Powertrain, Chassis and Electronics Integration & Validation Intern at BMW Group
Placement Year (10 Months+)
£16,000 - £17,999
Administration/SecretarialAutomotiveElectronic and Electrical EngineeringElectronicsEngineeringFilm/PhotographyLogistics and OperationsManufacturingMechanical EngineeringProduct Design/Industrial Design
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Maybe not quite 'best job ever', but quite possibly 'best internship ever'. My workload has been very varied, there's always been something new going on and I've had the chance to work on some embargoed projects, which is always fun! It's been a great opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes in the automotive industry, and to gain valuable experience.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I've felt like an accepted and valued member of the team from very early on, as almost all of my colleagues regularly ask me to assist with their responsibilities, or even delegate some to be my own. I'm included in meetings and coffee/lunch breaks, as well as events outside of work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
It's been exactly as I would have liked in this respect - I've had guidance (you could even call some of it hand-holding) when I've needed it, but I've also had the freedom to work on my own and report back my findings when I'm comfortable that I understand what I'm doing.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Sometimes 0/10, sometimes 11/10, but mostly just about the right level to be neither flustered nor bored. There were a few days across my 13 months where I had too many things to do and not enough time in which to do them, but overall this was very rare.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was mostly working on things to improve the workplace or processes within my department, so the only impact would have been on us. However, there were a few times that I was trusted to design new pieces of test equipment for the Rolls-Royce production line, or to carry out Analysis tasks on vehicles when we were particularly busy. Personally, I've found it about right - not too
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
In terms of educational skills, I'm sure I'll be able to use many of the practical skills I've learned, such as CAD. However, having not been employed full-time before, the workplace skills I've gained will be invaluable. Simple things such as time management, how to approach colleagues, how to communicate effectively/productively, and more will be very useful in future employment.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The vast majority of the time, the office had a light-hearted yet productive atmosphere. My colleagues had a good sense of humour and jokes were common, but all while working. My colleagues were very supportive with my work and were always happy to give hints and tips when I wasn't sure what to do. Team events were common and well-attended, such as go karting, golf, pub dinners and more. Overall I very much enjoyed it!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
From the side of BMW Human Resources, very good. The interview process was smooth (and actually really enjoyable, I thought), and communication from them was regular, clear and very helpful. When it came to starting, and things that my department was responsible for setting up, it wasn't quite so seamless. My uniform arrived on time (which I understand now is quite an achievement), but getting my IT and email accounts set up took a few days, and it took months to finally be fully settled in with all the access I needed - things which are department-specific, so I'm sure others are more orgnised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Fairly highly, I've done training in lots of different things through the year, such as in CATIA and all the different BMW programs. I was also offered BMW's standard EV safety training, but unfortunately Covid-19 cancelled that. My manager also gave us (me and the other intern in the department) freedom to spend the department's budget as we saw fit (within reason, of course), not restricting projects on a cost basis, which was definitely a concern before starting.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Obviously, future job prospects in all industries are completely up in the air at the moment thanks to Covid-19, but prospects at Rolls-Royce for the moment seem good. One of the interns I replaced in my department has been offered a place on RRMC's graduate programme, so will be coming back next year! As a result, I'll definitely be applying after final year, and it's nice to see evidence of progression, which I didn't expect.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Seemed very good from my perspective - we had a Whatsapp group set up to organise social events and get to know eachother before we started with the company, which continued to be used throughout the year for both socialising and work queries.It seemed that on pretty much any given night at least a few people would be in town, so there should always be someone to go out with if you ask around enough.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Pretty much as high or low as you like. I had the viewpoint of 'who really gets a placement to gain any kind of realistic savings?' so I blew the majority of my monthly wages on a nice 2 bedroom flat with a garage and a sea view, but I then gained some disposable income from eating cheaply, as I rarely had takeaway or ate out. Cinema tickets were much cheaper than in Lincoln, and being on the coast means you can always just go to the beach.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Not relevant to me - I didn't partake in any of it, but it seemed decent.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As I've mentioned, there were a good few team and intern events organised through the year, such as go karting, meals out, golf, and more. Generally though, this was from people being pro-active and doing the leg work to set them up, and people were more than happy to take part. So if you find you'd like to do more with your colleagues or fellow interns, be pro-active, send a message or email out and see who's interested!