This placement has been extremely fulfilling and surpassed all of my expectations. Every day brought something new to work on which was both fun and interesting. The office is very relaxed and everyone within your team takes time to get to know you properly and vice versa. In addition there is a strong fun/team building culture within J&J which both allows you to engage with your team a bit more but also see then in a more social situation.
At J&J student placements are extremely valued and you aren't actually considered a student - you're an employee! There are numerous situations where management level employees have come to me for advice or help on how to do something! Because of this it also means you're never scared to ask for help from them either, which makes work less stressful. There is a lot of interaction between both teams and departments, it's not odd for an employee you've never met to strike up conversation and ask about what you're currently working on orwhat your background at university is. All of these points have led me to feel very settled and happy working at J&J. I have had numerous opportunities to attend both internal and external congresses and meetings where I would engage with clinicians, other industry members and work colleagues. I feel valued as an employee that I am trusted to attend congresses alone and socialise with clincians who are also our extremely valued customers.
There was no point in my placement that I ever felt unsupported or out of my depth. I always felt that I was able to ask questions or admit if I wasn't quite sure about something. At J&J you are encouraged to ask questions and by doing this you minimise mistakes and also feel more confident in your ability. My managers took the time to talk me through a project and then review it will me after completion. Similarly when I had to deliver a presentation to very high management level employees my own manager took the time out of his working day to let me practice in front of him.
In addition to all of the above my managers gave me the opportunity to talk about my career prospects with them. This was extremely beneficial as it gave me guidance on other areas of the healthcare industry I could access and also what I wanted to do after my degree i.e. Masters, gaduate scheme job or university entry level job. Talking to my managers about their career path also helped to inform me of wider opportunities and career pathways.
In my first few months my work was irregular, some weeks would be extremely busy and others very quiet. However, this did provide me with the opportunity to engage with other departments and gain a deep understanding of the business , purely because I had the available time for this. Further on into my placement I took on some additional work from another department that is very closely linked to my own. Taking on this work meant I am always busy and there is always something to do. I believe this has been beneficial in the latter of my placement however if it had been this busy at the very beginning I would have missed out on some fun opportunities and vital business education. In addition, the extra work has provided an extra level of responsibility and the work is out of regular placement student scope. This type of responsibility and trust has made me feel very proud of my work and what I have achieved this year.
As described already, I feel I was given a lot of responsibility however, I never felt out of depth and unsupported. There is always someone to report to and ask advice from.
I believe my work placement has developed my time management skills and approach to work significantly. Such skills are directly applicable to my degree. In terms of social skills such as presenting, engaging with clinicians and conducting myself professionally, I think these will definitely b of use when I have any job interviews or in general office jobs. The most useful thing that I have gained from my placement is confidence. This is from working in a business environment and understanding the dynamics of a busy office.
The atmosphere is extremely friendly and relaxed. You're able to engage with your emplyees on a social level and learn a lot from them. The open plan layout of the office I worked in was particularly nice and aided more constructive work.
The placement was extremely well organised overall. I reviewed my progress at numerous points with my manager and from this felt more cpnfident in my own ability.
My only concern was the initial recruitment process. It took around 4 months from me submitting an application to actually hear from J&J. At this point I had already asumed I had not got to interview stage. The actual interview process was very efficient and relaxed which made up for the previous lack of communication. Carrying on from this the J&J university recruitment team held a feedback sessions which allowed all placement and graduate student to air any issues or concerns they had with the year/recruitment process and they took all of this feedback on board.
I feel there was a lot of time and finance invested in providing an extremely educational and fun year. I attended numerous conferences, internal meetings and training sessions all at the expense of the company. Not only has it shown me how valued I am as an employee it has also given the opportunity to diversify my skillset in areas in other areas that I may not have been able to if I was purely office based. The training and external visits also meant that I understood a lot more about why we were doing things within the business and the effect the business has within the industry. This understanding meant my work could be carried out with a more educated view of the industry.
I have been looking at applying to both the graduate scheme and university enrty level jobs within the company. I believe the overall skillset I have gained from my work placement will give me an advantage when applying to jobs both within J&J and for other companies. The graduate schemes are very appealing and offer rotations/management developments in different departments. However, currently there are not graduate schemes in all of the departments I would be interested in working in. I will definitely be applying to suitable jobs within J&J when I graduate.
The placement students were very friendly with one another however there were not many 'events' organised. I think this was just circumstantial and due to the close working nature of certain placements some students were in smaller tight knit groups.
The social scene in my department was great. There were many nights out and a big dinner held over Christmas. In addition there was a lot of effort made for birthdays, employees who were leaving the company and general socialising.
I was based in Leeds. The cost of living is quite good and house rent varies between £65pw and £100pw, so it would completely depend on your own preferences. In terms of socialising, the cost is pretty much standard for a more northern city.
Nightlife in Leeds is brilliant, There is a social scene for everyone so you won't miss out. Thre are many bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, food festivals, alcohol tasting festivals etc. By looking at the website 'Leeds List' you can keep up to date with what is happening each weekend and what events are being hosted.
There were many chairty events to sign up to and with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the company would allocate a certain amount of days off to carry out charity work fully paid. There was a large Christmas party held in a hotel in Leeds for employees and also a summer BBQ held during working hours.