technical document that specifies the level of maintenance/disassembly to be performed on incoming engines), be it optimisation, reduction in cost etc.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
(Disclaimer: my internship occured from July 2019 - July 2020, and so in the final months all employees were furloughed due to Covid-19. Thus I completed 9 months of the internship). GE made for an enjoyable internship. There were ~45 other interns working at the Wales site, which meant it was very social and sorting housing was simple. The roles varied quite a lot between interns, and I worked in the Customer Technical Program for the GP7000 engine line. There were 9 other interns (alongside other permanent staff) in my office doing similar roles on different engines, so the office was really nice to work in.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
For the most part, highly. I was able to ask questions of my team (and others in the office) with ease and not feel judged, and the guys working on the 'shop floor' (hands-on with the engines) were very friendly and accomodating.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Each intern is assgned one mentor, who acts as your line manager and supports you also. My mentor was fantastic, having only recently completed an internship himself so he was very understanding. My colleague's mentor (the other main member or the team, alongside my mentor) was also really supportive and great at answering any technical questions I had.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was reasonably busy most days - I had a good routine of daily/weekly tasks to do, and we were encouraged to take on additional projects ourselves that we sought out, or our managers suggested to us.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibilty, basically from day 1, which was really appreciated. Within 2 weeks of starting, I was running a weekly skype meeting with our global team, where I presented data and facilitated discussion on the engines that were being allocated to our various global maintanence facilities. This was great, and I really felt valued as a genuine employee of the company rather than just an intern.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learned a lot about the internal workings of jet engines, which will be really helpful in my final year of uni and hopefully my career going forward. I got a lot of experience in project management, and training in useful areas such as Lean Six Sigma. I also gained a lot of knowledge on how to act professionally in the workplace, which is something you don't get taught at university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Positive! Good amount of people (~20-25) and some entertaining characters. This would vary depending on which office you are placed in, however. I know some other interns who also had positive experiences, and some who had less positive ones.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There was a strong curriculum to follow, with the internship split into two phases, roughly 6 months each. Both phases culminated with a phase review, where we put together a presentation to deliver to a panel of senior leaders, explaining what our role was and what we had achieved during each phase. This was helpful to get some good presentation practice in, as well as helpful feedback on areas we could improve on. There was ample training provided to us throughout the year, though sometimes it was thrust upon us with quite short notice. Most sessions were of high quality and interest, but one or two weren't so good.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I think that the company invested quite a lot in me. As mentioned before, the level and amount of training was high and the phase reviews were really helpful in preparing us for real-world performance reviews.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I rate this an 8 not because of my own experience (Covid-19 has thrown a major spanner in the works fo the company, and industry as a whole) but because of what typically happens each year - there are bursary positions available for engineering interns, which entails a 2 year grad scheme after you graduate, as well two payments while you're in your final year of uni. This scheme is a great idea, and really helpful for getting into the company.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
With there being ~45 other interns on site, it was really easy to organise accomodation. I lived in a house with 9 other interns, which whilst cheap and sociable I would not recommend simply due to cleanliness and housework :') it was nice having so many other interns on site as it meant there were lots of people you could ask for help/assistance, or spend some time with to see what their role entails. There were plenty of opportunities for nights out etc as well.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost of living in Cardiff is pretty cheap. Living in a 10-man house in Cathays (student area) cost roughly £345 a month for rent, although another 10-intern house managed to pay even less than that. Going out for drinks is still pretty expensive though as it is a major city.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Cardiff has a very vibrant nightlife - whatever you want, its probably there.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were a few - the 3 peaks challenge, for example. There were some opportunities to do some STEM outreach too, at careers fairs and such. There were quite a lot of events put on for the female interns in particular, through a scheme that promotes women in engineering. This was spoken highly of by one of my colleagues.