"Life as a student is very different to working 9-5 and I’ve appreciated the challenge of this change so far. I’ve learned to prioritise a work-life balance and value my free time, and it’s allowed me to differentiate between mindsets and strengthen my wellbeing."
Why did you decide to do a placement?
I felt that it would help me prepare for life after education and my future career path. When I researched universities, Surrey was more appealing to me because it promoted placement years integrated into its courses.
Could you tell us about the application process?
It involved an online application and a video interview with three members of the team, one of whom had been a previous placement student. They asked me about my course and the skills I’d learned so far, and also my interests outside of university. I was then called about the result of my interview and invited to meet the team before my official starting date.
What's your role on placement?
QinetiQ is a global defence technology company which develops innovative solutions to security challenges and my role is Communications Scientist/Engineer (Year in Industry). I work on a range of different projects, mainly contributing my technical skills but also getting the chance to work on tasks outside of my area such as organising conferences.
What does a typical day involve?
As soon as I get to work I check my emails and speak to any relevant people. I may have meetings that I’ll need to prepare for. In between meetings, I’ll work on tasks for projects I’m involved in – which could range from reading and researching to lab work and testing.
Do you get a chance to work on live projects?
"Recently I’ve investigated the safety side of a tethered drone trial, and made progress with the installation of Voice over Internet Protocols and Press to Talk. I’ve also learned how to use MATLAB for the purpose of underwater acoustics."
Aside from work, what do you most enjoy about your placement
I’ve enjoyed meeting and getting to know new people at a different pace of life. I took the opportunity to volunteer for the new joiners’ group, Cortex, which has been a great experience and a chance to make new friends.
Has it been hard adjusting to a 9-5 job after being a student?
Life as a student is very different to working 9-5 and I’ve appreciated the challenge of this change so far. I’ve learned to prioritise a work-life balance and value my free time, and it’s allowed me to differentiate between mindsets and strengthen my wellbeing.
How has Surrey supported you through the placement process?
The University has been very supportive. I have a visiting tutor and I receive placement newsletters with useful information. The SurreyLearn page has also been helpful with advice about the report and presentation part of the placement.
Describe your placement experience in three words.
Exciting. Growth. Change.
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