On the final day of work experience feelings and emotions scorched through my very veins like molten tallow. As I waited for eight o’ clock to arrive so I could begin my working day, I was unsure if I was happy for the end of a long week or actually disappointed.
During the day, I remained in the office assisting with the operation of the various computer screens. I had a great chat with some of the gentlemen and enjoyed observing the goings-on during the office.
Later on in the day I had to have a meeting with my mentor. Daunting thoughts flooded through my mind. We would be talking about how well I had performed during the five day period at Western Powers. Overcoming my fears, I spoke as if we had worked together for years.
It was then when I realised the true essence of my emotions: I was actually going to miss the time I had spent there, the nice people that I had worked with and so much more. I said my farewell and solemnly traipsed away, gazing at everyone I passed. Perhaps I will return, I thought, Perhaps.
We were doing overhead line work today. Basically the job we had to complete involved re conducting aluminium power-lines with copper cables. Aluminium is a better conductor than copper but it has a tendency to react with certain chemicals in the air, whilst copper is quite un-reactive.
The process involved joining the end of aluminium with the beginning of the copper cable. Something called a winge would then pull the aluminium cable, where it winded around a drum. It was cleverly calculated; by the time all of the aluminium was in the drum, the copper wire was perfectly in its place. It was simple but there were many procedures to it, I could not help but watching was just as fun.
It was interesting to see the stages, methods and tools involved: the workers were great. Not only did they have a laugh but they got through the work proficiently.
The day was fun and I am feeling slightly apprehensive about the final day.
On the third day of work experience, I have to admit everything was chaotic. We had to replace a switch – sounds simple – it wasn’t. Firstly we had to dig all the way underground using a JCB to work on some underground cables. Then we had to get a crane to move the old switch from a building: it was very tricky and time consuming. We had to drain all of the insulating oil from within the switch, and then we had to get a new cable…. the list goes on. I could not get involved in what they were doing because it was an unsecure environment and posed a safety risk but observing unusually fun. I especially enjoyed watching the joining of two cables, it was very complicated and had several stages to it.
Overall the day was tiring, I did get muddy but the experience was worth it. I learned a lot from the day.
After my first day at Western Power spirits were high: I expected the second day to be just as exciting, just as informative. I have to admit though, that it didn’t meet my expectations. Because we were dealing with insulating oil, I wasn’t allowed to be near the substance, not only because it stained clothing but because it was a hazardous material. I helped where I could and enjoyed observing where I was. I learnt a lot about transformers and we even popped in to Cardiff to work in the BBC studios. Despite the fact that I could not get involved too much due to the health and safety restrictions impressed upon me, the day was very informative, it was reasonably fun, albeit slightly tiring and I learnt a lot. I look forwards to the next day at Western Power.
For Work Experience I had to go to Western Powers. Initially my first beliefs were quite daunting, I expected the first day to be a lecture on the innumerable health and safety restrictions. What I didn’t expect was that I would be testing on an electrical substation in Upper Boat. We had to break a 33000 vault current using charged springs (you should have heard the noise it made) and then we began some testing. I not only observed the whole procedure with wide eyes but I was involved within it; the amount of wires and technical apparatus that we used was immense.
I was also taken to Lamby control room. You should have have seen it: rows upon rows of desks, people operating eight computer screens with a single mouse, workers flitting from desk to desk. It was like NASA: I had a chat with various people who worked there and realised how important the control room was. The people who were in it were prepared for every eventuality. I was in awe.
My working day was over soon after. I was taken home at around 4:00, my face etched in an unbelievable gape. The day had gone quickly, I learnt so much!