I worked within the Oncology statistics team doing statistical analysis.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The decision to spend my placement year at Roche was the best decision I could of made. I had such a good year working there and was giving so many opportunities to learn new skills and get an understanding of the pharmaceutical industry.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I spent my year in the Oncology team and was made welcome from the beginning. I was treated like a permanent member of staff and had the opportunity to attend numerous training events and meet colleagues from all over the world.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had weekly meetings with my supervisor to ensure I always felt that I was getting the best out of my placement. If I ever did have an issue my line manager ensured it was dealt with straight away in order to make sure I was enjoying my year at Roche.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Most days were the right level of busy, however some days would be busier than normal when there was a big deadline to meet, but things would soon quieten down and go back to normal. You were always thanked for your hard work and they made sure they acknowledged your effort if you had been busier than normal.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility during my placement giving me the opportunity to learn a lot of new skills. I was given the responsibility as I requested it, If you did not want to do something then you could easily say no, however I wanted to get as much out of my little time at Roche as possible so always requested to be involved with things and asked for new challenges.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I learnt at Roche were priceless as it really helped me in my final year studies both in terms of the knowledge I had gained but also it made me a lot more organised and focused and ensured I was always on top of my studies and my marks in my final year of university were a grade higher than usual. It also helped me secure a job before I had even sat my final exams as being able to put a placement year on your CV really improves your chances of being hired post university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office is a big open plan office giving you the chance to meet people from numerous teams and job roles. Everyone was really friendly and there is a communal tea and coffee area in which people stop to talk to you and make you feel welcome.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was very well organised as the placements from the previous year are involved with setting up the new placements. This really helps as they know first hand what you are going through and any issues they have had the previous year during there first few weeks they fix in order to make sure the experience is even better the next year. You also all have your own supervisor who is there to guide you through the year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Roche invest a lot of time in to training up the students. I got to attend a training course in SAS programming and also a training day in Unix programming and this was just our first week. They also continue to train you throughout the year, if your team goes on a course the placement student also gets to attend.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Roche always encourages past placement students to apply for a full time position once they finish university however for myself it was too far from home to reapply. If it wasn't so far away for me I would have definitely reapplied for a full time position.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Roche is a really social company, there is always nights out and activities going on such as badminton club and days out go karting. The works Christmas party is always a big event, my year they hired a massive marque with Circus events and I know the year after me it was held at Harry potter world.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As you do not need to live in London the cost of living is a lot less. However there a train that takes 20 minutes to get to London where the majority of nights out were held. I lived in Hatfield which is a reasonable area to live in.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is really good as you can either go in to London for a night out or go over to St Albans for a night out. There are also pubs near work in Welwyn Garden City which we used to go to after work.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes there are lots of outside work activities. I was part of the badminton team and my housemate was part of the Rugby team in the area. As you are close to London there are always things going on if you wish to attend.