Project Engineer on the Implementation Team.
Working with clients to bespoke the product to their needs.
Main tech stack used: C#, T-SQL, PL-SQL.
I've thoroughly enjoyed the whole year. I've gained invaluable experience from my year here, and have felt supported throughout it's entirety. I've been given enough responsibility to allow me to further my skills, with the support to help me through when I've needed it.
The training program really helped with boosting my confidence at the beginning, I was unsure if university had prepared me well enough for the workplace, but everything you need to know is covered.
I've always felt valued by all of my colleagues. The office environment is very friendly and you will frequently see and work with all levels of staff. From very early on you are given responsibility, even during the training period there are weeks where you are introduced into the office and will work on live tasks. You will be working on real tasks and contributing to the betterment of the product. The social events throughout the training period really help to get to know everyone in the office, plus, free food! Can't complain!
Everyone in the company has a 'buddy' whom they meet with on what's meant to be a weekly basis. My buddy and I generally stuck to this but it can sometimes be difficult to have one every week. I know others seldom have a meeting but I've always felt that if I urgently needed a chat I could just ask and it would be arranged.
When it comes to asking questions, you can ask anyone and they'll be more than happy to help, or simply point you in the right direction. During the first few weeks there's a tonne of support for you. After you move into the office you are expected to come to your own conclusions a bit more and of course use google where you can, but no one will be annoyed at you for just asking questions.
It varies. There's definitely always work to do. If you're working on a customer demo the deadlines are tight and there's usually a lot of work to do, but the environment is, for me, very motivating. The development team works in sprints and there's a variety of large and smaller tasks to work on, and the workload in the implementation team depends on the customer deadlines! I've not found myself bored at all, if you ever need work some can be found to do.
Just the right amount. I was part of a couple of customer demo teams which involve tight deadlines and being part of a fairly small team. I also wrote the backbone script for a customers solution which was uncharted territory for me. It was a great learning experience though and I was well supported throughout. I didn't feel micromanaged at any point, but there was always someone I could go to if I needed a quick answer.
It's difficult to summarise how much you learn in the year. As my final year draws closer i'm confident that i'll be able to achieve a high grade. The work has given me the ability to start on projects that i'd have had no idea how to in my second year. It also really highlights how invaluable experience in the industry is towards getting a job. It's also given me more direction in my career path, I wasn't 100% sure of which route I wanted to go down, but i've seen the different areas the industry has to offer and have a clearer idea of where I want to go.
Generally very relaxed, there are of course busy moments where it can become a more driven environment but it keeps light-hearted. In my experience, there is a mutual respect between everyone no matter your technical level. The company is forward in their ethos of personal life and your health comes before work, and is active in supporting that. They organise social events fairly regularly of which there is no expectation to attend, but they usually involve some form of free food or drink.
The first 9 weeks are very structured, with a set plan for each day guiding you through different skills used at the company. There were 3 In-Office weeks within the 9 weeks to allow you to get to know your colleagues, and get a feel for the workplace. Once the training period is finished you're treated very much as a 'real' employee. You'll be given live tasks to complete, mostly with a long deadline to start with.
The training scheme is thorough, I gained a good foundation of knowledge and it gave me confidence that I could complete the tasks assigned to me. Given that the market is fairly niche, there is an effort to give you transferable skills alongside the plethora of mainly non-transferable ones that you'll pick up along the way.
This ranges from soft skills such as communicating properly with customers (if you're on the implementation team), to learning newer technologies and standards.
Working from home
They are open in the fact that their aim is to invite placement students back post-graduation. There seems to be a variety of paths you can work your way through within the company depending on your skill set and preferences. There's not really a set structure on how to progress, but Lighthouse seem fairly flexible in trying to place you in a role that you enjoy, if you ask to move position they'll do their best to accommodate you.
Generally yes, the placement students went out on a few nights out during the course of training. Depending on where you're living it can be difficult to be very active with colleagues in particular as the office is fairly rural. If you're looking to keep socially active outside of work too, Brighton is probably the best bet if you're willing to commute via car, public transport isn't really a viable option unfortunately. A group of people frequently go to the pub just down the road on a Friday after work for a drink, which is a good chance to catch up with each other.
Pretty high, not quite London prices but as you're so close it can feel pretty inflated. Again, it's finding the place that's right for you. Brighton is definitely on the pricier side but there's always something to do and only a 30 minute drive to work. Crawley is slightly cheaper and a 10-15 minute drive, but not quite as much to do. Horsham is another option, more of a family town with very little to do.
Same as before, Brighton is the best bet for clubs, bars, and everything else. Crawley isn't too bad, obviously there's a Spoons along with plenty of pubs. There's one pub in Pease Pottage but nothing in the way of night-life seeing as it is a small village.
My rating here is based on Brighton nightlife as that is where I live. I would probably say it's closer to 4 or 5 stars if you're in Crawley, and 1-2 in Horsham.
No shortage of things to do in the area I was in, although if you want to do things with other colleagues it can be fairly difficult because of the location of the office and where people live. If you can afford it, Brighton is definitely the place to live if you want an active social life outside of work. It can of course be achieved in other areas but you'll have to put in a bit more effort!
Placement Year (10 Months+)
7th July 2020
£16,000 - £17,999