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Katie's Placement Story

Aston Student Katie Davies Placement Quote
Name: Katie Davies

Course: BSc English Language
Placement role: EHS (Environment, Health & Safety) Intern
Company: Airbus UK

I was an EHS Intern which meant I took on many different roles, from organising events to helping in the factory. 
No day was the same for me. Mornings are normally taken by checking emails, looking for responses so I can commit to the next objective in my work tasks. I could spend all day in the office connecting people, organising events, advertisements and planning dates. Alternatively, I may be in the factory, looking at the functions and procedures of everyday working processes.  As a part of the Environment, Health and Safety team, you have to be able to look at all parts of the business, relay information and conform to legislation for a safe working environment. 
You have to be confident. I know that interview processes are very daunting, however the other candidates are also having to face the same pressures. I am a strong believer in the fact you could be the smartest person in the room, but with the least engaging personality and working environment understanding, you won’t get very far. Sell your individuality and passion to progress through your working life, that’s what I would want to see as employer. Be open, enthusiastic and engaging – this experience has changed my life for the better. 

This experience has broadened my knowledge of the corporate world. I am excited to see the range of opportunities that are available to me now I have understanding of business practices and working relations. I hope that when looking for graduate jobs I can discuss past projects and tasks I have completed during my internship – talk about how I completed them, what difficulties I faced and how I overcame them. No one comes into a job with the knowledge of all the procedures and practices in the company, it’s about learning a new skill set and branching out areas of expertise, which is what I will remember when entering the next stages of my professional career. Look at every stage as an opportunity to grow, if it does not work out then accept it push forward.

  • Cliché as it sounds: Get involved! There will be so many opportunities within a company to take part in ‘extra-curricular’ activities. These could range from going into schools or colleges to discuss your placement experiences to organising charity events within your team. All will be recognised and hopefully stand you in good stead for a potential graduate opportunity.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do not be afraid to speak to people. I think you must remember that many of the people you could be working with have been in the job for multiple years, therefore I’d be worried if they didn’t know the answer! It may be something simple like how to get the printer set up, to who do you talk to about something specific. Either way, no one will judge you for asking and you may find you could help other interns through asking. 
  • Be hands on. If you have the opportunity to work in a factory based environment like myself, don’t be afraid to go out and see projects and get an understanding of flowline. Having a visual understanding is always better for me to work off than hearing words and not being able to relate. 
  • Network. Make sure that you go out seek people. I believe that some questions or discussion you may have can be more beneficial when completed face to face. This way you could be known around the site or office in a positive way and gain new avenues of knowledge and interest. 
  • Try new things. I suspect you will be given a placement mentor to help you through your years placement. Ask them if there are any schemes you could get involved in, or if you could try a ‘day in the life…’ in another department. There is no harm in showing interest. 
  • Produce a LinkedIn page
  • Network
  • Be presentable
  • Speak well
  • Don’t add colleagues on social media

 

Use your placement year to prepare for final year. It is a huge change compared to University routine lifestyle, use this experience to get set for the pressures of final year. I believe if anything it has made me more motivated to be focussed on completing the year to the best of my ability and succeed in the job market.

To single out one thing about my time at Airbus is tough. I am so proud to work for the company and truly grateful for the experiences I have had, the opportunities yet to come and the motivation it has given me to succeed. One of the highlights has been learning that I possess qualities I didn’t necessarily know I had, to achieve in my tasks and be recognised as hard working. I would like to believe I have become an attribute to my team, who have been brilliant colleagues and made my time memorable and a great stead for my future. I will miss my time here dearly.