I worked in Geometric Integration, part of the Total Vehicle Quality department. I was involved in the launch development of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost, successor to the most successful car in the company's 116 year history. Having the opportunity to work on this project was fantastic, especially for me having a keen interest in automotive engineering. There was a wide range of variety to my tasks and although not every single one was thrilling (as you'd expect), I was able to appreciate that they needed to be done! I was required to spend a lot of time hands-on with the cars, which was awesome. For many tasks, I was able to go about them in my own way.
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I settled well into the team and very quickly too. My team were very welcoming and friendly and were always happy to provide support and guidance if required. I was always given feedback on my tasks and credit for my own work and ideas. I felt a regulary member of the team from the first day and was never treated as just an intern, carrying out many of the same tasks as my colleagues would. I felt confident I could approach anyone for help if I needed it. I was able to extend my contract until much closer to the start of my next academic year, showing that the team valued my work.
I had regular reviews with my supervisor to discuss my progress, which were very useful as I was able to quickly implement any suggestions into my practices. It was very rewarding to be given praise and recognition for good work and areas guidance on where I could improve were very beneficial. I could always ask for support and feedback at any time. I also received written feedback and grading on several categories at the end of my placement.
This varied greatly throughout the placement. I was involved in the Pruefcubing of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost, where a highly accurate test body is assembled to validate the launch maturity, fit and finish of assembled components. This involved logistics organisation, planning and storage of the parts followed by problem reporting during the Preufcubing Event (when the parts are all assembled). During the event, I worked long, busy days but this was not an issue for me as I enjoyed the work. When the workload was less, I was always able to find more tasks from my colleagues.
Being involved in the logistics planning and storage of parts for Pruefcubing meant my actions could impact whether parts arrived on time for the project or not, which would have an immediate impact on the success of the project, and potentially impact the launch maturity of the car.
During the three week long summer shutdown, I was requried to work as an extension to my contract meant I did not have enough holiday (there were still quite a few colleagues on site). As my manager and my supervisor were away, I was responsible for the management of use of our very expensive equipment.
This internship allowed me to improve my existing skills in a new industrial environment, one very different to studying at University, as well as develop new skills. I recieved numerous trainings which, paired with knowledge gained from day-to-day work, will be very useful both back at University and throughout my future career, whichever role I end up working in! I really enjoyed experiencing how a world-renowned automotive company operates and knowledge of industry standard processes will be of most use if the future.
My colleagues were all very friendly and easy to get along and work with. The atmosphere was often quite relaxed which made it a very comfortable environment in which to work. The atmosphere of the Goodwood factory in general was very positive which made it a pleasure to come into work each day.
I was only offered the placement about five weeks before it was due to start, and did not recieve my contract for another two weeks after that. This meant that it felt quite rushed to prepare for the placement as I had to arrange accommodation myself.
Through my work, I did not interact with many other interns so I would have liked to have had more opportunities to meet other students through work. However this would have been difficult/not possible due to the Coronavirus pandemic anyway.
As mentioned before, I recieved numerous trainings and had regular performance reviews with my supervisor, which displayed that my development was valued by the company. If I wanted to support or experience a certain task, I was able to if my workload allowed for it, showing that the company had my best personal interests in mind. My colleagues were always keen for me to get the most out of the placement, which I am very grateful for.
I was able to meet several graduates working at Rolls-Royce, all of whom recommended the graduate scheme to me. As a result of my very positive experiences working at the company, seeking future employment there is very appealing.
I lived in a rented house with two other interns, and made very good friends with them. Other interns were keen to meet socially outside of work, but unfortunately this was very difficult due to the Coronavirus pandemic and national lockdown happening after only two months of starting my placement. We had a team event organised during my last week, which was great fun. It was a shame we were unable to do more of these!
I rented a house with two other interns close to Chichester town centre. The rent was a fair bit more expensive than I was used to at University, but was still managable. The intership was paid, which was a big help towards this! Chichester itself did not seem particularly expensive. The on-site restaurante, cafe and vending machines were all very reasonable priced, and a 10% discount was available for the public bus. My commute was roughly two miles, so it was possible to walk or cycle.
This is the only downside to Chichester. There were only a handful of venues open after 11pm, which was disappointing considering that Chichester has a University, especially when coming from a University with a great nightlife. Due to the national lockdown, these venues remained closed for the vast majority of my placement. There were a number of nice bars and pubs in and around Chichester however, so there was no shortage of places to go to socialise.
There was a weekly football session organised with colleagues which I enjoyed attending.