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Power your future with a student placement

Posted by 4MAT Administrator
Posting date:7/10/2019 3:20 PM

Looking to boost your degree with work experience, or just can’t wait to start an amazing career? Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, will support your ambitions through unrivalled industry exposure, balanced with the right amount of mentoring.

We first met Ross Norman when he applied to the plant systems and safety team at our Bristol office. He was studying mechanical engineering at the University of Bath – keen to get some hands-on industry experience, and a feel for the different sectors he could work in. 

During our first interview we were impressed by his strengths in analysis and calculation-based engineering, not to mention his enthusiasm for nuclear. So, we placed him in Nuclear and Power in the design and analysis team. He thrived during his industry placement – and we’re pleased to have him back for the summer before he goes on to do his masters. Read on for Ross’s perspective on his placements at Atkins:

What made you do your placements with Atkins?

Most importantly I needed to be interested in the work the company was doing – and I was. Atkins is a renowned consultancy with exciting projects happening all around the world. 

But I had plenty of other questions: Could I apply what I had learned in university to the company’s projects? How much innovation and cutting-edge technology would I be exposed to? Would I be able to work in multiple sectors to get a feel for which sector to pursue after university? Would the company offer flexible work hours? 

Atkins ticked all the boxes – and it didn’t hurt that I loved their open environment at the Hub, in Bristol.

What top skills can grads develop?

It will be different for everyone, depending on the team you’re in and the work you are given. A large amount of my industrial placement was spent working on Finite Element Analysis (FEA) projects. I developed plenty of invaluable knowledge in that area, which I took into my third year of university.

On top of the amazing industry exposure, Atkins placement students get plenty of opportunities to gain confidence and learn business skills. I was able to develop my report writing and presentation skills to be more concise and professional.

How much support do grads get?

As much or as little as you want. Everyone is happy to help if you ask them no matter how busy they look. In most cases, anyone giving you a task will have a good idea of the amount of support you will require and will make sure you have everything you need before you get started.

What does your typical work day look like?

From my first day I was treated like one of the team and put to work on some complex projects for some major clients. I soon got into a work routine: I’d get in at 8:30, find a desk somewhere in my team’s area and check my emails. I'd either continue work from the previous day or ask around for something to do. At first, I’d ask my line manager, but I soon got to know which team members would always have an opportunity for me and started working with them directly.

What is the work environment like?

Friendly and relaxed!

What we do varies greatly from week to week, but every new task requires some level of learning and asking for guidance. I have a half hour lunch break at 12 with all the other placement students, and typically leave the office at 5.

Does the team socialize outside the office?

Yes, the company culture is open and fun-loving. There are regular team socials and there’s often free food involved!

Where did you live while on placement?

For my industrial placement I found a house in Filton, 20 minutes away from the office. I shared it with some of my friends from university who were also doing placements at Atkins.

How do you get to the office?

I use the bus which stops right outside the Hub and is free for Atkins staff!

Do you get paid?

Yes, I was offered competitive salaries for my industry and summer placements. For my industry placement, I also got 5 weeks’ holiday, with the option to buy or sell more hours.

What is the dress code?

There are no hard and fast rules, but team members usually wear shirts or blouses, and smart trousers or skirts. No ties or blazers required!

Transform your future with an Atkins student placement

Our Summer Placements last at least 8 weeks – just enough time to give you an insight into working at Atkins. Industrial Placements run for 12 months, immersing you into life at the organization. We have plenty of opportunities for you to reach your full potential – including direct placements onto our prestigious Graduate Development Programme for top performing students.

Places are limited, and will be available starting October, so start your placement process soon. Click here to speak to one of our grads now!

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