I completed my placement with the Bridges Team at the Arup Cardiff office. I have enjoyed every aspect of daily work and have learnt a lot from this year. I felt that I was working amongst very talented people and they have given me plenty of support to make sure I get the most out of my experience. Although the second half of it was working from home, I did not feel that it affected my overall experience.
I felt welcome by the team and that everyone was very friendly. They have been very helpful and they always had time to explain things to me and share their knowledge with me. Outside of work I have attended social events with colleagues and have developed a good relationship with them. I enjoyed catching up with them virtually too and I feel that I got to know them even better seeing them working at home.
I have had lots of support from my manager who always made sure I was well looked after during my placement. I felt comfortable discussing what I wanted to do and asking for career advice in general. I also had a senior engineer helping me with my ICE reports and attributes which was very useful. It was something that I really wanted to understand better during my placement and had hoped for a good supervisor to help me with it.
I think work load varied for me and whether or not I am busy depends on which stage the projects are at. I worked on up to 5 projects during my busiest weeks. I think most of the time I worked on 2 to 3 projects which is a good balance to me. The team has been really good with discussing my work load and they always made sure that I was not too busy or stressed.
I think I took on more responsibility as my placement went on and my experience built up. I was trusted with more work and to do work independently. The team trusted me with work and I was given a lot more responsibility than I had expected. This allowed me to learn more and be more helpful to my colleagues. I did not feel like I was pushed too much out of my comfort zone. The team has helped me build up some confidence.
My experience this year has helped me understand the knowledge I got taught at university better by putting things in to context and seeing how things are done in real life. I found the work to be very different to university yet still very enjoyable. It has also helped me to integrate into a professional environment as it was the first time that I worked full time. It has taught me a lot more than just engineering.
The general atmosphere in the office is very friendly and welcoming. I liked that tt was not too formal. I think my colleagues are very professional but relaxed at the same time. I felt included and that people cared about how I was getting on at work. I felt comfortable voicing my opinion and felt that I was always listened to. I was treated fairly and appropriately as well and the overall experience was very pleasant.
I think it was very well organised, I had a induction and training when I first joined and I was introduced to the team straight away. I did not find it difficult to settle into the team. The support I received was very good. I was provided with all the necessary equipment such as a laptop and headset. I was always informed of anything that was required of me and felt that communication was very good too.
I was signed up for necessary training such as health and safety and specific training for going on site. Moodle was very useful and I completed lots of helpful online training courses to help me throughout the year. I have also received a lot of help with personal development and was encourage to ask for work or certain experiences to help me fulfil certain aspects of my CPD. I felt that the firm was willing to invest in me.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
I think I have developed a good relationship with the team I worked for and I will definitely consider a graduate role if they are willing to take me on. We have been discussing a summer placement and I am quite happy to continue working with them. I am open to future opportunities at Arup and trust that they are a very good company to work for. Whether I get a graduate role or not, I am sure my placement and my experience will benefit me in the future.
There were social and sports clubs available for those that would like to join and participate in social activities. There were office Christmas parties as well as team Christmas parties. I organised the team Christmas party and it was a really fun experience. I enjoyed socialising with my colleagues, but I never felt pressured to take part in anything I didn't enjoy and I felt that it was a good balance of work and fun.
I have always lived in Cardiff and therefore there was no change to my cost of living and socialising. I find Cardiff to be a good, affordable city to live in and as a placement student I did not struggle financially during my placement year. The office was walking distance from my accommodation and I walked to work most days so there was very little cost for travel. I manage to save some money during the year which will help me with paying rent for the next year.
There are lots of options available in the Cardiff city centre/ Cardiff bay area.
There were many social events as well as fundraising activities to get involved in.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
21st August 2020