1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I was based in a operational role, focused on process improvement and manufacturing strategy.
The job was very hands on, I was involved in numerous projects in which I had a good amount of input, so I felt my skills were utilised and my voice was heard.
Additionally, the team I was based in consistently pushed me out of comfort zones which vastly improved my hard and soft skills. Overall, very enjoyable and would recommend.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
At the beginning of the placement I struggled to communicate effectively with my colleagues, I was not too sure of myself nor the role I was based in.
However, as time progressed and I gained confidence in my own ability I began performing well and became much more reliable. Colleagues would see me as reliable and confident as they gave me feedback throughout the year, to further this point I was invited to several social events which made me feel a part of the team.
So, at the start I did not feel valued but as time progressed this changed completely.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Within a few weeks my first manager left the company which made things difficult at the start as I had no real guidance for some weeks, I was dropped in the deep end for some duties that I was unsure of.
However, I was placed under the supervision of a new manager, this person was extremely kind and helpful in building my confidence and assisting me in my personal development.
I was introduced to other, more senior, colleagues who treated me with the same level of respect and dignity.
Overall, the support was exceptional.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
For the first 10 months I was busy a lot of the time, I always had something to do or something to work on but I was able to take my time with most of my tasks.
On a few occasions I became a tad overwhelmed with my responsibilities but I was able to learn some vital time management skills which helped alleviate the burdens.
For the last 3 months I was unfortunately working from home due to the pandemic, although many of the projects I was involved in carried on my days began to get less busy as I was getting ready to complete my placement.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
On a daily basis I was responsible for all of the capital based operational projects, this involved ensuring all project plan were on track, assisting on supplier support and the documentation process.
Further daily tasks involved process improvement and operational support which were vital to production.
Long-term, I was a member of several strategic project teams based on NPD, value stream mapping and change management, all of these were high responsibility and a lot of my time during my placement.
In general, the level of responsibility was challenging but worth the effort!
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Beginning with knowledge and tangible skills, I was involve in a lot of technical based projects in which I gained engineering based knowledge particularly regarding lean process improvement. This was of great assistance as in my final year at university my dissertation is based on the subject of process improvement so I am able to write about the subject with more conviction compared to my previous years in education.
Additionally, I received a good amount of training regarding soft skills such as emotional intelligence. This subject has not only helped build my people skills in a work environment but also in academic and real life situations.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Good atmosphere, everyone was approachable and helpful.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Well organised, I was given responsivity from day one and many opportunities to get involved with projects outside of my primary department.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Training was available on a weekly basis, I did at least 2 or 3 sessions per month in order to upkeep and build my skills.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Depending on the types of graduate opportunities that become available I would certainly be inclined to return to Eaton.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Unfortunately the site was remote, although there was a train to the nearest city it was difficult to go out amongst students and colleagues often.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Limited cost, not a lot of opportunities to socialise.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Limited nightlife, the area was rural.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Once a week there was a running club and once a month the site went out for afternoon tea.