Intern at Vodafone

Internship (1-4 Months)
Review Date
Human Resources Information Technology

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The Role
The Company
The Culture

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Vodafone. My line manager was extremely supportive, I was given a buddy to support me with any issues and I was given exposure to a wide variety of different work. Part of my internship was PMO work, which I enjoyed as it gave me a good overview of all the projects within the team, although it was challenging to keep on top of everyone and make sure that they updated their reports etc. Overall I don't think this is a role I'm suited to, but it was good experience nonetheless. I enjoyed being in a team that was working on transformation for different parts of the business around the world, and it was very interesting to get exposure to how different countries operate. I was even given the opportunity to go to Budapest for a workshop, which was very exciting.
4 /5

2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

Overall I did feel valued by my colleagues, as the team was in great need of extra resources in a large number of areas. Everyone I worked with seemed to greatly value having me there and were glad that I could pick things up quickly. As a PMO cover I felt valued, however, I had no experience with this and I was not able to provide the same kind of service as the woman I was covering for. Therefore I may not have been valued as much by some people, although I was still able to perform the role. Most people that I talked to emphasised how good it was to have me on the team and I received a lot of positive feedback from those that I worked with.
4 /5

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

I was given a great deal of support by the organisation, and in this regard the company went way above my expectations. My line manager dedicated a lot of her time for meetings with me to discuss issues I was facing, and gave me a lot of useful tips to help me going forward. She also gave me a lot of help regarding my personal development, helping me with a development plan and ensuring that all the skills I wanted to develop would be included in some way. She even helped me rewrite my CV and put a lot of time in helping me to find and secure a job within Vodafone. Additionally, I had a buddy who met with me weekly to catch up on how things were going. He was extremely supportive, approachable and easy to talk to. Overall, I felt that pretty much anyone in the team would be able and willing to help me if I had a problem, and whenever I did have a problem, people were always there to help, even though they were mostly very busy.
5 /5

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

This varied greatly, some days were relatively quiet while others were very busy and stressful, although overall, most days were reasonably balanced. There were a lot of meetings all the time, but often these would be rescheduled and sometimes I would be left with very little to do for several hours. However, in these cases I always had the option to do online training to develop skills relevant to the team or for my development plan. Very occasionally I had to work late to make deadlines, but this was not a common occurrence. The environment was quite chaotic and unstructured (every day was very different) which was a bit of a challenge to get used to.
3 /5

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I was given more responsibility than I expected from an intern. Firstly, I was sent to a workshop in Budapest for several days in place of someone else who couldn't attend, with the job of capturing all the essential information in one document. Secondly, I provided PMO cover for 3 weeks. During this time I was responsible for creating slide decks for various team meetings; attended meetings with project managers to keep up to date with their projects, risks, issues etc; I had to ensure all project managers reported on their projects in a timely and accurate manner, I had to coordinate various meetings and take minutes. Overall the PMO role was a higher responsibility than I was used to, and was quite a senior role.
5 /5

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I've finished my degree studies, but the skills I developed will definitely be useful for my career going forward. I've learned a lot about working in a chaotic environment, having to balance a lot of different tasks etc. I've received a lot of experience of taking minutes, using excel, organising meetings, and even facilitating meetings. Furthermore, I was able to take some online training which gave me some basic knowledge in project management and change management. Overall, I believe that everything I learned will be useful in the future, even if I do not get a permanent role within a similar environment.
4 /5

The Company

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

It was an open plan office, which has pros and cons. It was nice to always be able to see who was around and often people could chat to each other informally around the desks. However, a downside is that it's not always quiet so if you get easily distracted it's harder to be productive. Overall everyone was friendly and approachable so the atmosphere was good. Everyone was quite informal with each other which made it a bit more relaxed and less stressful, although I wouldn't recommend it to those who prefer to work by themselves without distractions.
4 /5

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

The internship was not that structured, as the environment was quite chaotic, there needed to be a bit of flexibility. The first week was very structured, with different meetings and training sessions in order to get me up to speed. After that I had an overview of the projects I'd be working on for the first few weeks and then after that it would be flexible. Ultimately I became involved in lots of things on an ad hoc basis until I was put on PMO cover as this is where I was needed most urgently. I didn't have an overall scope of responsibility until this point.
3 /5

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

As discussed before, the company invested a lot in my personal development. I had regular development meetings with my line manager, as well as a mock interim PD session. Additionally I was able to take any online course I wanted to out of a huge library in my spare time. The company were very open in catering to what I wanted to do and the skills I wanted to develop, not necessarily just those that would be useful for my role.
5 /5

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • International Travel
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Working from home
5 /5

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

There are a lot of opportunities always coming up in Vodafone and most of them are quite appealing. The most appealing for me was the graduate scheme, which the company has offered to help me apply for. This gives you a bit of a head start to get a better role in the company. However, there were also a wide variety of permanent roles in all different parts of the company which are constantly coming up and they are always keen to recruit internally. In my team, everyone was very keen to find another role in the company for me after my internship was over.
4 /5

The Culture

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

As a team, we very rarely did any events outside of work. Most people were very busy and lived in different places, which made organising events at the weekends difficult. We had one team lunch at a pub and some Christmas events were organized as well, but other than this there were very few socials.
2 /5

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

Newbury is quite an expensive town to live in. I paid 500 pounds a month just for one small single room. There are probably other towns and villages which are cheaper but you would need a car to commute. I didn't go out much in the evenings so I can't say what the cost of socialising was.
2 /5

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

Newbury is a small town so there isn't much in the way of nightlife. There are a number of pubs and restaurants, but I'm not sure if there are any clubs. As I didn't go out much in the evenings it's hard for me to comment on this.
3 /5

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

There are a lot of social groups within Vodafone that you can join but it was quite hard to browse them unless you know exactly what you're looking for. Overall I didn't really get involved in many social activities outside of work. Many people lived outside of the town and had families so there wasn't much of a desire within the team to socialise outside of work.
2 /5