Chairing and setting up meetings, managing a project plan, ensure tasks are completed on time, communicating progress to senior management.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed the placement throughout, there was always a good atmosphere in the office and the regular events like dress down day on Fridays or the big events like the christmas meal were very fun and allowed me to really get to know my colleagues. I feel that I have made some really good friends and I look forward to working with them again in the future.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt valued by my colleagues from the offset, even though at the beginning was not as intensive the work I was doing still felt important. After I had completed my initial training I was then given the responsibility of managing a project and this really did show me that I was valued by my colleagues, as I progressed I found that people would come to me with questions and I could usually provide the answers which again added to me feeling valued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
All of my colleagues were friendly and were happy to help me when I needed guidance and I always felt very welcome and comfortable. This was especially true with my manager who guided me right from the start on how best to project manage, and after a few months of working with him we were a team.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I personally like to be kept quite busy and so for me I would say there was a very good balance throughout the internship, at the beginning I would say that there was not as much to do as I would have liked, but this was due to the fact that I needed to have some experience with smaller projects before I could attempt to PM on a larger more intensive one. On the whole the workload was about right for me.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
For me this was where the placement showed its full value, within the first few weeks I was given tasks around the internal social media space, looking to increase its usage. Then after a few months I started to be given many responsibilities ranging from chairing meetings and designing/implementing project plans. At the halfway point of the year I was then able to get involved with delivering monthly updates to senior management on how my multiple projects were going. To sum up I was given extensive responsibility, far more than I ever thought an Intern would be able to do within such a large organisation.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The main skills that I have developed during the placement are that of time management and planning, my role as a project manager was to plan tasks around the amount of time my team would need to complete said tasks, make sure they are being completed on time and if not, I would have to decide on the priority of the task. By doing this role for a year I feel I have been able to really develop my time management and will be able to get my assignments completed in good time.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office was good, there was always someone to talk to at lunch time and we would usually come together on Fridays and order noodles - "Noodle Fridays". People were happy to talk and you could have a laugh which was really good for being happy in the workplace. I never really encountered anyone who was unpleasant to me and generally people were very approachable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Initially there was not much for me to do on the placement and so I have given a 7/10 for this category. However after the first few weeks I was given a really important project to work on and from then on everything went seamlessly, I was able to have regular catch up calls with my line manager and he would offer advice and answer any queries I had about my role or what to do next with regards to the project or my career.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Early on in the internship I (and all the other interns) were sent on a 3 day course in effective communication, this is a very important skill as a project manager as you have to be able to communicate both your team and senior management who want to know how the project is going along. My Manager also spent a lot of his time working in tandem with me to show me how best to manage a project and this for me was the most helpful training I could have.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
After really enjoying the job, the people and the company I worked in I feel that future employment with this organisation is a very good prospect. There is a clear structure to going form intern to grad to full time project manager and I am planning to return after my final year of university. There is also a wide range of jobs within the organisation in many countries and so there really is something for everyone.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I did a long commute to get to work (2 hrs each way) and so I did not attend as many of the events as were available. In crewe there was only 2 interns and he too had to do a long commute and so with other students the social scene was limited. With colleagues however I went out for drinks and a meal and some occasions and this was really good to see people in a non work environment.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
About average cost.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Crewe has many pubs and bars - pretty standard nightlife for a large town in the UK. I enjoyed going out for a meal and a drink for events.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There wasn't too many out of work activities that I got Involved with as I had a long way to travel and so anything late would require a hotel. The events I did go to however were really fun and it was really great to talk and socialise with the people I was working with in a less formal setting.