This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
I thoroughly enjoyed the work on my placement. It was the perfect balance of lab and office work. The projects I worked on were both very interesting and completely new research that has never been done before, not standard routine tests. Meaning the work was different each day and never got stale or boring because you were never working on the same thing day in and day out every day, there was always a nice variety of work which I enjoyed extensively.
Everyone on the site was incredibly friendly and approachable, even if you have never met them before. I felt incredibly valued by my colleagues with all my ideas and suggestions being listened to attentively. Colleagues even actively asked for my help, ideas and advice for problems making me feel like a well trusted and respected person. I did not once during my placement feel like 'just a student' I felt like a truly valued member of the team and was treated exactly the same as everyone else who worked there.
I shared a office with my supervisor meaning asking for support and guidance was incredibly easy. My supervisor was always helpful and was never too busy to give me help. I felt incredibly comfortable approaching him for help even if it was for something minor and silly. As well as this he also allowed me to think for myself, or help me walk through the problem so that I came up with the solution myself instead of him just telling me the answer. I found this incredibly helpful as it allowed me to gain more confidence in solving problems myself instead of letting others solve them for me. The manager of the department was also very friendly, and although I never had any problems that required me to speak to her about them, I would not have been afraid to do so as she was very approachable and reliable for getting things done.
How busy I was varied day to day. Some days could be quite busy, but these days were very few and far between, but I never felt pressured or like it was too much for me. Most of the time I really had a nice balanced workload with myself being in charge of how I spent my time and on what projects, meaning I could space my workload out however I wanted, as long as I met certain deadlines for project which I always did without a problem and was always given plenty of time to finish things before the deadline.
I was given a reasonably high amount of responsibility during my placement. Whether it be simple things like being trusted to use very expensive chemicals (£5000 for 20g!!!!) to more complex things like being trusted to liaise with different departments myself in order to plan and set up experiments using the expertise and equipment of other departments. I never felt like I wasn't trusted with anything and towards the end of my placement started to take the lead on some of the projects by myself.
The skills I have learned this year are going to be invaluable for the rest of my degree. Firstly my communication skills have come on leaps and bounds, due to having to do a presentation to 2 departments at Lubrizol and as well as having to design and create a scientific poster to be presented at a internal symposium. My practical lab skills have also greatly improved due to spending a great deal of time in the lab this year. I have also learnt to manage my time incredibly well as I had to juggle working on many projects at once. Also I have learned to read around subjects to understand them better and how to solve problems and understand the scientific process more in general. All of these skills will be of great help and use to me next year whilst doing my masters project.
The atmosphere was brilliant. Everyone was really nice and you could have a good laugh and banter with them, you could talk and laugh with them about anything no matter how random. We had regular breaks where we played games such as quizzes or card games, and countdown every lunch time. Best people to share a office with, couldnt have had a more chilled out and fun office if you tried.
The placement was well organised, as expected because Lubrizol has been doing these placements for a number of years now. I had no major problems throughout the year due to poor organisation or set up, and my first week of work was nicely organised and timetabled which helped me greatly in settling in. The only problems I had were just simple things at the start of the year such as not having access to certain sites on the intranet that required access, but these problems were resolved in no time by the IT department.
The company provides many training and development opportunities. In addition to the mandatory health and safety training there was a wealth of oppurtunities to attend presentations and lectures on areas of the industry you wouldnt have even known about otherwise, giving helpful insight and understanding of novel chemistry and the business as a whole that I knew nothing about before. Also there was a entire symposium day, with guest speakers and posters from all over site allowing you to see and understand what other people are working on.
Sports and Social Club
Very appealing! Lubrizol is a genuinely nice place to work with numerous benefits and good opportunities for promotion and progress. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a job to look into Lubrizol.
There was a brilliant social scene amongst both the students and my colleagues. There was about 12 students in total at Lubrizol in different departments, so there was always large social group of students to do things with. Also my colleagues had a good social scene with things such as Christmas parties, playing golf, going to all you can eat buffets just to name a few of the things.
The student housing was reasonably priced in derby, with 4 of us managing to get a 4 bedroom house for £260 a month each, and theres many good priced supermarkets nearby such as morrisons and aldi, as well as a costco (which you can get membership for through lubrizol). In terms of socialising it generally depends what bars you go to, as whilst some pubs are reasonably priced there are others that are incredibly overpriced (£4.80 for a pint of guiness??!!!) so just be careful and not be like some of the less savy of the students who wonder where all their wage disapears to.
The nightlife is pretty good theres a good amount of pubs and clubs in Derby, but if you feel as though you grow tired of Derby, Nottingham is very close which has a much larger selection of pubs and clubs to go to.
There was a huge amount of opportunities to get involved in activities, with the sports and social club at Lubrizol providing man different activities at subsidised prices, there are even opportunities for students to be a member of the sports and social club board allowing students to have a say in what activities they want the club to set up
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Automotive, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics
17th July 2015