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Bruce Fidler

Case study

“As a site we benefit greatly from having interns. Once fully trained they perform vital roles with in the department. They are treated as full-time members of staff and provide additional resource in the supporting structure.”

Bruce Fidler Production Engineer and Project Co-Ordinator

Name: Bruce Fidler

Organisation attended: Bosch

Job title: Production Engineer and Project Co-ordinator

Location: Worcester

Duration: One year

How do interns apply? What are the benefits?

The interns typically take part in an Engineering based ‘sandwich’ degree and are looking for a placement to broaden their understanding of how engineering principles are used in industry.

This scheme has also seen the professional development of the intern’s soft skills. In one instance, which was great to see, was the development of a particular intern’s presentation skills. At the beginning of the placement he was extremely nervous when talking in front of his colleagues. By the end of the placement his confidence had grown so much that he was able to deliver clear and concise presentations on project matters, which he is now able to transfer to his degree work and so on. 

What is included on the internship?

As being an intern myself (2012 to 2013) I have an understanding of what got the best out of me.

A great example of best practice here in the Manufacturing Engineering department is the shadowing that an intern does as part of their induction into the team. This predominantly places the intern on the shop floor shadowing a process from the operators and team leader’s point of view. This gives the intern a basic understanding of how manufacturing and engineering are linked and some of the challenges and opportunities ahead.

The shadowing isn’t only limited to the shop floor environment because we place the intern in support departments such as Quality and Logistics. This helps to give the intern a picture of the business structure and their role and how they will contribute to the company during their placement. 

What do students gain from the experience?

The benefits for the students have been vast because the placement is intended to develop their understanding of engineering in a more practical situation rather than in a lecture/seminar environment.

One of the current interns is involved in a project to improve the efficiency of a new technology on-site. Whilst he already had an understanding of the ‘engineering’ behind the machine from his university work, he was able to develop this further and understand how it operated in detail by working with the supplier. He was also able to gain an appreciation of how to improve the process by reducing machine downtime and with procedural changes.  His changes and recommendations were then realised as we can see how it affects key performance indicators within the business.

We are also currently working with students for their university projects, as well as utilising the ‘students@bosch’ scheme to keep in contact with previous interns. Successful interns can use this programme to network with other interns and Bosch to help pave the way towards a successful career. Interns also receive regular updates from the company including Bosch’s newsletter. Bosch keeps you informed of the latest vacancies and Graduate opportunities. 

Top tips

I would say invest your time at the beginning by giving the interns in the Manufacturing Engineering department good training and also showing the correct communication channels. Companies should have a handover period, where the ‘new’ intern spends time with the previous intern to pass best practices and their experiences.

I would also suggest interns are ambitious and ask for more responsibility as their internship goes on. They will integrate into the team much faster and become a full, equal team member.

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