1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the work I did on my placement year. Every day was different and the work I did was always challenging and engaging. I was encouraged to be creative and generate new ideas, and I felt that my input on projects was valued. Being involved in different projects right across the business also allowed me to get to know an array of people and teams and always kept things interesting.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I never felt like 'just the placement student'. Going into my placement this was one of my main worries - not being considered a proper employee and just making the teas & coffees. I couldn't have been more wrong! From day one I was given so many responsibilities and immediately made to feel like one of the team. My colleagues made the office such a welcoming and supportive environment that really allowed me to thrive. I've managed to create some fantastic friendships in the office that I know will continue long past my finish date.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
When I started at on placement I found that I had a lot of new software to learn very quickly; I was basically useless to the team until I could use this software! My manager and the rest of the team were all really supportive in helping me learn this software and get to grips with the office environment in general. J&J as a company also seem to be really big on personal development; there were so many resources for me to access and online training that everyone had to complete. This extra guidance really helped me to feel part of the team, and settle down into working life quickly.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The workload on my placement really varied. At certain times of the year there were big events going on that meant everyone was snowed under and working flat out. At other times it got very quiet. I think this is inevitable with many jobs. When we were quiet I never found myself with absolutely nothing to do; there was always a project ticking along to work on during those quieter periods. I personally thrive off being busy and produce my best work under pressure; so for me the super busy periods weren't a negative, but I know others might not agree!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A LOT! And from day one! I was pretty shocked when I was presented with my laptop, company phone and company credit card on day one. It wasn't what I expected at all. Not only was I responsible for my own time management and making sure my projects were delivered on time to a high standard I was also responsible for representing the company. At one point I found myself the only J&J representative at a site visit ahead of an important large national congress; discussing stand space, delivery times and delegate requirements with the events team. Not the level of responsibility I had expected on my placement!
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I don't think words can quite describe how much the skills I have gained from my placement year will assist me in my final year and beyond. It's not just marketing specific skills but 'smaller' ones like self-confidence, meeting & office etiquette, team working and working to tight deadlines. I wouldn't have these skills if it wasn't for my placement year, and I feel I go into my final year at university and beyond in a far stronger place.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Friendly, welcoming & inclusive. From day one I was given a warm welcome by my colleagues and they were always happy to answer my many questions or share a joke. When the office was full there was always a real buzz and we even had an office Fat Friday where someone would bring in a baked creation every week!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very! At our office alone there were nearly 20 students (both placements and grads). Due to this high volume I think J&J are really used to dealing with students and have it all organised and set up in advance. From our handover with the previous students at the start of the year; to networking events with fellow students and managers from across the business; to setting up a Facebook group pre-placement so we could all get to know each other and organise housing - everything was done from experience and made the placement experience slightly less daunting!
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes. At the start of the year a Facebook group was set up to connect all the students who would be based in the Leeds office. A number of these people ended up living together and there was always something happening on a weekend if you fancied it. Nights out, meals out, or even just trips to the cinema or the park; there were things to get involved in. As a number of students based here were from Leeds Uni they had friends nearby who we also became good friends with. Work hard & play hard!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was lucky enough to be able to live at home for my placement year as I'm from the area. I can't comment on rent prices, but socializing wasn't too expensive. There are always certain bars/clubs/restaurants that cost more, but nothing shocking! You could come home from a night out with change from £20, which is always a good thing.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Leeds nightlife is brilliant! A bar or club for everyone's taste in music. We had some excellent nights out!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?