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The fact that I really didn't want to leave Lubrizol should give you a pretty idea of what I thought of the year! It's been a fantastic experience which benefited both myself and the company since from the outset you are not seen as a student; everyone treats you like they would any other employee which is one of the most important aspects of making an Industrial placement successful. With my particular job role I really enjoyed working with people from different countries on a daily basis to assist them with their technical problems since it really gives you a feeling of fitting into the bigger picture of the company as a whole instead of just supporting the local site in Hazelwood.
One of the best bits about working at Lubrizol is the people. Everyone is polite and friendly; if you ever had a question or needed help with something people would stop what they are doing to assist you, and if it's not something that they can answer they would find someone who could answer the question. My colleagues in my actual department were like family to me which is important when working in a team since it just makes the work so much more fun!
With my particular job role of IS Analyst there is a mountain of knowledge that you need to use in order to do your job effectively, and the best first point of contact is always your colleagues around you since they have the experience to know either how to solve a problem, or know where to look to get something resolved. However I always knew I could rely on my supervisor if there was anything my colleagues couldn't handle, and they were very supportive when I needed help.
Some days were incredibly busy and other days were very relaxed but generally it was quite balanced. Often the mornings are the quieter periods in which you could work on various tasks and requests before manning the phones as they got busier in the afternoon as the states come online. Since the majority of people working for the company are in America it tends to get a lot busier after lunch. Luckily there are colleagues at various sites across the globe who also work in the global helpdesk to assist with this.
You are thrown in the deep end and at least 70% of the time you are dealing with problems or requests that you can solve straight away so they are your responsiblity. The only time where things get taken out of your hands are generally when you either do not have the knowledge or the access to resolve the problems, and in this case there is a very extensive support network involving 3 main levels to ensure that the problems or requests get solved in a timely manor..
Can't really answer this one yet as I've only just finished the placement, but I know for a fact that the training I received - particularly on the systems used by most companies out there - will be incredibly useful in the future. There were a lot of transferable skills gained through the role since a key part of my job was direct communication with the customers / other employees within the company and I'm sure that I will take and use these skills with whatever comes next for me.
Fun and busy, both balanced pretty well. If we weren't absolutely rammed with phone calls / customer requests then we would be having a good time in each others company as we worked, the office was filled with some great personalities which is definitely needed with the kind of work I was doing.
I'd say it was well organised. The company took a while to contact me after my first application but at this stage I was applying everywhere so it was hard to keep track of everything. After that first contact to the interview then to the acceptance phone call it was pretty seemless - the student co-ordinator in HR knows what they are doing and if I had any questions such as accommodation and transport they did their best to help me out. I was very impressed with this!
This is an interesting question since a lot of the training is actually provided by my colleagues as I was doing the job - there is only so much that some one can teach you, with my role at least it's a lot better to learn as your doing by asking questions and consulting the general knowledge sources than going to various training days etc. There were opportunities to take part in some training sessions throughout the year including presentational skills and demonstrations on how to use certain bits of kit / software, so I'd say they did a pretty good job with the training and development. There was also opportunities to participate in activities outside my job role including helping to migrate a newly purchased company into Lubrizol, and further gaining my knowledge on video conferencing by assisting with an overhaul with the system. There are opportunities out there, you just have to make sure you put your name down for them.
This is a tricky one since it will depend on what opportunities are available once I finish University, but considering that a lot of the departments including my own consists of a large number of previous placement students I'd say that the prospects are fairly good. Unfortunately a graduate scheme isn't currently being offered at Lubrizol but this is something they are looking into.
There was a good social scene if you put the effort in. At Lubrizol each year there are generally around 21-23 students and most weeks I was doing some form of social event (Either officially with the company or arranged separately) with the students which was fantastic. Unfortunately not all of the students actually participated in most of the events and honestly they missed out quite a lot because of this. There were also larger events organised by the Sports / Social club that happened at least once a month involving a lot of people from across the site that was always pretty good, and these events were often subsidised substantially by the company.
This depends entirely on what your lifestyle is like, my house was around £281 a month not including bills per person which is fairly cheap for the house we had - I was living with other placement students in Derby to car share, something I couldn't recommended more since the company site is in the middle of nowhere near Belper, and you can't get there easily via Public Transport. Socialising in Derby is pretty cheap for a city, and most things from myself were only around 20 minutes walk from the house which was good.
Derby Nightlife isn't the best in the world, but it's hardly the worst either. There are a few decent clubs and a lot of decent bars, it's the kind of place that when you're with the right people you will always have a fantastic time. Prices are pretty cheap too which is a plus! If you're looking for a more crazy night out however you can always get the Red Arrow bus to Nottingham for a £6 return with the last bus being at 3AM - We did this quite a lot since that's where the bigger clubs are which suit more genres of music.
Since I'm actually a Derby student I was already involved in activities outside of work with the University, but from listening to my colleagues it's been fairly easy for them to get involved with the local sports teams for weekly Badminton and one of my house mates joined a local Choir fairly easily (If that's your kind of thing!). You just need to go out there and look for the opportunities - they are not always just going to appear right in front of you.