Saskia is a Chemical Engineering student at Manchester University in the UK, and is currently doing a 12 month placement at Lucite International (LI) Cassel Site during her intercalating year. We speak to Saskia to find out what it’s like being a student at LI.

What is your job description at LI and what are your main responsibilities?
I am an industrial placement student. I have several projects that I work on independently and complete smaller tasks assigned to me by my line manager or other employees.

Can you describe a typical day?

I go to an MM8 morning meeting, where we discuss the operation of the plants. I then work in my office on the tasks assigned to me by my line manager, or on some of my long term projects.

What are the top three things you’ve learnt so far from working at LI?

I’ve learnt what being a chemical engineer actually is, and the sort of jobs that they have in industry. At university I was taught the theory, but now I am able to put this into practice. Working at LI this year has taught me what some of the long term work, but also what the day to day work of a chemical engineer is.

I have learnt how to work in an office environment. LI is a very collaborative environment, and I’ve learnt how to be a part of it.

When completing some of my work at Lucite I’ve encountered problems. I’ve learnt how to problem solve and approach different situations more creatively to find solutions. For example, at university all the information you need to complete your work is given to you, in industry the information needs to be found, and sometimes it is not available. I’ve learnt how to find creative ways of obtaining the information I need for a particular calculation.

What are you hoping to get out of your time with the Company?

I’m hoping to learn as much as I possibly can. I have been able to gain both on site experience and technical experience. I’m hoping to gain as much experience as a Chemical Engineer as possible.

Choose three words to describe working at LI?

Engaging, rewarding, challenging

Are you working towards completing a qualification at LI?

I’m working towards completing my Masters in Chemical Engineering. During my time here I have some university work to complete about what I’ve learnt this year, including a skills acquired report, a logbook, a dissertation about a significant project I’ve done, and a poster presentation about the same project.

What is special about the way in which LI is helping you to achieve your goals?

LI is allowing me to get really involved in the business. I have been given a project that is my own, I can complete it in the way I want and get assistance when I need it, but I am given the chance to try to figure out the solutions by myself first, which is allowing me to learn a lot more.

What are your plans for the future?

First, I am going to complete my degree in Chemical Engineering. After I graduate I definitely plan to pursue a career in Chemical Engineering.

Is there anything you’d like to add about your experience of working with LI?

It’s been a very helpful experience for me to figure out what my interests are, and discovering which aspects of chemical engineering I enjoy the most. This experience has helped me to make the first step in actually becoming a Chemical Engineer. I’ve received a lot of help from a large number of people at LI, and so far this year has allowed me to develop a lot of skills, both soft and technical skills.