1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have absolutely loved it. I would do it again in a heart beat because I have learnt so much. I have had experiences I never thought I would have on a placement year which has meant I can put some of the theory into real-life practice. I enjoyed going to work and did not feel apprehensive once.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
100%. Everyone in the company helped you settle in and included you as part of the team straight away. They would come to me for help, despite being the 'new' girl in the team. I had responsibilities that I never expected to have, these included being responsible for tasks that no-one else in the department could have. If they talked about something had happened before I started with the company, they would give me the background story to ensure I didn't feel left out.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was really approachable. If I asked for help, or had a query about something I didn't understand, they would take time to explain it to me and ensured I understood. This helped as well because if someone had a query on it then I would be able to answer it there and then rather than getting back to them. She always made time to have a weekly/bi-weekly 1:1 (depending how busy we both were). Although these got less frequent, it didn't matter because she always had time for me if I needed help with something. I hope all my managers are like her!
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some days were busier than others but I was never ever sat there twiddling my thumbs. It depends what the department had to do. On the quieter days I had projects that I needed to work on, which once I left would benefit the team. If there was busier days, I didn't touch my projects at all. In recruitment months, I sometimes did very little on my projects but there were there ready to be picked back up on. My manager also ensured I was okay and had something to do so I wasn't bored.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
More than expected for my placement year, although i'm not complaining! It wasn't too much that you cannot handle it and didn't give myself too much work to do. I wanted to try and relieve some of the pressure from my other colleagues by offering to help or if they gave me some of their work to do it meant that I had to ensure it was done correctly and I could be trusted to do it properly. Sometimes my colleagues would come to me for answers as I had worked on a particular task or that monthly/daily task was my job to ensure it was completed correctly.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have been able to relate the theory into practice. It has allowed me the opportunity to see how a company deals with different situations, rather just hearing about it in a lecture. My placement year has also helped me deicde on my career path. Up until my placement year I wasn't sure which area I wanted to go into. It has also allowed me to have exposure to a different industry, something different to what I have worked in previously. They also offered a student development programme where I received training on soft skills such as confidence, time management and meeting etiquette which can be brought back to other jobs and university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It was the right balance. People were a bit quieter when they had work to do, but people would always chat and have a laugh, when the time was right. At busy periods there was a general buzz around the office as they knew once this batch of work was completed then it would be very self-rewarding. There was never any tension and very little "negative-ness" which meant coming to work was much more enjoyable. Everyone was always really friendly and welcoming.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Really well organised. When I arrived I had a 3 day induction with the rest of the students. I then had a 3 week handover period with the student I was replacing. She taught me how to do the different tasks and introduced me to anyone who came into the office that I hadn't already met. When I had my 1:1s with my manager she had my work-plan with my projects ready so she had planned what she wanted me to do and what parts of Human Resources. She made time to ensure she got to know which parts of Human Resources I wanted to get involved in.
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?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
very appealing. I would return to Cummins in a heart-beat and will certainly be looking for future employment with them. I would recommend Cummins as an employer to anyone. They look after the staff and once you work there, there is opportunities to go to different departments and sometimes move and work abroad.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Some students socialised more than others. Everyone was always invited, if they didn't want to go on a night out there was always suggestions to just go for a bite to eat or to go bowling or something. Some students lived further away than others which meant it was harder for them to come to different events but they were always told they could stay at someones house that was closer..
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As expected, it certainly wasn't London prices! The wages were much higher than the living wage which meant life was quite comfortable. Some months were harder than others but it is down to you how you managed your money. None of the activities in the area were extremely pricey and no-where wanted to rip you of.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
You could join the sports and social club which always had events going on and it was up to you whether you attended. Other than that, the opportunities were up to you and either your team or the student group to organise. If you went out on a Friday or Saturday you would always see someone from work you know.