Industrial Trainee - Rail at Arup

Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
Bristol
Review Date
Roles
Civil Engineering

4/5

The Role
3.9
The Company
3.9
The Culture
4.1

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

Was a great insight into my future career path. Most of the time the work was really engaging and it was great to get some office experience. The placement provided a diverse amount of project work, client meetings and site visits. The social aspect of working for Arup was also good with ‘pub of the month’ after payday, Christmas parties, weekly sports nights, etc
4 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

At the end of the day I only have 2 years of experience so I wasn’t expecting to provide a huge value but I certainly felt appreciated for all work that I completed, regardless of duration or complexity. I was able to fulfil a assistant management role on a particularly large project once I had proven my ability. This made me feel very much part of the team and I felt as though the work I was completing was having a large impact to the progress of the project
4 /5

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

Often you are left to your own devices to work at a problem and develop a solution but there is generally always help available should you need it. This could range from a brief nudge in the right direction or a complete walk through of a solution so that you’re more capable completing set tasks in the future. There was plenty of in-house and external training provided throughout my placement period
4 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

Most of the time I was deeply involved in project work as there was constantly something else that needed overseeing, completing, or reviewing. However, as with most projects, there were occasional periods where I found myself light of work. This would either be at the end of a project, or when we were waiting for the client to permit a new stage of work. During these times I would usually be resourced out to aid a different work package but if not I was able to complete university tasks or training programmes
4 /5

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

Once I had developed a strong foothold and proven my ability I was trusted to help oversee a sizeable project. This involved keeping all documents in order, attending client meetings and contacting them with various quotes and information as well as coordinating the efforts of various different disciplines to provide documents for the client. These included option selection and buildability reports, as well as environmental, heritage and access & amenity statements. Finally I was able to help overview the costs for the project and explain to the client where the fee was being spent
5 /5

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I have not yet resumed university since completing my placement but the training and skills developed will massively help me during the rest of my degree. I have greatly improved my communication, time management and task prioritisation skills during my time working. But as well as developing beneficial skills I have also developed a much greater understanding of the industry work that you can’t possibly gain from attending university lectures alone
4 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Fairly standard on a day to day. You can go for coffee breaks, lunch time chats and walks, as well as stopping by someone’s desk for a quick chat. You can generally chat to people every so often if time allows or shut yourself off and listen to music, etc if you need to focus. There’s plenty of freedom to how you spend your day so long as you are completing tasks
4 /5

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

Everything is set up on arrival. You have all your kit provided such as laptops, headsets, lockers. I was given a mentor who I worked under for the first few weeks who was able to introduce me to the rest of the team and give me a helping hand to get started. The only issues were when work became light, finding new tasks often took time but as long as you mention this to your line manager and during resource meetings you’ll generally be given work to do fairly swiftly
4 /5

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

I was able to attend a 2 day course that trained me to use the CAD software used by Arup. This helped me gain necessary skills that would be hard to pick up on the job. As well as this I was able to go on a 2 day course in the Birmingham office which enabled me to stay overnight for work and Network with other grads and trainees from different offices
4 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Flexi Time
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • Financial Bonus
  • Healthcare/Dental
4 /5

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

There are several different teams within the company as well as multiple different offices. You can return to the exact same office and team, or you could apply to a different office and discipline completely. The managers were very keen to offer advice with respect to reapplying for summer placements and grad schemes and openly promoted the prospect of me returning
4 /5

The Culture

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

There were several students from my university course in the same office but working for different teams. As well as this there were placement students from other universities as well as apprentices and recent graduates. This meant there were plenty of people to socialise with at lunch times, at work events or outside of work. As well as this my team has regular socials and there was a whole office Christmas party
5 /5

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

The salary provided meant that myself and another placement student could afford to rent a flat 10 minutes from the office in the Harbourside area of Bristol. As students we still didn’t have to pay council tax. This meant we didn’t need to spend money commuting to work and left us with ample money left over to socialise, visit friends and take holidays throughout the year
4 /5

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

It’s Bristol. You’ll always find somewhere you like whether it’s a bar, pub or club there’s plenty going on. This provides for a great experience as there’s a constant array of new venues or events taking place so you’ll never get bored of going to the same place over and over again. The pub of the month through work also helped us find new pubs around the city centre which we could then visit with friends, etc
5 /5

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

There was 7-a-side football for both men and women, as well as cycling clubs. Arup uses yammer which enables staff from all offices to communicate and organise events outside of work. Everyone has different interests but it’s fairly easy to find others that share the same as you
3 /5