One benefit of my placement is the openness of my team to welcome me back when I graduate

Geography student
Lauren Rimell
Placement in Environment, Health and Safety team at Siemens
BA Geography with Employment Experience
Lauren Rimell's placement has given her a wide range of work experience and excellent future job prospects.

Where was your placement and what did it involve?

For my placement I worked on the Environment, Health and Safety team at Siemens, a global engineering firm which designs and manufactures all sorts of technology from transportable 5G boxes to high voltage switchgear. 

My job involved working alongside a small team of professionals, with the aim of improving environmental standards of the manufacturing and office work done at several sites across the country.

Day-to-day I worked on tasks such as: looking at carbon emissions and solutions to reach net-zero, researching ways to improve biodiversity measures on site, I spoke to staff to discuss ways of improving environmental and health and safety standards on-site and in the field. I also reached out to universities and students to increase early-career applications from sustainability-oriented students/grads, carried out environmental and health and safety audits, and gained my health and safety qualification. 

How did you find your placement?

As I was generally looking to work in a large corporate environment, I used tools like LinkedIn and Career Connect to find my placement. My main advice when looking is to keep an open-mind about jobs and do your research, if they’re looking for specific skills you need to have examples of when you’ve demonstrated them. 

Why did you choose to do a placement?

My main motive in doing a placement was to gain experience in professional settings which I would like to work in future (up until now I only had retail experience). By working in an environment like this, I can now show employers that I have the knowledge and skills to do well in a professional job setting, and I can give many examples of certain skills gained and practised during my placement year. One unexpected benefit of my placement is the openness of my team to welcome me back when I graduate.

What did you enjoy about your placement?

Overall I loved my placement. Despite the ‘intern’ label, I was given lots of independence over my role and generally left to decide in what direction to take it. 

Working on net-zero and biodiversity tasks meant that my geographical knowledge also came in handy during my placement. From this I was able to encourage many staff members to become more involved in the sustainability aspects of their work by allowing them to understand the importance of this work. Working on a personal interest of mine also made the job more interesting and has helped steer me to what I want to do (and don’t) want to do in future.

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