I really enjoyed my internship at Eaton. I enjoyed the work, the people and the environment I was in. I was always busy, my manager always encouraged me to get involved in work outside of our department where possible to experience a broad range of functions of the business. It went really fast and I'm so glad that i completed it as it will help me so much in getting a graduate job after university.
I felt really valued by my colleagues. I was the only female in an office of 8 men, which as you can imagine was initally really daunting. However when i got settled in and got to know them all, and when they got to know me, they really did treat me like i was a permanent part of the team and their equal. There were never any instances where i felt uncomfortable or out of place.
My manager was amazing. He was really knowledgable, he was great at making sure I always had something to do and making sure that any activities i was involved in were relevant to my professional development. We had regular progress meetings and he always made time to catch up with me on a day to day basis. He was also really good at giving me advice on my professional career beyond my internship and university.
I had the perfect balance of not being bored and not being too busy throughout my internship. Some days i had lots of things on my to do list and other days i had very few, which allowed me to catch up on the work i had to do for uni or for the Eaton intern group projects. My workload never spilled into my evenings & I never did work out of my normal working hours.
I was given a lot of responsibility. I ran my own personal project and presented this to the customer. I re-arranged working styles that the whole team used on a daily basis. I reported and presented a metric once weekly in the team's morning meeting and delegated tasks off the back of this. I was also given small sub-tasks as part of the big projects that the whole team were working on which were really important in the grand scheme of things.
My internship experience as a whole has had an immense impact on my professional development. I honeslty felt like a different person upon completion of the 13 months I spent at Eaton. I re-wrote my CV towards the end of my internship and felt really proud that I had developed so much in such a short space of time. I think that as an engineering student, a year in industry puts you in a very advantageous position against peers who havent completed any industry experience and i do believe that it is vital, not only for the reason previosuly mentioned, but for your own personal development and understanding of the industry, that you complete a year in industry as part of your degree.
The atmosphere in my office was great. Constant laughs and banter, always someone to lend a helping hand when I was stuck, never any animosity or bad vibes. We brought cakes in when it was peoples birthdays, we ordered sandwiches in on special occasions too. I got to know everyone like they were family and I really do miss them all. They always gave great advice when I needed it, and I gave them great advice when they needed it too.
The internship program that Eaton offer really is amazingly organised. From the induction few days where all interns across the country meet up and do team-building exercises to get to know eachother. Then, when we dispersed to our indiviual sites, we always kept in touch by undertaking projects together. The milestone event at the end of the internship program is a great opportunity to develop your presentation skills, having to present infront of lots of managers and peers.
I was un-officially trained in many ways by watching my colleagues, learning from them and doing as they do. I also learned many things about the industry and how the plant functioned by simply being there and speaking to the right people. In terms of official, professional training courses, I don't believe there were any that I was involved in other than the online courses i did on 'Eaton University' - Eaton's training site for their staff. But the un-official trainings were still extremely beneficial for me. I also learned a lot from the training sessions we did when all the interns met up at Burton on the wolds. Eaton use a company as part of the internship program who specialise in training, I can't quite remember their name, but they are amazing!
The Eaton graduate development program is appealing to me and I will definitely be applying upon completion of my degree. Although, it wont be the only graduate scheme that I apply to, and I am equally as eager to apply to others as I am this one. Eaton's aerospace sites aren't really situated in places where I see myself permanently living in the future, so this is possibly one draw back from a future career with them.
I was the only intern at my site, hence the answer to this question for me is no. When we did the intern training days I made really good friends with a few other interns, however they were based in various locations across the UK so it wasn't as if I could spend any social time with them outside of these training days. I know that there were more than a handful of interns that were based at Tichfield - the southampton site and they lived together and spend lots of time together which I wish I had at my site to be honest.
Cost of living was really expensive. I was also alone down there so I came home most weekends to spend time with my friends and family. The site had very few people in their 20's and none of these were girls, not that I only socialise with girls as I am used to being in male dominated environments with my degree subject, but if I would've had a girl of similar age to me at my site I could possibly have related to her and became friends with her. Hence, no socialising really ever took place outside of work.
I have absolutely no experience of what the nightlife was like in Redditch. I heard from my colleagues that it wasn't very good and many people choose to go into Birmingham for a night out, but as previously mentioned, I didn't socialise down there outside of work or have any experience of the night life.
There were a few opportunites such as a quiz night, a christmas do and a trip to the seaside. The site had about 150 employees and I would say that 75% were over the age of 35, and many people had worked there for over 20 years, so you can imagine that all activities and events really were accustomed to the older generation. I really enjoyed the people that i worked with but it would be nice to see more of the younger generation working there to add a bit of life to the place.