James Scott End of Placement Interview
1st April 2021 - Written by Suzanne Lindsay
We were delighted to welcome James Scott, a fifth-year Masters student in Chemical and Process Engineering from the University of Strathclyde into our Engineering Team on an industrial placement. I had the opportunity to speak with James as he neared the end of his placement and share some of his comments.
James advised that he opted for an industrial placement over a traditional university research project to experience the real world of work and gain experience for his CV. James became aware of Mabbett when a previous student had given a talk on their work experience at Mabbett and Derek J. McNab, Managing Director, a Visiting Professor had delivered a module on Environmental Management at the University.
How does a 9-5 job compare with university?
Workdays feel longer, full 9-5 as opposed to fragmented as they are at university but there is a distinct end to the day and you can shut off. Similar to university where I attend multiple classes with various projects running side by side, in consultancy projects run in parallel and I was working on several projects at once.
What have you enjoyed most about your placement?
I really enjoyed supporting industrial sites, having the opportunity to see first-hand the intricate inner workings of industrial processes. The placement allowed me to put the theory learnt into practice, learn that outcomes matter and see clients take action based on recommendations we provided.
I supported with a variety of projects; most time was spent on environmental permitting projects but I also provided input into research for circular economy opportunities and assisting with background data and information research into feasibility studies for solar developments.
Have you learnt any new skills?
At university the importance of reporting has been stressed throughout, but this placement allowed me to appreciate first-hand the importance of concise report writing. The end user is often from a non-technical background so reporting needs to be concise for the client and information communicated in a non-technical way. Information needs to be focused and presented in tables and graphics supports readability and user understanding. I also learnt the power of the conclusion in reporting and the importance of planning a report to keep projects on track.
Any guidance you would like to offer to future placement students?
Ask for feedback early and often, don’t be afraid to appear less knowledgeable. If you are not sure, speak up! Rely on and learn from the experience of the team. Also, be honest to people about your experiences and knowledge; if you are being asked to support with a task you have no subject knowledge of, speak up!