Systems Engineer

by BAE Systems

Best Student Employer


  • Skills
  • Responsibilities
  • Support & Guidance
  • Culture
  • Your Impressions


  • 1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis.
  • Common tasks for me involve extracting, manipulating, and presenting data; managing document review processes; investigating requirements; and following up actions from meetings. I interact with a number of engineers, in Filton, Portsmouth, and Glasgow, as well as working closely with my team to support their work. I work flexibly, going into the office two days a week as suits me, and working from home otherwise. Most meetings are online, but a growing number are at least partly in person. I have been given meetings to take responsibility for, assembling agendas and slidepacks to discuss, and taking minutes and actions.


  • 2. Have you learnt any new skills, or developed your existing skills?
  • I have developed my soft skills: speaking and giving presentations that convey patterns in data that can be easily understood; collaborating with a diverse range of roles and personalities; time management and self-motivation (due to flexible working hours and low levels of oversight). I have learnt a lot about project management and how to coordinate a team; I have gained an expanded view of what engineering comprises, beyond that which we study at university. I have learnt a lot about our specific area of engineering, as well as the industry as a whole.

  • How would you rate the training provided during your experience?
  • 3/5

  • How would you rate your development of industry-specific skills during the experience?
  • 4/5

  • How would you rate your development of personal / soft skills during the experience?
  • 4/5

  • Please rate how these skills have helped you in your career development
  • 4/5


  • 3. Were you given much responsibility during your placement / internship?
  • I was given responsibility yes. There are of course a lot of tasks that I am not qualified or experienced enough to do myself, however I have been given responsibility to deliver regular presentations to meetings, and to understand the data that I am speaking about. When I need information, I am expected to look for it and ask for help, rather than having everything handed to me. I can see the benefit that my work has on my team's progress towards objectives, and my work is noted and commended by my colleagues.

  • Please rate how meaningful the work you were doing was
  • 4/5

    Support & Guidance

  • 4. How much support and guidance did you receive during your placement / internship?
  • My line manager was very supportive, always happy to answer questions and give guidance. The team was quite busy most of the time, but he encouraged me to put time in their diaries, and they were always helpful. Almost everyone else I engaged with was helpful too. I received a buddy at the start of the year, however he worked at another site, and I had a months overlap with my predecessor for her to train me, so I did not utilise him much. Once I knew who to contact with help for specific issues, they were happy to help, but in such a large business it can be difficult to know who to speak to.

  • How would you rate the support and guidance from your line manager?
  • 5/5

  • How would you rate the support and guidance from the wider team?
  • 4/5


  • 5. What was the company culture and general atmosphere like?
  • People are generally professional and friendly. Many people have been working together for years and so know each other very well, which can make you feel like a bit of an outsider when you're so new. There is a growing social scene among early careers at Filton, but there are fewer events than at other sites. My team has social occasions when we meet up in person twice a year. There are diversity and inclusion initiatives and support to get involved with, as well as a yearly community outreach afternoon. There are mental health support programmes, although I never used them so can't comment on their effectiveness.

  • How would you rate the inclusiveness of the culture?
  • 2/5

  • How would you rate the social opportunities?
  • 3/5

  • How would you rate the diversity initiatives?
  • 4/5

  • How would you rate the charity, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives?
  • 3/5

    Your Impressions

  • 6. To what extent did you enjoy your placement / internship?
  • I enjoyed learning new things, and getting to know my colleagues. The work was often rather dry; it was all computer-based, as there are no manufacturing activities in Filton. As there is so much to learn, I did feel out of my depth most of the time, however I was not expected to know everything. I'm not sure what I expected, but I think that the placement is quite representative of most large engineering firms. Not a huge social scene, especially as my immediate team were all much older than me.

  • Please rate your level of enjoyment on your placement / internship
  • 3/5

  • Please rate how your experience met your expectations
  • 4/5

  • Please rate the future employment prospects at BAE Systems
  • 5/5

  • 7. Would you recommend BAE Systems to a friend?
  • Yes

  • 8. What advice would you give to others applying to BAE Systems
  • There is a lot that you can't be told before you start, so don't worry if you don't know exactly what your job will involve yet. You're going to be there a year, and there is more that can be learnt than anyone can learn, so don't worry about not knowing stuff. People are generally pretty nice, and love to talk about stuff they know about, so are usually happy to help.

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Placement Year (10 Months+)

Computer and Systems Engineering

South West

May 2022

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