Izabella Varnai

Izabella Varnai, Automotive Engineering, Placement

BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering student, Izabella, spent her placement year working for Toyota Motor Europe, in the Assembly Division for Vehicle Production Engineering. We caught up with Izabella to find out how she got on. 

What did you do on your placement year?

I was working for Toyota Motor Europe’s Vehicle Production Engineering’s Assembly division. This Team is responsible for delivering equipment projects for the assembly shops of all European Toyota assembly shops, this includes modifying existing, or creating all new equipment for the new vehicle projects. As a placement student I had my own equipment projects, and supporting roles in larger projects. Most of my projects were for the Toyota factory in the Czech Republic, and were related to the steering of the vehicle.

What was your favourite part about the placement?

My favourite part was getting to work on real projects and having real responsibilities. I also really liked travelling to business trips, to other Toyota plants and equipment manufacturers.

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What was the most challenging aspect?

I had to do a lot of presentations, as part of my training and as part of my job too. In the first couple of months I found these challenging, as I didn’t really know the audience. After a while I got a lot more comfortable doing presentations to my managers and other engineers.

Why did you choose to do a placement?

I wanted to do a placement to add some more value to my degree. Employers really appreciate industry relevant experience.

Why did you do your placement at your chosen company?

I applied to Toyota because I appreciate how environmentally conscious they are. Toyota sets environmental challenges on a company level, and works really hard to achieve these. It sets a good example to other manufacturers.

Do you have any advice on applications, interviews or just in general about a placement year?

It’s really good to practice competency assessments, most companies will ask you to complete some of these.