1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall it has been a really great year. GE put together schemes for interns such as intern projects, days out, mini-projects and talks/workshops, affinity groups etc. so you are not just doing your routine job all day everyday. The work is challenging at times so you finish the year feeling like you have developed and can take something away with you.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Interns are treated just like full time permanent employees, the fact we were interns was never really brought up. People definitely built strong work relationships here, especially with the teams or people who sit around you. When interns leave here they tend to get a little ceremony around their desks organised by their managers to say goodbye.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was probably one of the lucky ones who had a manager who provided all the support I needed, I know some other interns felt that they didn't receive enough help. I had regular 1-2-1's with my manager and weekly reviews where we discussed my performance and share ideas of how I could improve things, during my induction I had daily catch-ups. I always felt like I could go and speak to my manager about anything that was concerning me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
With my job it really varied, some weeks or days I would be quiet and had to find things to do, other times I was really busy. Month end is always the busiest time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Again, my job led to quite a lot of responsibility but it really depends on what you were doing. I was responsible for a project bring a new product in to the market which was forecast to generate $10m but others were restricted in what decisions they could make for compliance reasons. I think everyone got the opportunity to have some responsibility though, i.e. during the intern projects.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Going from the theory of things and what the books tell you and then into the real world of actual business issues is a big learning. Now I have real life examples of conflict and resolution to use in my studies, and things university teaches you start to make more sense. I also feel that I am more prepared for the workload of my final year of university, having worked full time for one year and had just as strict deadlines but with even more work.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
People are very professional and knowledgeable in their area, tasks always got done and people worked hard, but we were never too far away from a quick game of family fortunes at our desks. We often had charity dress down days, bake-off competitions and people do like to get involved and have a laugh. There are a lot of friendships around the office.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
We started off with an introduction day before everyone's start date which gave us the opportunity to meet our teams and each other and talk through what the year would involve. Also to ask questions that have arisen since the interviews - some people booked their holidays during the welcome days! Everything was well communicated both before we started and after so it was all very clear what was going to happen throughout the year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
GE book sessions with LHH to do many skill building sessions such as developing networking skills, CV building and LinkedIn workshops plus many others which are open to all employees. There are hundreds of online courses anybody can do at anytime which are usually free which cover multiple areas and skills. If you want to do a training course off-site (either in another area around the UK or sometime abroad) which is relevant to your job, GE will pay for you to go. If you just want to develop in a particular area, i.e. I wanted to spend time with other teams to learn more about what they do, I just told my manager during a review and they let me just go and do that and take time out of my day job. So essentially, GE wants you to develop and will provide you with opportunities to do so.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
We were told all about the graduate programmes with GE by the people currently doing them and they do seem very appealing - lots of benefits such as travel, high pay etc. Though they do seem really great, personally I will be looking at other opportunities first and have GE as a possibility. Nothing against the company, it's a fantastic one to work for, I just want to try out other industries and companies.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The interns do tend to form close friendships and they did go out a lot together after work and on weekends. It's something I chose not to get too involved with due to other responsibilities. But we had lunch together everyday if we didn't have meetings going on.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Our office is in Bristol, I have always lived here so difficult for me to compare against anywhere else...not as expensive as London though - obviously.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
You can get to Bristol city centre in about 30 minutes from the office, by car or bus, where there are hundreds of bars and restaurants etc. There are a couple of pubs 5 minutes from the office too.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
If you join an affinity group such as Health Ahead, they often do activities outside of work such as cycling, running, tough mudder etc. There are also volunteering opportunities which anyone can get involved with, good talking point for your CV/interviews in the future too.