1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The other staff, the activities and the support at The Challenge made it an incredibly enjoyable experience.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt like the support provided by the structure of a large organisation was top notch, and the emphasis on values filtered through to the entire staff team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The management team in place in my region were excellent. They held us to account firmly but fairly and always the experience of the young people at the heart of what they did.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The placement is very hard work- but because of this is immensely rewarding. I wouldn't go into this thinking it'll be a doddle, but the more you put in the more you get out.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As a worked for longer with The Challenge, I was given more responsibility- this worked well for me and for the structure of the programme.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I learnt at NCS The Challenge have been transferable across many different sectors.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The Challenge is consistently described as a fun place to work- the atmosphere is busy but there is always something going on. Whether it's charity fundraising, communal lunches or sharing feedback- The Challenge actively encourages a value focused, fair and fun atmosphere whilst everyone still works hard. Great atmosphere in the office.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The Staffing team are the first team you will meet and you will always have a dedicated person to speak to. They are friendly, helpful and want to learn more about you as a person not just for your labour! You do have to wait for your dates that you will work, but as long as your are honest they will do their best to find as much work as is possible. The Training team and the Programmes team are just great extensions of that organisation!
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had two days worth of solid training (with lunch provided) which covered everything from safeguarding through to how to work with challenging behaviour. When I worked a second year with them, the training was reduced but adapted to make sure I wasn't covering the same sort of stuff. It was all about progression and development.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
At the end of the summer programme there are loads of work opportunities that I got emailed about- I got a permanent full time job with the organisation after working with them in the summer. The wage is good for the 3rd sector and the benefits for working for the organisation are great. Furthermore, I know that the work I'm doing does good in the community.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Although not formally organised, at the end of the placement we went out for drinks and have added each other on social media. People who work two or more programmes definitely become part of The Challenge bubble and are part of a wider society of people where we share best practice and also a lot of laughs.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I worked in the North West area and it was so cheap. During the residential parts of the programmes, all staff members' food and accommodation is paid for which is a massive contribution to what is a good wage already. Otherwise, the North West is one of the cheapest places to live and also a really fun place to be.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There wasn't much chance to go out of a nighttime except on my days off. However, I happen to know that the nightlife in the local area is incredible- from independent bars to large clubs, to music and cafes and everything in between. You will never be short of something to do!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
With so many people working on each programmes, everyone has their own life as well and are usually friendly enough to invite you in to join them on other activities. This could be theatre, music, social clubs, sports based stuff- all of it! There are also emails from the central team for events and tournaments that also link to other charities in the local area.