I had a great time working throughout my internship, I felt challenged and worked with a great team throughout my time at the company. There was quite a bit of variety in the work I did and I had the chance to work with a number of teams on a variety of projects so things didn't get boring or too repetitive.
My colleagues were very supportive of me, whenever I had a problem they would always help me with a solution or point me in the direction of someone that could. The team I worked in was very close knit and there was a good ratio of work to socialising. I was treated like another employee as opposed to an intern which I thought was great, and we all got on incredibly well.
I had relatively good support from my manager, he helped me with a lot of work I did and pointed out mistakes I made which I then tired to learn from and looked to make my work better. There were guidance meetings and I got feedback as to my performance with what I was doing well and where I could improve which was useful. These could have been a little more frequent but due to circumstances they were understandably spaced out.
It varied depending on the period, though a lot of the time I was very busy in a good way. It took me a while but I learnt how to manage the workflow so I always had something to do, so during busy periods I had loads to do and could get it done and slower periods I could stretch my work out a bit more to cover spare time.
I had a lot of responsibility, providing work that was used on a national scale and as an overview for the whole of the UK. The responsibility was quite instant, being thrown in at the deep end which made it quite an intense start to the placement but in a good way. Initially it could have been quite overwhelming and in a way it was, but the support I received was great and made the transition a lot easier than I first thought it might be.
I feel that I have learnt I whole host of skills that I can implement in my final year back at university as well as my future career after I finish studying. I feel more prepared to tackle the upcoming work that will be set and have the ability to work better as an individual than I did before. Working from 9-5 I think will get me in the routine back at Uni to be doing something within those hours when I go back whereas before I was a bit sporadic with my studying times.
The office was a very relaxed place with a very approachable bunch of people to work with. There was a coffee lounge type place in the centre of the office so people could go and sit and chat casually if they wanted a break and the office was based in the heart of some woodland so the general atmosphere of the whole area was rather tranquil. Everyone was there to do business and get things done but it wasn't a dull office to work in. Interactions between all the interns was friendly and the majority of people got on exceptionally well, creating a small community of interns within the office which was nice.
The expectations of the positions is set out pretty clearly and you know what you need to do and the needs of the business. I would say that overall more could have been added towards the end, in the sense that once you adjust to the position and responsibility you get used to that level of work etc so it becomes more routine and a little less motivating. That being said there are plenty of opportunities available to go onto working with, though the viability of taking them on really depends on your workload at the time.
I would say further training opportunities are limited due to the length of time that you are with the company, however there are plenty of opportunities to join talks/presentations and discussions about how to progress your career, develop yourself as an individual, gain information about things you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to do so (like nutrition talks) or get involved in a project that inadvertently helps you gain skills you didn't think you would. The grad scheme offers a lot more opportunities in terms of training and development and this internship is a stepping stone to getting onto one of those schemes.
The graduate schemes are particularly interesting, having talked to my previous intern about them who went on to get on to one of the schemes open. They are a step up from the internships and offer even more opportunities within the company and are really what the focus seems to be on from a development stand point. The internship is a stepping stone to the grad scheme and gives an insight to GE and their culture, whereas the grad scheme takes this to the next level which is very exciting.
The social scene was really good though does depend on where you live, fortunately I was in a intern popular area and we all got on really well however there were a few that lived a bit further away who couldn't always take part in all the social activities. This ranged from visiting each others houses for food/socialising to going out in a nearby town or even doing pub quizzes with all of the interns across all sites. There were also some team dinners where you could go out for dinner with the full time employees which was often covered by the team leader which was nice, though these are less frequent due to the number of people attending.
Living was reasonable but had to live a little further away from where the offices were based, transport wasn't unreasonable but budgeting was necessary to keep on top of everything. Pubs and shops weren't exceptionally expensive but could seem expensive depending where you live at home/go to Uni. Bigger towns nearby weren't too expensive either but again it depends where you go so it's difficult to say. Overall most people could find somewhere that suited their price range.
In the area I worked it was just a few pubs, if you wanted good nightlife you had to go to nearby town or into central London which was great but obviously more expensive. There was a lot of variety of nightlife available, mixture of good bars and clubs a short journey away and if you ventured into the city then you have some of the best selection in the UK so it depends what you want and how much you are prepared to spend!
Huge range of opportunities available, with loads of volunteering work to help out with such as working with schools and children which was great fun. Private events were held for employees and their families like the firework night. Outside of work there were loads of places to go, plenty of gyms about the area, cinemas and shopping centres were dotted about the place too, but again for real variety most people headed into central as that has the best shops/entertainment etc.