By Nikitha Bade, Year 10
On the week beginning 24th June, I was given an amazing opportunity to gain experience of work life at BSI. The British Standards Institution is a national standards body in the UK. At BSI, many different products are tested to make sure they work safely and effectively in their everyday environment and they can function well. Tests are performed on these items handed in by BSI’s clients (product owning companies) and the results are sent back to clients as reports. As part of my experience, I could take part in multiple job roles. I worked in labs, writing reports and in an office and meeting room!
I was given a tour around the building on the first day to all the different labs and learnt a lot of new things behind the items we use in daily life. I have seen the way tests were conducted on pipes, fire safety equipment, suits (for different uses), breathing masks, safety helmets and latex.
On Monday afternoon, after the tour and introduction (where I had already learnt tons of new things about testing products fairly) I was given a project to work on just like everybody else in the office. I was given a designated desk to work at for the whole week and a laptop to create a presentation from my research. As part of the work that I had to complete, I had to design a practical device/machine to launch cricket balls at a safety helmet. When designing, I was given some standards to follow to make sure the tests were done accordingly and followed certain rules like the type of the ball.
For the rest of the week, working life almost became a habit. The work was very realistic, and the colleagues were friendly and supportive. I soon found my way around easily and began doing ‘work’ as a daily routine which made me feel successful as I was also enjoying the job. In the mornings, workers at different labs showed me what they did as part of their job role and what sort of work they do. I learnt lots of information about different types of materials used around buildings such as plastic and copper pipes. They were tested vigorously by being put under pressure and temperature changes to make sure they passed safety and efficiency thresholds.
On Wednesday, an employee wore a chemical suit to be tested and was put inside a large salt air chamber. I helped to conduct tests in this respiratory lab to make sure breathing and agility were successful – this was one of the highlights of my experience as I even got to see how workers must deal with things in difficult emergency situations. I even managed to blow up huge fire hose pipes under water pressure inside large metal cages that burst with loud bangs!
On the last day, I used all the knowledge I had gained to prepare a speech with presentation in a meeting room with a few other managers and employees. It was nerve-wracking to have to stand up and deliver a presentation for many experienced people, but I believe I did well and I’m glad I could experience such a placement. I think BSI is a great place to work for anyone who wants variety in the work they do where travelling around the world is also a possibility!