This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement this year. The projects I worked on were very interesting and I had a good deal of independence through my year allowing me to develop my skills as a scientist, all the while having help when I needed it. It was a good working environment and I would happily go back.
I felt that my contributions to the work were very valued by my colleagues. Any of my work seemed to have a big impact on the direction of the research and I felt that my opinions and work was taken seriously.
I was given good support and help from my supervisor when I needed it. I was never expected to do anything that I was unsure of and if ever had any questions my supervisor was only happy to help.
I was kept fairly busy most days. A lot of the tests I ran were long period tests (10 - 40 days) however there was always a good amount of data and further analysis work to be getting on with. The trick was finding a good balance between the two. There were certain points were a large workload was given to me over short periods of time, but it was never expected that I just comply and get it done, People were very appreciative of the work I done and the help I could give, so being busy never felt like a chore, I was happy to help.
I had a good amount of responsibility given to me during the year. At first as you may expect, most of my work was scheduled mainly via my supervisor etc, but after a few months it got to the point where I was the main point of contact for the tests I was in charge of, and would liaise with various departments about my work etc. I was given guidance but not told directly what to be doing at any given time.
The skills I have developed have been very useful to me. My time here has allowed me develop my understanding of the field, it has helped me learn how to deal with problems and how to approach a research project.
Great atmosphere in my office. Could not have asked for a better group of folk to work with. They were very helpful and friendly, but they were also just a great group of people to be around. Never short of a few laughs.
The placement was organised very well. We were placed into a role with a certain department and overall the aim was to fulfill the desired tasks for this role, all the while working on a research project through the year, which we were then to present at the company innovation symposium. It never felt like I was just a student, it was really like having a job for a year.
I was trained well in certain procedures and tests to the point that I am one of the few folk at the company who know how to perform them, so the time invested in me was worthwhile.
Sports and Social Club
After having a taste for what it is like in the company, I'd be happy to go back and work for them. The research at this site was very interesting and the work environment was great. Ultimately in terms of employment prospects, it depends on circumstances at the time, and whether there will be positions available at the correct time for me. This isn't exactly something I could hold against the company.
There was around 25 placement students in all, so there was rarely a shortage of good people. Over the year I have made some very close friends and have had some really great times with them. The fact that there are so many others at the site in the same positions as me meant that we could all relate to one another, and it was very easy to make friends. I also made some very close friends with full time staff who will be missed when I go. The job itself was great, but the people here made the experience incredible.
Derby as a whole is a fairly cheap place to live. Rent in most students places is low and there are plenty of supermarkets and shops etc. Nights out in the city could be expensive depending on where you went, but it wasn't terrible.
Nightlife in derby was good, but I am a strong believer that if you are with a good bunch of people a good night out could be had anywhere. There were some good places and some poor ones, but nottingham is only a £6 bus journey away if you want a better night out, with a much bigger selection of clubs and bars etc. Most of the time if I had a pint in hand and a cheesey song was playing I was happy as larry,
There is a sports and social club at the company that organised various activities like go-karting, ice skating, climbing, lazer-tag, bowling, days out to london, etc And there was also weekly sports like football and badminton. Most of these event were subsidized too so was always fairly cheap and great fun.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
17th August 2015