I generally enjoyed this internship and I don't believe many others could offer better, unique opportunities than here. Despite it taking over my holidays and the early starts it was never a chore coming to work because of these exciting options providing something new. However at the end of the internship it became clear that despite all my hard work and exceeding all the targets given to me I was not to be rewarded at the end. This made a lot of the previous enjoyment fade away as the hidden truths were revealed in the closing stages of the programme.
Similarly at the start I felt immediately a part of the workplace and there was a lot of support from everyone I spoke to in introducing me to such a large, complex business. There were a few staff who were particularly helpful in this regard and continued to be great mentors throughout. However with exception to these few, the final week showed that while many were helpful they didn't value my contributions.
This is one area where this internship excelled as I was given comprehensive guidance about the firm and my role which greatly helped in all the work I was doing. This is because it gave me direction and a base of knowledge that made me confident enough in the quality of my work to get on with tasks without fear of reprecussions. They were always happy to accomodate my desire to learn by providing new opportunities and taking time from their own work to do so.
With the nature of this business this varied considerably as there were times when there was a lot of work to do with short deadlines; from multiple different areas. This was the good part of the schedule but it also lead to periods where there was no work to be done. I often had to go out and find more work to do to try and demonstrate my willingness and ability as the work given to me was way too easy for my level of knowledge and ambition. This was also a problem as despite my efforts there was often no way to show these attributes and many days became tedious because of this, especially when compared to the high points of other days, knowing how much you could be doing but not being abke to do that.
As an intern at such a security focused company I was always conservative about the level of responsibility I would be entrusted with but I was surprised with how involved I could be in some projects, being able to contribute my opinion in various areas. I was given full responsibility for some projects which meant I worked on every aspect of it, rather than just contributing small parts to different tasks, which was good.
I learned a lot of life skills from this internship, primarily how different work life in reality is to the theory you learn at university and what the career people will always tell you. I now understand more about prioritising work and to be confident in my own decisions as in reality you do have the flexibility to produce good work that is different to the norm because it is better, rather than being penalised for being different to exam board tick boxes. I also learned that in reality many people don't actually work that hard, lowering my own expectations of work life in general and how more often that not it is up to you to do things right.
The general atmosphere was different to many office environments, feeling relaxed and never pressured as people were always friendly and chatting. There was a good level of respect between workers and the level of 'banter' between staff surprised me but definately improved the atmosphere by removing stress. This often varied as well though with the amount of workload as if you had no work to do you were often left out of these conversations and by the end It began to feel a lot more frosty.
In general this wasn't very well done by the recruiting team as I, along with other interns I spoke to, had a lot of trouble with the interview phase where we had to put in all the effort to make it happen. Also a lot of people ended up in completely different areas to what they applied for and while I was lucky in this regard, i had persisitant trouble with the human resources team managing the internship areas as they didn't seem organised and would repeatedly send emails requesting me to do somethign even though I had done it weeks before. My line manager was more organised though and always prompt with responses etc.
As mentioned a lot of people took time away from their own work to explain information to me and I learned a lot from this and gained valuable life skills. There were lots of unique opportunities to develop as well which took considerable time and money on behalf of the company. There was a lot of training available online also which provided more insight into the company.
In such a large company the future prospects are one of the key highlights of this firm. Not only is it secure but they have so many different roles for you to work in and actively encourage you to move around the business as it is so important to understand the varying aspect and how they link, while training is always provided in new areas. The international opportunities are a major bonus in this as well as you can stay within the firm but have these amazing chances without the risks normally involved.
From the company and human resource aspect of organising events on our behalf there was very little done to encourage social interaction and so among the interns we had to create this ourselves. I feel lucky that the other interns were just a ready to scoailise as I was and from this we organised a number of events but the graduates/staff tasked with this were usually distant and evasive.
As I already lived in the area this was a lot lower for me but from talking to other interns the rent was affordable and there were many options to choose from. However there was never any organised system which meant some paid more than others unecessarily; I would advise enquiring about this when looking for accomodation. Socialising is acceptably cheap as well as the university nearby means many places are ready to cater for student budgets.
In a smaller town like Preston it is nothing like Manchester and only being able to do so on the weekends meant the price often exceeded its worth. Because of the timing over the summer with the students away it meant the normal venues were often lackluster with few other sudents to interact with. As a local though I was able to be flexible around this and i didn't have high expectations that many may have that cause more dissapointed.
There are many opportunities for this, including a football team and many charity activities, which provide a bonus to the experience. However this was again all down to you to discover and enact so as a group we planned our own trips which helped a lot with team bonding and it is always fun to meet new people. This was only possible though thanks to my local knowledge, a group without this i feel would struggle in this aspect.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Placement Year (10 Months+)