Researching different areas of science and developing new schemes.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
There were times where I loved my placement and was really busy and there was a good atmosphere and work environment. This was usually when I got the chance to be involved in outreach activities or special staff visits. But other times I felt quite bored and not busy enough. However probably the majority of the time I did enjoy what I was doing.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
With some of the work I felt like it was going to be useful to the staff in the future and something they could use and benefit from. However quite a bit of the work I was involved with I felt as if I wasn’t that important and sometimes felt a bit overshadowed.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My supervisors gave me lots of support. They were always happy to answer my questions whenever I needed to pop into their office. I also had regular meetings with them where I could bring up any problems or ask for more work or help if it was needed. They also always quickly replied to e-mails.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This really varied. Some days I could really have not much to do and feel quite bored. But others I would have loads to do if an event was coming up. However I could always go to my supervisor to ask for more work if I felt that I needed more.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was left quite a lot and trusted to get on with the task given to me. So in that sense I had quite a lot of responsibility. I was also trained to be trusted with the safety of other members of staff. And given quite a lot of responsibility in representing the company at various events.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Placement definitely gave me a lot of work place skills such as communication, presentation skills, and team work skills. These are really important in any line of work and wouldn’t have been developed if I hadn’t been at university. Placement also allowed me to improve my organisational skills which is useful for my remaining years at university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There weren’t very many people in the office and quite a lot of the time they weren’t in the office anyway so it was pretty quiet. But when people were in the office you did get the chance to chat and have a bit of a break. You could also go to other offices where the atmosphere was better.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Initially it was a little unorganised and lots of things had to be sorted still when I first arrived. But after the first couple of weeks it was a lot better and the work seemed to be a lot more organised. They seemed to be aware of everything the university expected of me and so it flowed more smoothly.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
They were very good on training me in lots of different areas. There was no hesitation in getting me trained for things even though I was only there for a year. If there was also a skill I wanted to be developed then they were fine with making sure that I was able to do that.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
They have a good graduate scheme and schemes beyond that which make it quite appealing to re-join again such as phDs etc. However, for me I decided this wasn’t the work area that I wanted to be in in the future and so I wouldn’t want to work there in the future.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There weren’t very many other placement students or students. With the students that were there there was a fairly good social scene and we did a few things. With other members of staff there were some sports clubs that lots of people went to but not very many things outside of work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It was quite a cheap place with lots of places for shopping and getting food etc for living costs. The nightlife was also pretty cheap as well although there wasn’t that much of a nightlife. For more daytime socialising such as gyms etc there were loads and all at good cheap prices.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I didn’t get to see much of the nightlife. Where I actually lived there was an okay nightlife. There was lots of pubs and bars. Not really any clubs to go out to afterwards though. If you travelled to the surrounding areas however then the nightlife was better. However then transport back from these areas was difficult late at night.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I found quite a lot to do outside of work around where I lived and at reasonable prices. It did take a bit of researching online to find out what I could do and where I could travel to easily but there was enough opportunities to do activities outside of work.