Well, what a strange year it has been so far! After a delayed start date in September I am finally well underway with my placement year at RBA Acoustics. I am currently completing this industrial placement in between my second and final year of studying BEng Acoustical & Audio Engineering at the University of Salford.
This year has been far from normal and the placement is following suit! As the office is only populated by a handful of people each day, with the majority working from home, I ended up meeting most of my colleagues virtually over video calls. Certainly not ideal, but I have nevertheless managed to engage and learn from those in the office as well as through calling and screen sharing.
The limited office capacity has not stopped me getting involved either; it is still as busy as ever and I have already been involved in numerous on-going projects. From my second day, I was straight into working on site learning the ways of an acoustic consultant; after a couple weeks of shadowing, I have been out on sites by myself, setting up survey equipment and completing testing within buildings. The sites have ranged from major co-working offices in the heart of the city to new housing developments, student accommodation, pub renovations & gyms all over the South and Midlands.
I am surprised how quickly I have go t into the flow of the role, it is especially helpful knowing that I can ask anyone in the company for help if needed, which has made the learning the ropes a whole lot easier! That is not to say there have not been challenges; carrying out testing around vulnerable people requires special consideration and maintaining social distancing on busy and cramped building sites has been tricky at times, but it has been feasible with careful coordination.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend one of the (famous) RBA social events yet, but fingers crossed for the coming year!