I really enjoyed my work placement at Nissan. Although being an engineer was challenging I was able to improve my confidence and learn new skills, and which have benefitted me already in my final year. I got to contribute to exciting new projects that I had a great interest in and enjoyed improving my skills in things I already had a passion for. The placement team at Nissan also make it very enjoyable by putting on placement events. I found having other placement students there made it more enjoyable as you can talk to people who are in the same position as you.
My department team at Nissan were very friendly and always looked out for each other. I felt that the work I achieved on my placement was appreciated and made a real difference to the shop. I was often given good feedback on my work and how it helped the department to tackle issues they had. I feel that placement students are valued at Nissan as it gives teams a chance to pass on knowledge and skills for a future role.
My seniors/mentors were very helpful and helpful were very understanding of my position as a placement student. They ensured that I was integrated into the department and dealt with any issues I had. My mentor at Nissan was very supportive throughout and always challenged me to do better. My department team were also very supportive and were always happy to help if I needed it. My team took time to train me and introduce me to new concepts and softwares, which allowed me then to work on my own.
Some days were very busy, being on the shop floor for most of the day, working with contractors, or having a lot of project planning at the desk. Other days were less busy if there was little work going on or there was a wait for contractors to get back. Although some days were less busy there was always something to do and new stuff to learn. I attended training courses and learnt new things for my projects when I had spare time.
I was in charge of various projects, from planning to implementing it. I was left to manage contractors and installations which gave me great responsibility as it was important that safety rules were followed. Having a lot of responsibility really made me grow faster at Nissan and allowed me to learn and improve through my own actions rather than always being told what to do. This allows you to really use your own problem solving skills to tackle real life tasks.
During my placement I gained lots of new skills especially in programming. Using new software and getting the chance to use programming in a real world project will allow me to have a greater understanding where the code I use in my final year can be applied outside of university. I also gained organisational and project management skills which will allow me to be more successful at projects in my final year and in future roles.
The office was a mix of teams that were always busy, so the office had a . The atmosphere was serious in the fact that everyone was busy getting on with work, but people could still talk, collaborate and have a joke which made the office space a good place to be. The only bad side of the office was the harsh lighting. The office was also big on open desk spaces so you could easily collaborate with other teams.
The placement scheme from a department view wasn’t very organised before hand as there was no planned work or projects, but this was good as it allowed me to apply myself to new projects that I found interesting. As work varied from day to day it was hard to plan work as one day I might have to call a contractor in to fix a machine. It was very varied and unpredictable which made it very exciting.
The company encourage you to go on training courses to improve your skills, such as assertiveness, risk assessment and presentation skills. My team at Nissan also spent a lot of time showing me how to use certain software and explaining how things work on the shop floor. I feel that they really dedicated the time and effort into placement students which pays off when you can apply these new skills to project during placement and in future roles.
I would like to go back and continuing to work on my previous projects as I learnt a lot and got to work with a great team on a variety of projects. However after completing my placement I feel that industry may not be for me as I would prefer a more design role. Although I would not rule it out as I enjoyed my placement and felt that you can make big differences there.
I made good friends with the other placement students and often planned events outside of work with them. It was good to have other friends from different departments as it was interesting to see how other parts of Nissan were run. I also has a Christmas party with the department which allowed everyone to get to know each other more. I feel they could have planned more social events but covid stopped the opportunity anyway.
I worked in Sunderland and lived in Newcastle. Living here is fairly cheap and there are lots of things to do in the city that are free or that don’t cost a lot. Student housing here is good for the price and you can be close to the city centre. I didn’t go around the area where Nissan was as I drove 40 mins to work everyday, but other placement students lived near me so it was a good social bubble outside of work.
Newcastle has great nightlife with lots of different bars and clubs. It is a big student city so there are usually a lot of events on, however covid limited that this year. All the bars are close to each other and there are good transport links if you live near by and want to go out. Living in Newcastle and commuting to work gives you a great balance of work and socialising as it was easy to meet with other placement students for social events.
There weren’t many activities to get involved with outside of work apart from a few placement organised events. There were supposed to be voulenteering days with the placement team however these didn’t go ahead. I feel Nissan could be more involved with the community and putting on more events out side of work and maybe having more department days out. Outside of work I was involved with different activities that weren’t related to work but allowed me to have a good balance between work and home life.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
2nd November 2020