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PC&IS Trainee
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I decided to do a placement this summer to get some work experience in a real factory environment to increase my employability after I have finished my degree.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Through family or friends

Application process

The application process involved communicating via email with the Human Resources department at Kellogg's Valls and I had to submit my CV. After they had received this I was asked to write a statement about myself and why I wanted to work for the company at this particular plant.

Main responsibilities

My main responsibilities involved learning how to use the PI software that is used to record real time data from all the components in the factory and it so happened that when I arrived there were two areas of the plant that were in need of new operating screens, so it was my responsibility to design the prototypes for these screens. Another one of my responsibilities was being involved in a huge new project at the plant called the MES project (Manufacturing Execution System). Part of the project was for the plant to become paperless, so I created spreadsheets that could be used to record data from hourly quality checks.

Typical day

A typical day for me would start with me arriving at 7am and going to my desk to check emails and organise my meetings and tasks for the day. Then at 8:15am it was the morning DDS meeting where people from all departments in the plant would come together to discuss the events of the last 24 hours to see what actions were required for the day. After the meeting I would meet with my boss, Emili, and he would tell me what he would like me to do that day. As stated earlier, most days I would spend designing the operating screens for the processing tower or the palletizer. However, some days I was required to attend meetings with Emili such as the MES project conference where colleagues from the Manchester and Wrexham plants came to help us begin the process of becoming a Smart Factory. Another activity I was involved with was being part of an APS (Advanced Problem Solving) team. We had a reoccurring issue with a piece of equipment within the plant so a team of 10 people from the engineering department and PC&IS department (where I worked) spent 3 days taking different approaches to assess and solve the issue. I was also involved in a health and safety event where a safety ambassador from another plant came to teach a select few people how to conduct a risk assessment properly which I found extremely interesting.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I enjoyed every part of my placement! I loved working with new people and learning new skills as well as developing my language skills. My favourite part of my placement was contributing to the MES project as my ideas and work will be useful for the future of the plant and I'm glad I had the opportunity to be a part of that.

Challenging aspects

The language barrier was a bit of a challenge as my Spanish understanding is good but not amazing. Also I had never had the opportunity to actually speak Spanish in real life environment so at first I was quite overwhelmed but my colleagues were unbelievably kind and patient with me, and helped me to extend my vocabulary.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

As part of my course I choose to study intermediate Spanish so I was able to use and expand my skills whilst working in Spain. I also had to make calculations using Excel for the APS meeting which came in useful as well as doing some programming which I had learned in first year of my course.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

My experience at Kellogg's has definitely made me realise that a career in manufacturing is a strong option for my future and I would love to go back to work for the company again.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

Doing a summer placement is such a rewarding experience and I would recommend it for anyone who might need more work experience that relates to what you would like to do in future. It is a great opportunity to test the water and find out what you enjoy!

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Form completed: 18 Sep 2018

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