1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a Laboratory Analyst - my job consists of analysing water samples in a lab (preparing the samples and then looking through the results). I work within the Organic Chemistry department and am managed in a small team within that. It is mainly my managers who interact with customers.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am currently at University studying chemistry, having completed my first year I have expanded my actual knowledge of chemistry and can apply it to my working environment. Recently I attended an Agilent led course regarding HPLC systems, this has allowed me a deeper understanding of may of the instruments we have in the department.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy the work and get on very well with my team and department as a whole, it's nice to walk past people in the corridor and be greeted whether you know the person or not.
4. How valued do you feel by Thames Water?
I do feel valued within my team, if anyone goes above and beyond or completes a particular task well then it is noticed.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
There was an induction on our first day and I have been continually training since I've started. I began with a single method to start off with and have since begun training on two more. It is difficult to manage studying with a full time job, but if needed I am able to take a few hours out of the working week to complete uni work whilst at work. I meet monthly with my Team Leader to discuss how I'm feeling and if my workload is too low/high. The university side is a bit less organised, our programme leader has been quite absent this year due to personal reasons so when we've been unsure of anything it took quite a while to get a respose. In terms of the learning it was quite well laid out in that they caught everyone up to the same point to begin with and then taught us new information.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
It varied depending on which lecturer you were emailing. Our personal tutor was quite absent this year due to personal circumstances, so if we were unsure of anything it took a while to get a response. Lecturers were very supportive and understood that we had a lot going on outside of uni.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Thames Water are extremely supportive in terms of managing uni work with actual work, my manager and Team Leader were constantly checking up on me throughout the year to see how I was getting on and making sure my head was in a good place. If I was usure of anything to do with the chemistry then I was able to discuss it with my colleagues, as well as learning how to manage my time more effectively.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I still live at home so don't have any massive expenditures there, I travel about 45 minutes (25 miles) to and from work each day by car. My salary more than meets the cost of petrol and car maintenance.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are some opportunities to volunteer outside of work and everyone is given 2 days a year to do so. It would be nice to see more opportunities!
9. Would you recommend Thames Water to a friend?
It's a nice company to work for!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Thames Water?
Make sure that you research the company and all it's initiatives before your interview. Look through the history of both the Waste Water and Clean Water to see how the company has grown through the years. At the assessment day I was so nervous, but there is genuinely no reason to be. Everyone is lovely and will just be ensuring that you know what you're doing, if you don't know how to do something then say and they'll exlpain the proper way to do it.
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