My placement was very enjoyable and was a very good varied experience. Through my placement year I had to opportunity to get involved in a wide range of projects and really gained some valuable design and management experience. I was able to manage my workload well and take part in extra curricular activities. The work life balance is very good, so it also served as a nice break away from University whilst learning in a different environment.
My colleagues were very helpful and always provided help, assistance and guidance where required. The difficulty level of work was very reasonable and challenging at times but the required support was always there should I have gotten stuck at a particular point. My colleagues would always be on the look out for work for me that would give me a varied and comprehensive experience from my placement which is something that I really did appreciate.
I was assigned a mentor and a line manager to whom I would report to on a regular basis, and ask for additional work when required. They were very supportive and ensured I had enough to be doing. Apart from this, on the projects I was working on, I was supervised by a senior engineer, who would check and provide feedback on my work. This was vital to my learning and development throughout my placement, and helped me improve the quality and consistency in my work.
I was consistently busy with supervisors and line managers making sure I had a manageable workload (not too less and not too much). At times is can get busy, but this is to be expected as is the nature with project work, however colleagues are very supportive and are open to giving more support or more time if required to produce a quality output. The balance between being kept busy and having enough chances to socialise with colleagues is good, which created a good working environment.
I was eased into my placement with support from my mentor and a senior engineer to the point where the quality of my work improved and I had a greater understanding of Arup systems and processes. The responsibilities given to me were at time challenging but never overwhelming, which allowed me to maximise my potential and take on a more advanced role, which has help me find more learning opportunities taking on different tasks as the placement has progressed.
The transferable skills such as , communication, team work, report writing, organisation and problem solving were very evidently essential in daily work, and this was complimented by the theoretical background knowledge on technical subjects studied in university. Being able to immerse in the project environment and collaborate with experienced professionals allowed me to implement and further develop my transferable skills and learn more about the technical expertise required in a project. The experience will definitely contribute to a more holistic approach to problem solving in the future
The atmosphere was very calm and a very nice environment to work in. Everyone was really welcoming, and was willing to help answer any questions or point me in the right direction. Everyone was approachable, helpful, and more than willing to go out of their routing to provide support. All my colleagues were an absolute pleasure to work with and I have really learned a lot from them. Thr positive working environment really makes Arup a brilliant place to work.
The overall work placement was quite well organised. The online application process was straightforward and I was contacted via email for the interview. Information about the interview was clear and all the details regarding the requirements and the interviewer were provided which helped me prepare. After I received the job offer over the phone followed by email, relevant contacts were made available if I had any questions prior to my start date. Once I started my placement, there was a conclusive induction by HR, and relevant contacts for queries mafe available. It was made clear who my line manager was and who my mentor was. Through good support in the early stages, I was able to fit in quite well.
I was given the opportunity to attend numerous meetings, both internal and external, along with members of my team, which showed that the company wanted to invest in me. Some of the meetings introduced me to the projects that the team were involved in and I learnt a lot about the variety of work the civils team does. These meetings also allowed me to network and share ideas with colleagues, as well as develop my communication and presentation skills.
Working from home
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement at Arup and it had allowed be to reassure myself that a careers as a Civil Engineer at a design consultancy is the right path for me. The feedback I received from colleagues and line managers has been very positive, and I believe I have performed very well in my placement. I look forward to future opportunities with Arup following graduation and definitely feel I'd have a better chance at a role having undertaken a placement.
There were monthly events organised, which provided the opportunity to meet people from other teams and disciplines. In addition to this there were a variety of socials such as quizzes at the end of the month and weekly cake breaks. I was able to attend some of the events and they were always great fun and a good chance to catch-up with colleagues who I haven't had the chance to work with for a while.
Cost of living was reasonable, and I did not have to relocate as my placement was just around the corner from my University. Generally the cost of living and socialising in Manchester is generally reasonable compared to other cities in the UK, particularly down South. Since I live in greater Manchester, I was already quite accustomed to the location. Overall, the cost of living in Manchester was reasonable and this is complemented well by the good transport links.
I did not spend much time in Manchester during the weekends so I did not experience the Nightlife as much. Manchester is known for its nightlife but its not something I was very interested in.. There is some good places to eat for everyone's taste buds and a lot of the places are good value for money. The variety of cousines is enticing, and you can enjoy a variety of cultural dishes due to the multicultural nature of the city.
In my opinion there were lots of opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work. One of the members of the team was in charge or organising one of the monthly socials. There was also a 5 a side football match arranged which was good fun. Information about events such as conferences and CPD events were also sent out regularly. These event provide a different perspective to learning and were always unique to a subject which meant they were always worth attending.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
18th August 2020