Prototype Development Engineer (Manufacturing) at BAT

Top Employer
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Southampton South West
Review Date
£14,000 - £15,999
Manufacturing Mechanical Engineering

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The Role



The Role

Role Description

Two main responsibilities:
1) Analysing and modifying current machinery and apparatus in order to increase efficiency and redesign to reduce problems
2) Integrate in with team and carry out day-to-day operations work

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

Enjoyability wise, I think there isn't a lot of other experiences like it. Being thrown into the working world full time is a big wake up to the system. But the opportunity to mature and learn to adapt to the surroundings is a challenge most welcome and I would recommend to any university student.


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2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

Personally, this is what surprised me most. I felt that the work I was doing was appreciated and the outcomes and final solutions I brought to the team were always welcomed something that I actually wasn't expecting coming in as a "newbie" if you will into a well experienced group of people. So this was fantastic and a major confidence boost for me.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

My supervisor was extremely supportive and whenever there was a case where I would require some guidance or even if he insisted upon it, this was always welcome.
Especially in the department in which I was working, the team's experience was of extremely high value to me.
This is both in direct sense to the work I was doing, but also to any other queries that weren't related to my projects.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

I believe this to be perceived differently by different people. The type of work that I was carrying out was never particularly time-locked in the short term. I had long term goals to achieve and the occasional short-term deadline. However, the trust and responsibility was such between my manager and myself that if he didn't think the work was getting done, then he would ensure that I know about. Project wise, I met the deadlines to the best of my ability.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

The tasks that I was carrying out were not the highest on the list of “critical for business” however the general day-to-day machine practical work and job completion was fairly important depending on the outcome. The general employee responsibilities for working within the (often considered controversial) company were apparent though, so the general responsibility bestowed by the company is quite high.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

A lot of the experience gained can be used as a first-hand experience into the sort of understanding of the projects that might be continued in my degree – especially practical exposure. So the skills have all been exceedingly beneficial to my career progression. There were a lot of soft skill workshops also run internally for a variety of attributes e.g. managing, presenting etc.


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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

Office banter was scarce and the office environment for me was a little bit uncomfortable. However, most of my time was spent in the workshops anyway or with my team and this was a lot nicer atmosphere to work in.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

The placement coordinating team here, I felt, was extremely hard working and really helpful to all of the students here and attempted to tend to all of our needs where possible. As well as them being really encouraging and friendly people!


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The placement team came up with various ways to continue our professional development, through internal courses on project management or report writing or presentations.
The Engineering practical ability development (training on machinery) was not as much as what I was hoping for. It isn't too much at fault of the company as they are not an engineer’s training company. In the same instance, the University is partly at fault. However, I feel as though the company could have invested some money on sending me on a manufacturing training course if they had thought it valuable enough.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • National Travel
  • Financial Bonus
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Above 25 days holiday
  • Healthcare/Dental

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

The company itself has rubbed well with me because of how open-minded I was going into the placement year. The role in which I sat in my team was very well suited to my skills and experience and should the opportunity arise in the future I would not right off a return to the team. Not necessarily immediately after graduation but there is a chance in future.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

Very good! There was a group of about 15 of us placement students and we would often meet up in small groups for lunch and also during the week and weekends for various events and social activities. In addition to this I got on well with other colleagues within the business and we occasionally met up for a social or played football.
My team also had a few occasions throughout year where we went out fora meal or drinks.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

The cost of living was pretty reasonable in my area with conveniences and accessibility to work/ city centre/train station never too far away that it wasn’t possible to walk. For socialising there was enough of a variety to not cost too much. In terms of the student salary for the year versus the cost of living, I never really felt myself in the red and I was always able to do things I wanted.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

Nightlife is not as good as the nightlife in my Uni’s city in my opinion, purely coz it tends to be a lot more expensive. But in general there Is a wide range of clubs to go to from Jester’s & Sobar to Oceana & Popworld. Also there is a lot of really nice pubs that do international beers. But finally the best bit is the two burger places (Rockstone & 7bone) which sell amazing burgers in combos not commonly seen!


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Firstly there was a sports and social events message board which always had offers on for local and sometimes non-local events, often discounted Festival, Rugby or theatre tickets. This obviously catered for a variety of people’s hobbies. Also there were internal courses run such French and probably more I don’t know. There are also casual sports leagues and competitions run like 5-a-side and basketball.


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