The role I undertook was externally ‘Operations Management’ but internally referred to as Materials Planner. I loved my time at GE Aviation, I was exposed to more than I could have possibly imagined. From facilitating meetings with senior managers to running a variety of production lines, I was able to see different levels of the business from a variety of different perspectives. I was never made to feel like an intern and was entrusted with more responsibility than I could have imagined.
I felt extremely valued by my colleagues. The materials team I was in were a variety of ages which added a nice dynamic to the team and we were able to bounce ideas off each other and collectively come to solutions with new issues. I also felt valued by those who worked on the line, as we spoke everyday regarding what they required to continue building and they always provided me with great feedback and allowed me to grow
The manager I worked for had a great balance of supporting when necessary but allowing you to explore things yourself and find solutions to your own problems. I was entrusted which allowed to me to gain exposure to different areas I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. However there were often complicated issues which arose my manager always took the time to assist me and talk me through the issue and speak to any necessary people.
The materials department is always extremely busy and due to staffing I was sometimes one of only two planners in on certain days. This meant I only had the time to do the most urgent tasks to keep the production lines running. It allowed me to practise and learn a skill in prioritisation. We were often chased by a variety of colleagues in a variety of different roles to get tasks done and had to priorities accordingly.
I was entrusted with being the sole planner running an entire production line, one that was worth huge amounts of money. Any issues I needed to spot in advance and pass the information on to the relevant teams. For example, if a suppliers supply date had slipped by a number of weeks. Towards the end of my placement, I was entrusted to train up new starters on a range of different production lines so they could run the lines on their own
The skills i have learned have been invaluable. I not only progressed in terms of the role and how I performed but also as a person. Nothing can replicate the workplace and I was able to learn such key transferable skills. Mainly being prioritisation, as I was constantly under pressure to get a range of different tasks done and being chased to do so. Also the ability to handle pressure and thrive under it, both of which should provide me a solid foundation for final year and beyond
The general atmosphere was good, with some members of staff always willing to go above and beyond with any task. There were also so many lovely people across all the different teams who were a pleasure to interact with. However this wasn’t always the case, with some being more difficult to deal with than others. But that’s part of being in the workplace and real world and I arguably learnt more from interactions with those people than others
Overall, the organisation was good as it was clear what was expected of me from the beginning and due to my manager, I always knew where I stood and what the expectations were. Arguably my role was slightly above an internship, but this is a huge positive and allowed me to learn more than I could have ever imagined. It enabled me to be exposed to everything possible in that role, so this actually proved to be a huge positive
The company invested in me greatly, allowing and entrusting me to run a production line on my own and put me in positions of great responsibility. I was put on a variety of training courses, from FOD training to material handling, to task planning training. I also had my contract extended by two months upon the end of my placement which added to the extent to which GE aviation invested in to me and my development
Above 25 days holiday
I would love to go back to GE Aviation on a full time basis after my final year of university. I would ideally go back in to to the same team and work under the same manager I did during my internship. I throughly loved my time at GE and feel I can progress so much if I was to work there permanently. Talks are ongoing about me going back but it is obviously difficult in the current situation
There was a relatively good social scene for interns and colleagues alike I lived at home during my placement so I didn’t get massively involved in the intern social side of things but there were often plans. With my colleagues there were a few events which included bowling and meals out, especially around Christmas time. These were very well attended and some were paid for by GE to encourage everyone interacting outside the workplace together
Cheltenham is a relatively expensive place to live, but I can’t comment on the cost of living there as I commuted from home which is outside Cheltenham
Again, as I didn’t live in Cheltenham I didn’t go on nights apart there, just a few meals and bowling. I was invited on the nights out but it wasn’t logistically feasible
Yes there were opportunities to engage in activities but again I wasn’t able to take advantage of this fully due to where I lived. But during the final few months of my placement I went out most weeks for food after work with colleagues
Placement Year (10 Months+)
16th September 2020