1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall my placement year has proven to be an invaluable opportunity during which I've had the chance to work with a breadth of fantastic people whilst developing my skillset considerably. My year has not strictly adhered to the job description as I have focused little on data analysis projects, instead broadening my transferable skills elsewhere. Whilst I have thoroughly enjoyed my year with Gist, I would have appreciated the opportunity to spend more time developing my Excel skills.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
From the beginning of my placement I have been made to feel like a truly valued member of the Consulting team. This holds true not only within my department but throughout Gist as a whole. The culture of Gist is so friendly and positive, and I have enjoyed being a part of the "Gist family" for the past 12 months.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The support structure provided to you as a placement student is excellent. Before I had even started my placement I was contacted by my line manager, mentor, buddy and the current placement student. This made me feel immediately welcome and assured me that I was surrounded by people who were willing to support me throughout my year. I can confidently say that during my time with Gist I have not once felt as though I am unable to approach anyone to seek guidance.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The year, perhaps unsurprisingly, has contained various peaks and troughs, so I'd be lying if I said there were never days where I had little to do. However, as the year has progressed and I have developed, I have found that my days have become better occupied. Notably, during the peak period, life as a consultant can be quite quiet. For this reason I volunteered to support at a Primary site during December, and would recommend that future placement students consider doing the same if they find themselves in a similar position.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Lots. This is one thing that I most definitely cannot fault. Within my first 2 weeks with Gist I was given project management responsibility for a project that involved supporting the start-up of a major supply chain opportunity in North America. Also, from January until my placement concluded, I was given the responsibility of project managing a project for one of Gist's largest customers. For this I have had to manage team members from Gist as well as customer employees so communication has been crucial. This has been a fantastic learning experience for me.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The transferable skills I have gained during my placement will undoubtedly prove hugely beneficial in whichever career I decide to pursue. Working regularly on individual projects as well as in team based situations has allowed me to broaden my skillset considerably. Alongside the project management experience I have gained, I have had the opportunity to organise two business solutions networking events in London, enhancing my organisational, communication and time management skills further.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere within the office is quiet, but relaxed. It is an enjoyable environment to work within.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Gist has been running 12 month placements for a number of years and I think this is evident, as placements are well structured and the support network that exists for industrial placements is very strong. Moreover, a dedicated HR team, specifically for industrial placement students, exists who have organised beneficial training and networking events across the year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Various graduate and industrial placement student events are organised throughout the year which provide you with an insight and training into different skills such as leadership and effective communication. These are incredibly beneficial in aiding your development during your 12 months. Importantly these events are structured in an upbeat and engaging manner, with sessions being led by internal members of Gist as well as external companies. They are also a good opportunity to engage with your fellow graduate and IP intake.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects at Gist are fantastic, and career progression among graduates is visibly rapid, providing that you demonstrate the correct drive and capability. However, there is no graduate scheme within the consulting department and therefore you are limited to joining either the operational or IT graduate scheme, which is not necessarily to everyone's preference.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I decided to live at home during my year with Gist and as I live a reasonable distance from Head Office I was unable to get involved in any social activities outside of work. However, the organised graduate and industrial placement training events proved to be fantastic social networking opportunities. I am also aware that there is a group of people who participate in weekly football matches on Wednesday evenings.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?