I've thoroughly enjoyed my placement with Intel. I doubt that many other industrial placements would be able to offer such a great insight into corporate lifestyle, how business units work together, worldwide communication and teamwork efforts and customer communications. Specific to my placement, I was also put in a position where I was exposed to technology that I never expected to see, let alone work with. I will be sad to leave and return to my studies, but also excited to put my newfound skills and experiences to work to finish my degree.
It was really noticeable how valued team members made me feel. Everyone was very pleasant right from the start, and made me feel very welcome to be there. As I progressed through the placement and gained responsibility I noticed this even more so, becoming a main point of contact for particular support work for certain colleagues, with many providing me feedback after completing support work for them. This was key in helping me understand what I was doing right or wrong and helped boost my confidence upon receiving feedback.
My Manager was great at answering any questions I had throughout the entirety of my placement. No matter how big or small the query, he would set time aside to ensure I understood fully the task at hand and provide any training necessary to help me better my skills or knowledge that would assist me in my day to day tasks. We had regular meetings to discuss my progression and new areas for me to research and branch out into for both skills development and to help me get a better idea of any future career paths I might wish to pursue with these skills.
One thing I liked so much is that there was always something to get on with. If I wasn't working on builds or support work for customer engagements, there was always a project to work on to develop and further my skills and knowledge. There was also many areas I was given the opportunity to research, implement and maintain in between lab work if I had spare time. I found the balance great, as if I had a lot of builds, I could take a step back from the projects until I had more time again.
One thing that surprised me during the placement was just how much responsibility I was given. My idea of being an 'intern' was that you were shadowing full time employee's the whole year but that wasn't the case. The whole way through I was working firsthand on builds, having direct communications with customers and people higher up in the company, and trusted to run projects from start to end. This was a huge boost in my confidence and really made me feel valued by my manager and co-workers.
Even though my placement wasn't 100% in line with my degree, I've been pleasantly surprised at how invaluable the experience has been. The skills I've developed and training I've been given has really put many aspects of my degree into perspective for me and I can already tell they will give me an advantage upon returning to university to finish my degree. It's also opened many new doors into possible career paths, as well as solid ideas for a final year dissertation project (which I was previously very uncertain about).
Everyone in the office was very friendly. I was in a less populated area, but could still easily have a chat with people from other teams. In some ways I was glad to be in a less busy area as it kept noise levels down and made it easier to focus. It was great to be able to mingle with different business units though, as you could learn a lot about how other areas of the office work.
The whole placement experience at Intel is very well thought out. There is a huge support network to guide the interns from day 1 right through to the end. If you had any issues or queries, there was always someone that could help you or give you the exact answer you needed. Even during the covid lockdown period it's been handled really well, with smooth transitions to working from home and ensuring we had all required to continue working comfortably.
There was lots of training made available to us for personal development, with sessions to broaden knowledge in many applications that were well used in daily tasks. There was also a lot of incentive to develop your skills as it would in turn open you up to more opportunities, with many interns travelling around the country or abroad to events. I received training in many specialist areas which will greatly assist me in the final year of my degree and future career paths.
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
If I was offered a job back I would gladly take it. My placement experience has been brilliant and I'm sure a full time employment would yield just as much experiences and opportunities for development.
Due to the vast number of interns employed, there was a great social scene. We had a dedicated sports and social committee that organised events most weeks, along with a weekend away. Most people got involved and there was such a variety of events happening that it catered to everyone's taste at some point. It was a great way of interacting with all the interns, and helped us all wind down after long weeks in the office.
The cost of accommodation in Swindon was not to different to costs at University. I was spending around £450 a month inc. household bills, which was fairly reasonable for a house-share with other interns. Some chose to get flats which were more expensive, but all in all affordable for the wage we received. Socialising again was a pretty standard cost, perhaps slightly more expensive than university areas due to being dubbed a 'commuter town' for London. There were less cheap nights out, but that's expected of an area with no students in.
Nightlife was okay, there was a handful of bars around. They weren't amazing, but at the end of the day it was all down to the people you went out with. Many memories were made on themed nights out, from beach parties to pub golf, which made the average nightclubs that bit more fun. We would also quite often go to each others houses to socialise as well as going out, which was great for mixing things up a bit.
There was lots of activities going on in Swindon. A few of us used the indoor rock climbing facility, cinema and many parks dotted around.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Computer Science, Electronics, Information Technology
14th July 2020