The placement at Bosch was somewhat good. The project itself went fairly smoothly, although it's fairly difficult with these sorts of things to tread the line between not really doing enough work, and overcomplicating things so much that it's impossible to get anywhere because you keep spending so much time on details. There's always more that you [i]could[/i] do, but there's only so much time you're actually there.
One thing that I did really learn from the placement is that whilst I enjoy doing that sort of work, but I don't enjoy that sort of lifestyle. If I ever want to go into some sort of manufacturing improvement consultancy stuff it'll ideally have to be one where I'm either largely stationed in one place, or I'm just employed by a single company at a single factory. There are perks to living in hotels, such as having full English breakfasts cooked for you every morning, and having a shower that isn't completely shit (like the one in my student house is), but after a couple of days they quickly stop being novel and I find that I'm just really not that much of a fan of spending every evening eating out in a pub and then having a hotel room to go back to. It's a fairly soulless existence and not one I'm particularly keen on.
It also doesn't help that almost all of UK manufacturing is based in towns that are completely shite. Other than a particularly epic sports centre (which is the only reason I'd been there before), there's basically nothing in Stowmarket. It doesn't seem to be much better for many of the other places we've visited either. I guess working for Newton or Stroud or a similar company you get jetted off to various places around Europe, but I'd expect that shithole manufacturing towns in Germany are still fundamentally the same as the shithole manufacturing towns in the UK.
So yeah, the project itself was interesting and good fun overall, but I vastly prefer living at home over living in a hotel.
Because I don't have a humorous image for this week, here is a compilation video of babies tasting lemons:
A fair amount of stuff seems to be happening now to start mapping my summer out too. Aside from the somewhat scary prospect of having to find myself a job (though I'm at least starting to get a decent idea of the sort of companies I want to work for), there's the MET overseas research project and a few other things.
The MET overseas research project is basically a two-week study tour of various factories in some far, foreign land. The current plan for the tour is for it to be a week in South Korea followed by a week in Japan, which I'm looking forward to so much because they're basically the top two countries I most want to visit in the world, and I expect it'll be unbelievably cool.
Pretty much all of the expenses are paid for by sponsorship fund-raising, and quite awesomely we don't have to fly back with the group at the end of the study tour, but can stay out in Japan, and our eventual flights back will only cost us the difference between the flights we get and the flights we'd have otherwise gotten if we'd flown back with everyone else.
The tour leaves the Sunday or Monday right after graduation, and my plan was that after the two weeks of the tour I'd stay on for another two weeks in Japan as a holiday. This has sort of been thrown into disarray by Paul 'rubbish tekkers' Erdunast announcing that the inaugural UK Tetris Championships is going to be held in London on the 21st July. Given I mostly don't play that much any more I'm not really sure whether I want to sacrifice a second week in Japan to go, but at the moment I probably will because the format of the tournament means I have a pretty good chance of getting at least to the final assuming I put in a little bit of practice beforehand and no big names decide to fly over from the USA or Japan.n Plus three weeks in South-East Asia should be plenty anyway.
Then there's also potentially Eindhoven 2012 to fit in somewhere, and whenever my job starts. It's only November and I'm already massively looking forward to July.