It’s a huge relief when Centrica offer you a placement after all your hard work; a huge relief followed by a lot more questions… Where will I be working? Who will I be working with? What will I be doing? Hopefully this blog will give you an idea of what to expect as an Engineering summer placement at Centrica.
As an Engineer, you could be based anywhere across the country, which can be a bit of a culture shock! You are well looked after though, and you tend to get paired up as intern; I was set up in decent accommodation living near the centre of Lancaster.
I’m a Mechanical Engineer and was placed in an Operations team, where a lot of the work I do is around process safety and maintenance operations. Placements are structured in such a way that you will have a few main projects during your time here, these aren’t just some tedious ‘keep the intern busy' responsibilities, but real business actions that get delegated down to you. This allows you to add value to the company and demonstrate your ability to take on real responsibility.
However, for me the best thing about the company is how they’ve listened and tailored my development with my interests in mind. I’ve always wanted to spend some time working on an offshore rig, which is definitely not the easiest thing to get involved with as an intern as it requires a whole week to be spent on a rigorous safety course. But nevertheless, I had a few conversations and a few weeks later I was on my survival training, navigating pitch black buildings and having to break free from a helicopter simulator that’s been dropped into a swimming pool. Not sure how many companies out there could say they would offer their summer interns that opportunity!
And then a week later, I was being flown out in a helicopter to work offshore where I am getting amazing exposure to the projects that are running from the platforms in a completely different culture and working environment. It was a fantastic opportunity and something I couldn’t recommend more to those of you that might get the chance in the future.
This may not sound like your cup of tea, which is fair enough. But what I’m trying to stress is that Centrica listened to what I wanted and delivered it to me. So to conclude, as with all internships, you get out what you put in. If you can demonstrate an interest in something that is good for the business and your development, Centrica will listen to what you have to say and do what they can make it happen.