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I am a final year MEng Chemical Engineering student who did a year in industry between the third and fourth year of my degree. My 4 week placement in first year and 5 week placement (extended to 3.5 months over the summer) really set me up for my year in industry with Innospec. The experiences I had and knowledge I gained during these placements gave me lots to put on my CV and talk about during the interview; my data analysis from first year and on-plant experience from second year really impressed.

During my year-long placement I organised change control registers, updated operating procedures and risk assessments with input from plant operators; additionally, I was given my own yield improvement project on one of the plants. I also updated P&IDs and participated in hazard studies where I pulled knowledge from the design projects at university and the third year safety group project. I learnt a lot about how a real plant operates 24/7 and how much paperwork is required to keep everything running safely and smoothly. Initially I found it hard to get to grips with the fast pace and all the systems in place, but as time went on, I got into the flow and it got easier. I really enjoyed the mixture of office and plant-based work, and no two days were the same; I was often being borrowed by other plant managers to lend a hand with one thing or another.