This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
I thoroughly enjoyed my year at Lubrizol, no two days were the same and I was never treated as a 'student', just a regular employee. The site employs just over 20 students so there is a nice community onsite. The sports and social committee organise frequent events which provides an opportunity to develop friendships outside of work.
I was valued just as much as a 'regular' colleague and was encouraged to challenge and get involved with all aspects of the role. Whenever someone had questions, queries or concerns about work, I would be approached rather than my supervisor/manager etc. I was always encouraged to give opinions at meetings and any suggestions I provided were always warmly received.
I had frequent meetings with my supervisor and less frequent meetings with my line manager. They were always very approachable (even for the silly questions)! They were always very happy to help out, whether it be work related or university related. Feedback was provided throughout the year which was very helpful with my development.
There were very few quiet spells in the particular lab I worked in. I was responsible for my own schedule to a certain degree. At times it could be difficult to juggle project work and scheduled testing; however people were happy to help out where they could. Communication was a big part of my job so a busy workload really helped develop this skill.
I had a lot of responsibility given to me during my placement. At first, I was given a lot of guidance and supervision but as I became more confident, my supervisor was happy for me to crack on with the work but was always willing to give advice and support if I needed it so it was never too daunting. I became the main point of contact for a lot of tests.
Experience creating scientific posters and writing reports will definitely benefit me in my final year of my degree. I think a lot of the skills I have developed this year will help in any future careers I have. In particular, developing my confidence is probably the biggest thing I will take away from this placement. I also got the opportunity to use equipment and techniques that I wouldn't have at university.
I worked in quite a small office but it was a great unit! We always had a great laugh in the lab and in the office which created a nice informal atmosphere to work in. Everyone was very approachable and supportive.
Each student was put into a different area of each department and assigned a supervisor. The placement was very well set up, each student had an overlap with the previous student that they were taking over from meaning that they could get all the ins and outs of the job from them - and ask all the daft questions!
I received training on a wide variety of tests and techniques, including cross training in other labs so I was not limited to only work in my lab. My supervisor invested a lot of time in personal training with me as I lacked a lot of confidence when I first began.
Sports and Social Club
I really enjoyed working for Lubrizol so I would readily consider working for them again. There are lots of different segments on site and so lots of different opportunities are available. I am not sure what I plan to do once I graduate from university however I will definitely be keeping Lubrizol in mind!
There were about 25 students on placement so we had a nice group of people without it being too tight knit or too many people to keep track of. We always had a big student table at lunch so we could all catch up and have a natter! I lived in a house with some other students which I think was definitely a lot better than living at home or on your own as you really got to know people a lot better. There are also lots of members of staff that I became close with throughout the year. There are lots of events either just organised by us as students or by the sports and social committee or by the departments so there are lots of opportunities to get to know people out of work hours.
Derby was a very cheap place to live for a year. Rent in particular was a bargain! General shopping was about the same price as it would be anywhere else. Drinking in Derby wasn't as cheap as I anticipated but they weren't extortionate either.
We had some fun nights out as a group but Derby itself isn't the most fantastic place for a night out. It was good for a laugh and there are some nice bars to go to but Nottingham is only a cheap bus ride away! There are a lot more bars and clubs there and the last bus home is at 3:30 in the morning so definitely recommend you try it.
The sports and social committee organises a wide variety of activities and they're always open to suggestions so there really is something for everyone. There were also weekly sporting events. All activities and events were subsidised for sports and social members.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
7th September 2015