A Year in Industry at Mi3

Mi3 News

Adding valuable experience whilst increasing employability, a placement scheme is a highly rewarding experience. With recruitment marketplace demands and competitiveness ever increasing, a placement can help develop a sought after skillset before graduation! Hence, not only is a placement of benefit to the student, the benefits extend to the University and placement organisation.

As Vanessa Yung, Mi3's 2020/2021 student from the University of Leeds comes to the end of her placement with us, she reflects on her year at Mi3.

Why Mi3?

Although my degree is Mechatronics and Robotics based, my interests lie within the medical device sector and I wanted a placement that would allow me to explore the full process of creating a medical device – from initial concepts through to design, development and manufacturing. However, this was difficult to come across as most business’ specialised in just one aspect of the medical device lifecycle; until I came across Mi3.

What drew me to Mi3 was the diversity of the job. There were countless opportunities to get stuck in with every department and make a significant contribution to the business beyond the scope of a typical student placement.

What to Expect?

To be busy. Supporting the Engineering & Product Development team is a very broad role and allows me to work on different aspects of all the projects currently running at Mi3. Naturally, this keeps me very busy, but the variety of tasks is something that I really enjoy. I could be measuring injection moulded parts for tooling process development, carrying out testing protocols for primary packaging validation, creating technical drawings for a customer or compiling specifications for our internal QMS (Quality Management System) all within the same week!

To gain exposure to commercial business/industry engineering. I formed relationships with suppliers and customers through requesting/drafting quotations – an aspect that is missing from university projects. I even experienced a ‘Force Majeure’ regarding a supply shortage as a result of the pandemic and as a consequence the effect on relevant projects and if there would be significant project delays.

Lots of Development Opportunities. During my placement I was asked to 3D print some prototypes for an R&D project and this was something I had not had much exposure to. With the help of the my team, I learnt about material choices and appropriate settings for objects depending on their shape and desired aesthetics/properties which led to me generating a real interest for 3D printing outside of work. I expressed my interest to the team and was encouraged and supported by them to do more prototype prints which allowed me to work with different material combinations and experiment with different settings. As a result, I’m now confident in using the 3D printer and troubleshooting if any problems arise along with being able to advise on material choices/suitability of certain materials for objects.

Independent Learning. Mi3 definitely pushes you out of your comfort zone to try new tasks and expand your skills range. There is a lot of independent learning and researching topics with my findings being presented to the team. Topics I’ve researched have ranged from rendering software to biodegradable materials and their manufacture.

Responsibility. Overthe course of my placement, I’ve written a capital request proposal to bring semi-automation to production and I was entrusted to manufacture a trial batch for a customer which involved sourcing primary and secondary packaging and creating an appropriate label. The latter of these two projects has led to further opportunities for Mi3. I’ve also written various work instructions and subsequently trained relevant personnel in them.

To get really involved in everything. For 3 weeks of my placement, I joined production staff on shifts and tried first-hand at manufacturing the products – it also involved me starting at 5:30am every day!! Aside from getting stuck in with work, there’s also a lot of social events such as bake-off competitions, wood-fired pizza, Friday morning breakfasts, Euro sweepstakes and fantasy football!


How did I benefit?

I became accustomed to working in a regulated environment and whilst at times it was difficult to do (especially when running my own projects) it has been such a rewarding experience.

Knowledge I had from university (such as 3D CAD work and medical device regulations) was built upon during my Year in Industry and I applied my skills from university to my job here at Mi3. I also learnt new software that will complement my studies when I return to university as well as gaining an appreciation of the business side to engineering which will be useful for any project I do in the future.

Most importantly, my soft skills such as time management, organisation and communication have really improved, and I’ve formed lasting friendships with Mi3 colleagues.

Final Reflections

Most engineering students will have been told that a Year in Industry is vital to securing a job after graduation and after my time at Mi3 it’s not hard to see why! Despite starting in the midst of a global pandemic, the team at Mi3 have been so welcoming and helped me make the most of my time here – even if I did ask countless questions! I’ve had the chance to work alongside some extremely talented people at Mi3 who have nurtured me and helped me become a better engineer. I can’t wait to go back to university equipped with the skills and knowledge they have shared with me!

About the Author

Vanessa Yung is a Technical Placement Student, responsible for assisting the Engineering & Product Development team across a range of internal and external projects. Prior to Mi3, Vanessa had a keen interest in MedTech and was Chair of the society at her university as well as participating in Medical Hackathons and undertaking MedTech related projects during her time at university. After her placement at Mi3, Vanessa will return to the University of Leeds to complete her final year of the Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering integrated master’s course.


‍About Mi3 Student Placements

Mi3 offer student placements for sandwich course or recently qualified university students each year. Our previous years' placements have proven to be both popular with students and beneficial to the business. So much so that in 2021, the company took on 4 students. 

The placements last for 12 months and start from August/September each year. 

To apply for a place on our next intake (August/September 2022) please send your CV and a covering letter to jobs@mi-3.co.uk 

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