I have only been here at BAe Systems for two days, but I already feel like I'm getting in to the swing of it! For the first few weeks of my placement I am based in Prestwick, just a 50 minute drive from home, so I'm commuting down and have organised a car share with some of the other interns (not on the Saltire programme) to reduce costs. It's working out great! The journey passes alot quicker as we all chatter about our projects and organise when to meet for lunch. I'm in the same team, Flight Operations Support, as another BAe placement student, Richard, which is great since I totally don't feel awkward asking him to show me how to use the printer. Might be a bit embarressing asking my manager such a trivial request! Julie is also in the same building as myself, the other Saltire intern, which is really great! She has already helped me with finding the right people to talk to about certain things :)
At the moment I have mixed feelings about what I am working on.The majority of my time has actually been spent trying to find somewhere to stay whilst I'm in Stockholm in August. I wasn't really expecting this to be a task assigned to me as I thought this would be organised in advance by the company and I haven't been allocated a budget or given any ideas as to what the company would usually do in the scenario. (This is where Julie came in & saved my day, as she works in conjunction with someone who travels alot & has been able to give me some advice on who to talk to & where I could start looking!). I hope that my tasks become more challenging over the coming few weeks, and I am sure that they will.
However, I have been given an indication of what my project in Stockholm will be, and so far I'm really enjoying my introduction to it. Although I can't really discuss what it is related to, it does involve me becoming very familiar with software I have never used before since it is only available to BAe Systems or their customer. So, whilst I don't have a specific project to work away on right now, I am trying to familiarse myself with this software in any spare time I have if my manager is in a meeting or whatnot. I think this sort of level of independance would be expected of you as an intern in a company such as BAe & I enjoy that I am trusted enough to be lft to get on with something wortwhile. Also, my manager has allocated me some smaller tasks during the day to just start implenting what I understand of the software as I go along which is really handy.
However, already I am already learning alot about the working environment in an office. I was warned about such lessons that I may pick up, I believe that they are referred to as Office Politics. So far I know that you never leave your cup at the sink (you may never get it back), you must keep all cakes/biscuits/sweets in your own desk drawer for the exact same reason as your mug and I realise that we placement students are watched at all times! We have BAe messenger in the office which comes with a clear waring "YOUR CONVERSATIONS WILL BE MONITORED", our emails can be read by anyone & yesterday afternoon as a small collection of students made there way over to my building known as The Canteen Building (for obvious reasons), I heard someone mutter "Why is that a gaggle of students always looks like a gaggle of students, even when they are dressed fairly decent?". Damn, I thought I was doing ok to blend in. Also, whats a gaggle?
I can't wait to see what the next few weeks holds for me, I can tell that the software I am being allowed to work with is very advanced. I'm really excited to start using it more fully. I'm also looking forward to continue getting to know the other students here. Hope everyone is having a fab time during their first week!
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