I thoroughly enjoyed my placement at BAT. I was trusted with a brilliant project and given the freedom to plan and execute the project myself. The placement also involved a good balance of laboratory and office based work.
I also met some great people at BAT, the interns and other staff at BAT. I got on very well with my team and felt very comfortable, so the year flew by. Everyone at BAT is very friendly, its full of opportunities to network and grow.
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You aren't seen as a student at BAT, you are valued as a colleague and part of the team. I was given responsibility and also knew my team would be there if I needed support. I felt very valued by my team and the entire department. It's very refreshing how heads of departments and managers are interested in the placement scheme also. I had the opportunity of showing some important people my work and they valued everything I had achieved.
I was given the perfect amount of support from my manager. We had a good way of working, whereby we would have frequent catch ups but he wouldn't pester me. I was able to get on with my work but I knew I could go to him with a tonne of questions if necessary.
You are also given a mentor at BAT which is very helpful. This is another person at work to go to for help and guidance. Which can be very helpful when your manager is on leave or away on work business.
My days varied massively. Sometimes I would be overloaded with work to do and sometimes I would have very little. It is up to you to balance your workload and know when to say no to people and when to offer a help in hand to your team. At BAT projects and work can change very quickly. Its a fast moving company. I found it very enjoyable and it teaches you to be flexible and how to manage your time effectively.
I was given a project at BAT and so are all of the interns. I was reponsible for the planning, recruiting and executing of my project. This responsibility meant I had to network across the business to gain knowledge and plan the project well. It was my responsibility to manage my time and execute the project well.
When your days are not overloaded with your project work, you can also take on extra work. Helping out your team or taking on a new project. There's tonnes of work and responsibility to take on, sometimes you just have to ask for it.
The skills I developed through my placement are going to set me up for my final year at uni. Not only have I been trained on multiple laboratory equipment, I have gained tonnes of project management skills.
I also learned a lot about data processing and report writing.
I also have gained a lot of knowledge on potential career opportunities. Before this placement I had quite a narrow view on the career paths for Chemists but now I know the paths are endless. I was surrounded by a lot of impressive, successful people in my office. Asking them about their career path really helped me get a view on what I could do after university.
The office atmosphere was good, the other staff were friendly and always happy to help. It is an office environment though, so usually you'd be working and it would be quiet. There's loads of plants around the office and site as well, which makes for a nice working environment.
People frequently brought in food, for birthdays and other events. Which was a bonus.
The meeting rooms in the office, would sometimes be quite loud and annoying whilst you were working. This was easily fixed by bringing in some headphones though.
The BAT placement scheme was very well organised, from start to finish. On my first day at BAT I was given a calendar by the placement team. It included tonnes of activities and intros to departments. The first couple of weeks they had planned for us was vital in getting to know the business, the site and the other interns.
There were also various events throughout the year, that us as interns had to plan. This gave us as interns a chance to work together which was very nice.
BAT has a lot of training on offer. Online training, in person training and also department activities. There is a lot of room for personal development.
If you are interested in a specific area of the business or learning an instrument, everyone at BAT are usually very happy to assist you. I was trained on multiple instruments, outside of my department.
Team building activities are also prominent at BAT. I attended a Lego team building session with my department. My personal favourite training session.
We had a very good social scene at BAT. A lot of us interns all lived together in a shared house, so we frequently socialised with each other. We also went to the pub regularly with the other interns.
I also went out with my team, to escape rooms and to dinner every so often.
BAT also puts on networking events throughout the year. These were always fun, a good chance to meet people and stock up on free food....
I lived in Portswood during my placement, with the other interns. We chose Portswood because its cheap and also the student area of the city. There are cheap pubs and great restaurants all around.
We didn't go out around work very often but we'd go to pubs closer to the centre with work. They would be on the more expensive side but you'll have more money than the average student. BAT also put on networking events with free drinks and food, from time to time.