Philips initially appealed to me due to its strong emphasis on wanting to improve people’s lives through innovation. I knew I wanted to work for a company that strived to have a positive impact on people’s lives and to have this within an international, well known company was an added bonus.
The recruitment process consisted of an initial form, telephone interview and then assessment center. As part of the assessment center, we had various tasks including a short presentation, a lab task and group work. By doing several different tasks, it allowed us to demonstrate the wide range of skills required for the job. At the assessment center, you will also meet the team you will be working with for the next year.
Once you start, you are trained on everything in the lab and are never expected to use equipment that hasn’t been fully explained to you. The equipment used is specialized to aerosol testing so was not anything that I had come across before. As part of training, there is also two days in Guildford to learn more about the business as well as your own working style. These two days are a good opportunity to meet the other graduates or interns.
The day-to-day work varies depending on what testing is required but generally it is around 60-70% of your time spent in the lab and 30-40% spent report writing or other office based tasks. Other departments such as marketing or engineering often request testing so you are exposed to many areas of the business. There is also opportunity to help in the microbiology labs with the clean and disinfection. This has allowed me to expand my lab experience and work as part of a small team.
Once trained I was then given responsibility to complete projects on my own just like any other member of the team. Despite the responsibility, I am fully supported at every stage with twice weekly team meeting so we all know what each other is doing and monthly one to ones with my manager to ensure everything is okay and to discuss my development.
Philips is an excellent company to complete a placement year and it gives you an honest insight into what working in a lab is really like in a supportive and welcoming environment.