1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my time at GE - I was working alongside some great people & felt like I learnt a lot during my time there. I was given good exposure & handed responsibilities, although I wouldn't say that my day to day manager was the greatest. GE offered a fantastic opportunity to develop my skills and I'm glad that I was able to work in such a company for a year.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt that the majority of colleagues treated each other with respect, and myself with respect. There were a few who didn't - but you get that anywhere. There was a strong community spirit within the office, and the feeling that you could talk to anyone – this was helped by volunteering events and curry clubs where you really got to get to know others who you may not talk to in the day to day role.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I felt that most of the time I was supported very well. My manger’s were keen for me to learn and experience as much of the culture around GE as possible and most of the time ensured that this happened. Sometimes though, I felt like I was not guided, and went a little off track & this would only be raised when a university review came up…this annoyed me, as I wouldn’t say it was really my fault.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The majority of time I had work to get on with, but I felt that a lot of the time I was either completely snowed under for a few weeks, or that I was sat twiddling my thumbs, wanting work to do, actively seeking it, but not getting it – which was often frustrating.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a very decent amount of responsibility – I was often setting up and chairing meetings with senior executives on board in my first 5 months, which was daunting at first, but I got used to it. When preparation for a conference came about, I was given a large responsibility to compile presentations from a wide range of sources – had this not come together in time it would have fallen on me.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I think I received many skills for life – I have learnt how to deal with those in different time zones and cultures, as well as making good use of a training portal that is for all employees to use. The skills I have picked up in my time at GE will 100% help increase my speed in future tasks and they will help to ensure my output is better. The business learnings I have picked up will be invaluable.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was really good – everyone tended to come together, supporting one another, bringing in cakes and holding leaving parties. Fundraising was well supported. The majority of people would stop for a chat and say hello at most opportunities and new hires were made to feel welcome when they arrived.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was somewhat set up, but at times I felt that they were giving me tasks as they came in, and didn’t have much lined up, but overall I was given a goal at the start and I worked at this throughout, meeting it a few months before the placement finished.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
They invested a lot in me. They allowed me to travel and see sites and different offices first hand to enable me to see products we mentioned every day and new products. I was constantly given training and the chance to develop throughout the course of the placement – they really pushed me.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Rather than offer you a job at the end of the placement, GE like to push you towards their graduate programs, such as the ITLP (Information Technology Leadership Program) or FMP (Financial Management Program). They open these up to current interns in the May or June of the year that you finish the internship, before opening them to everyone a few months later. The program is highly appealing to me – there are 4 rotations over 2 years, with one or two spend abroad paid for by the company.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
In total there was myself and 5 other interns (6 in total). One of the group was not social at all, not coming to anything that was organised. The rest of us got along really well, going on holiday for half a week abroad, organizing night outs and social events and making the most of our time on placement together. We felt that this was very important & without them, my year would not have been anywhere near as enjoyable as it was.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home, meaning that my rent was lower than it would have been. I got the train and commuted for around £30 per week, which isn’t too bad. Around where I did my placement there are a lot of student houses, which would probably be cheaper than looking elsewhere. The cost of living was fairly standard to most places outside of London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Near the office, the nightlife wasn't too good, but a few miles down the road was a large town with a large student community, meaning that an Interns night out tended to be very, very good fun. Here there were many bars, clubs and restaurants. Near the office there were bars, pubs, bowling and a cinema.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were a lot of chances to get involved in activities outside of work. For example, there were touch rugby leagues ongoing, social curry club nights, volunteering events (engineering, grounds keeping, food bank assistance). There were also the changes to become involved with help for heroes, volunteering or fundraising through a range of initiatives.