Analytical chemistry placement student- doing IR spectroscopy, GPC, GC and lots of other techniques
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
A brilliant company. Management superb, colleagues are lovely people- everyone was warm and friendly. I had a lot of fun over this year, despite health issues that arose. Sometimes the work was repetitive, but overall I can't fault the placement- a great year.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Fabulous people- I made a lot of good friends and I felt respected and valued by my colleagues.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The company were extremely supportive through health issues all the way from my placement supervisor & my line manager to my colleagues and the occupational health nurse. I was given sick pay (which I know many student placements have not- gsk etc.) and returned the holidays I lost. My line manager/placement supervisor were always available to talk.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It varied through the year- when I first started, I was inundated with FTIR work to do (up to my eyeballs) and that was fairly repetitive. Towards the middle and end of the placement year I had more time so was given more non-standard stuff to do by my placement supervisor and I got stuck into my NMR project. I NEVER seemed to run out of things to do, which is a positive.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
At the start of each day, the lab work-list would arrive with a list of all the tests that were outstanding. Once trained on various analytical techniques, I had to manage my own time to get the relevant things done in the day. Any extra time could be spent on non-standard work. I was given an NMR project working on brand new technology and I had to manage that by myself. It was a lot of fun!
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
This placement was an analytical chemistry placement and as such has taught me a great deal about the techniques used in industry. More importantly though, I feel this placement has improved my time management skills as well as giving me confidence.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was great! I was working in a small analytical team of 8/9 people and we all got on really well. Every morning we'd gather round the radio to play 'pop-master' (which I'd inevitably lose) and there was lots of friendly banter through the day. Everyone was pleasant- I can't say I ever felt uncomfortable- the relationship between management and staff was best I have ever experienced.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I think the one downside to the placement was the way my project dragged out a little bit. My initial project was supposed to be using a new machine (details of which I won't disclose) but there were some teething issues and I had to swap to NMR. This caused a lot of time delays and it was a bit of a rush in the end.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was shown how to perform any analytical techniques I took an interest in and I was given a lot of help with my presenting skills and public speaking.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Lovely people, lovely atmosphere, great company overall. One downside would be the area I lived- although Lubrizol is out in the countryside (which was really nice), the nearest city is Derby. Derby is a bit run down, with very few things to do. I'd love to go back to Lubrizol, but I'm not sure if I'd want to live in Derby.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The students are some of the best people I've met- I was really lucky to be on placement with such a great group. They made the placement so much fun- we had loads of nights out and we built up a good bond by the end. I was gutted to leave.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Rent was cheap as chips, but a night out in Derby was surprisingly expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Shockingly poor nightlife in Derby, but Nottingham is a 25 minute bus ride away and only £6 return. Buses run till 3:30 am, so easy to have a good night out if you want to.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Loads- weekly clubs included:
- 5 a side Football
- Volleyball (probably others but I've forgotten)
Also had heavily subsidised events such as:
- Laser quest (free)
- Ice skating (free)
- Monroe Bagging
- Trips to York/London
- Trip to Harry Potter world
- Silk ropes
- Horse Riding
- Lubrizol Ball (every 18 months)
- Go Karting (indoor and then outdoor)
- Lubrizol Quiz
Also access to a games hut with pool table/ table tennis/ darts etc. every day after work.
I was a member of the sports and social club committee and they took suggestions from employees on days out