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Insights Accelerate your future with a student placement

Looking to boost your degree with a placement? Or just can’t wait to start a fantastic career? AtkinsRéalis is here to support your ambitions through unrivaled industry exposure, balanced with tailored mentoring. You’ll gain so much during a placement with us, but don’t take our word for it.

Ross has done not one, but two types of placements with us. We first met Ross when he applied to the plant systems and safety team at our Bristol office. He was studying mechanical engineering at the University of Bath and was keen to get hands-on industry experience and exposure to different sectors. 

Impressed by his strengths in analysis and calculation-based engineering, not to mention his enthusiasm for nuclear, we placed Ross in our Nuclear and Power design and analysis team for a 12-month industry placement. He thrived in this role, so we we’re delighted to welcome him back for the 8-week summer placement before he goes on to do his master's.

Curious to hear Ross’s firsthand experience on his placements at AtkinsRéalis?

image of Ross

What made you decide to do your placements with AtkinsRéalis?

Most importantly, I needed to be interested in the work the company was doing – and I was. AtkinsRéalis is a renowned consultancy with exciting projects happening all around the world. 

But I had my fair share of questions: Could I put my university knowledge into practice here? How much innovation and cutting-edge technology would I be exposed to? Would I have the chance to dip my toes into different sectors before deciding my career path? Would the company offer flexible work hours? 

AtkinsRéalis ticked all the boxes – and it didn’t hurt that I loved their open environment at the Hub, in Bristol.

What skills did you develop?

It will be different for everyone, depending on the team you’re in and the work you are given. A large amount of my industrial placement was spent working on Finite Element Analysis (FEA) projects. I developed plenty of invaluable knowledge in that area, which I carried forward into my third year of university.

On top of the fantastic industry exposure, AtkinsRéalis placement students get plenty of opportunities to gain confidence and learn business skills. I was able to develop my report writing and presentation skills to be more concise and professional.

How much support do grads get on placements?

You get as much support as you want. Everyone is happy to help if you ask them, no matter how busy they look. Typically, those assigning tasks will have a good idea of the amount of support you will require and make sure you’re fully equipped before you get started.

What is a typical day like on a placement?

From my first day, I was treated like one of the team and put to work on some complex projects for major clients. I soon got into a work routine, where I’d get in at 8:30, find a desk in my team’s area, and check my emails. I'd either pick up where I left off the day before or ask what new tasks I could support with. At first, I’d ask my line manager for guidance, but I quickly learned which team members I could turn to directly for opportunities.

Does the team socialise outside the office?

Yes, the company culture is open and fun-loving. We’re big on spending time together away from work, so we often have team socials and there’s often free food involved!

Where did you live while on placement?

For my industrial placement, I found a house in Filton, 20 minutes away from the office. I shared it with some of my friends from university who were also doing placements at AtkinsRéalis. It really makes the experience, living with other placement students.

Do you get paid on a placement?

Yes, I was offered competitive salaries for my industry and summer placements. For my industry placement, I also got 5 weeks’ holiday, with the option to buy or sell more hours. These extra days are great if you want to find time for a family holiday, take trips with friends, or even just take a day for yourself.

What is the dress code?

There are no hard and fast rules; the general approach is ‘dress for your day’ – so people may be smarter if meeting a client but we usually wear smart casual. No ties or blazers are required!

Transform your future with an AtkinsRéalis student placement

Our Summer Placements, also known as a summer internship, span at least 8 weeks – just enough time to give you an insight into working at AtkinsRéalis. For those seeking a more immersive experience, our Industrial Placements extend to 12 months, offering a deeper dive into life at our organization.

We also offer a fast-track to our prestigious Graduate Development Programme for top-performing students.

Are you interested in joining? Visit our placements hub to learn more about the selection process and explore some FAQs. Places are limited and will open for applications in the Autumn, so get prepared with our top tips on preparing for an early careers interview.