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Software Engineering Intern
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I wanted to experience life working as a software engineer as well as see what it was like to work in such a large company; I believed that doing so would help me get a better understanding of where I want to take my career in the future.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Searching on the internet

Application process

I found their application page online. The first step was to complete a web form. Next I was invited to an assessment day where I was tested for my team-skills and took an interview where my personal skills were examined. A few months later I received a phone call telling me that I'd got the placement.

Main responsibilities

I worked in a number of different teams and on a variety of projects. I primarily worked as a software engineer for the first six months and then transferred over to research and development half way through. During my time I had to come up with actionable development and research plans, present options for development and my research findings. I was also given the opportunity to work in various leadership positions.

Typical day

As Lockheed Martin uses a flexitime work week, I could come in at any time before 10am. First, I'd take part in either a daily scrum meeting or a weekly overview meeting; following this would be a long period of development interspersed with discussions with my fellow employees about various problems that we were facing during the day and the best ways to navigate around them. During the afternoon meetings were often held in preparation of the next day's work or to review work that had already been completed that day - with regular customer interaction.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I really enjoyed working as a team and being able to influence the direction of a project much larger than anything I had worked on before - being given the chance to make a good call and then being recognised for that is something that you don't experience when working alone.

Challenging aspects

Working in such a large company there was a lot of paperwork to complete and regulation to follow that sometimes felt like it was slowing down development or hindering our team; this could be fairly off-putting and disheartening.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

My learned knowledge of agile development was a skill that I was surprised to see used so much during my placement year. A lot of the projects I worked on operated in a very agile manner, which meant I could easily jump into a team and hit the ground running - even if the agile use was slightly different from that I'd seen at university.

On top of this, my general knowledge of Java programming and algorithmic complexity served me very well during my time working.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

Yes, it has been one of the single most valuable experiences I have had with regard to my future career path. Not only do I now have experience of working in a professional environment which will no doubt help me obtain future positions, but I know a lot more about how well I work under different environments and which path I want to go down in the future.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

My one piece of advice to other students is to really get out there. Don't be afraid to try new things and ask lots of questions (especially ask questions in the first few months - it'll help). There are a lot of different people out there in the world of work and they'll each have some tips or information of value that you can gain. Don't be afraid to go out there and get it.

Other comments

Above all else, remember that a placement year is for you. You don't have to be trying to get in your employer's good books so that you've got a better chance at getting a job later on; a placement year is a time that you can learn and experience useful things - If you happen to impress your employer at the same time then that's a great bonus.

Form completed: 17 Sep 2017

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