I would arrive at work in the morning and get settled, have a quick catch-up with my colleagues in the office. Breakfast and hot drinks were available, which was always a good start to the day. I'd check for any new e-mails before starting with the work. I may be in the labs, working on formulations or I may be checking products that had been put on weathering trials outside. Usually, once a week I would meet with my manager(s), discuss what I had done that week, and a look forward to what I would do next week. Sometimes I would have meetings with other departments such as marketing to have a discussion on the products.
I learned a great deal about how to effectively manage my time. I was personally working on two projects at the same time, so needed to divide my time accordingly. I needed to be confident in working independently and with other people in the company. I Improved on my presentation and communication skills as I gave presentations each week to my managers and periodically to my department. I learned about different departments and how important sustainability was to the company through seminars that were available.
My managers were always available for me to talk to. We had regular meetings with each other on the work that had been and needed to be done. They were open and honest when giving feedback which was helpful so that I could improve myself as a better scientist.
My co-workers were friendly, willing to give advice. There were a number of activities that I took part in which helped me to get to know more people. For example, 5-a-side football and tennis. – more... The fact that there were a lot of students going through the same experiences as me helped with the pressure of being on placement for a year.
The hardest part of the job was acclimatising to the work. This was my first job in industry, and so I needed to learn fast about what was expected of me. With the help of my managers and co-workers, I was able to handle my work loads.
The most enjoyable part of the job was the interactions that I had with my co-workers. They helped me settle in fast, whether it was about work or personal matters, they were available for advice. – less