The overall experience was very good. From the beginning there were induction events so you could meet all the interns across the UK programme and share your thoughts and experiences. Team building tasks and other activities were useful to get to know one another. The working learning curve was steep but rewarding and you can expect responsibility for your position from day one. Every now and then you would have a performance review that would keep you up to date on your progress.
From my first day in the office, I felt like I was a valued member of the team where all colleagues would listen carefully to my questions whether they were technical or just general work life related. Everyone had a bit of advice for me which was greatly appreciated. Any concepts that were difficult to grasp for me were treated very well by my colleagues and they all did their best to make sure I understood my work and could carry it out efficiently.
I worked directly with my line manager every day throughout my placement and so I felt comfortable asking for help and guidance when I needed it, only if I had attempted to execute a task first, I didn't want to /not/ try first. Aside from the technical help with my work tasks, my supervisor would have good advice regarding my time management and career path choices in general which was nice to hear and offered a perspective I hadn't considered before.
The nature of my position meant that work sometimes ebbed and flowed to my desk. If tests in the field weren't happening, then I wouldn't get many analysis requests. This meant I had to progress non testing related projects that typically were local to my office. This definitely kept me busy but it required a period of adjustment when a new analysis request would come in and I'd be expected to prioritise it ahead of other work.
Pretty much from day one I was expected to take responsibility for my work output. There was a handover period of 3 weeks with the previous intern and I was expected to confer with them on a daily basis about what is expected of my work. They were there as a support for me and even if we shared some of my initial analyses, it was me who was expected to present it to our line manager.
Throughout my time with Eaton, I learnt a new programming language that I used to pick, load, cut, and analyse data from automotive testing. It was a steep learning curve but by the end of the placement I felt I was fluent and could debug large scripts. This is going to help me in my final year because my course uses coding in some modules. Even if not the same language, the experience of working daily with scripts has helped immensely.
This rating is bearing in mind that the office I worked in was very small. However, the experience and camaraderie made the office feel very welcoming. When work was taking place it was just like any other office, very professional and quiet. The atmosphere never felt tense or sour. My colleagues and I would enjoy sharing jokes or telling stories about our past experiences during our break, just like any other workplace. Overall I enjoyed coming into the office.
I was interviewed outside of the central Eaton AC because my line manager preferred to hold his own AC at the office. My AC was well organised and I knew what was expected of me before arriving. The central internship events where all interns in the UK would meet were very well organised and would focus on general professional skills. It offered a chance to develop our work life skills. All travel could be expensed and there was good infrastructure relating to this.
There was a full catalogue of training courses available online but it wasn't very clear if you could do them on company time when you were also expected to do your daily duties. The courses were things like excel experience. However, the professional skills intern meetings roughly every 3 months were helpful and I expect the company dedicates a large budget to get them to happen because all interns across the UK have to meet in a central location.
Above 25 days holiday
For me, personally, the company doesn't offer much in terms of graduate prospects. In the UK, my sector of the business is quite underrepresented and so there were no graduate positions available for me to pursue. However, having attended the graduate jobs briefing at the end of my tenure, I could see that the programme is well laid out and has a range of roles relating to various fields, it was just a shame there wasn't anything for me.
I was based in the north of Manchester. So as you can expect, living and socialising was very cheap, especially for someone like me who is used to going out and socialising in London and Essex. There are easy routes into the city entre if you live near the office and the price does rise in the city centre but it is still very reasonable compared to what I am used to spending on a day/night out.
Where I lived was a big residential area and so there wasn't any nightlife nearby. The only times I would go on a night out, I would either get a cab into town or walk to the train station. The Manchester centre nightlife was really good however, loads of variety to choose from, there's cocktail bars, loads of pubs and a good helping of nightclubs. Although you'll need to do your research as they all do their own genres.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
25th November 2020