1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was really enjoyable and there was lots of opportunities to do all sorts of different projects and work with different programming languages. The department was welcoming and helped me to get on with complex work that I needed to learn new skills to be able to complete. The atmosphere for all the new starts is extremely helpful and makes it feel as if you're a proper part of the company.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Obviously as a summer intern you don't have as much control over projects and can't get as involved as graduates who are working there for longer than you. However, everyone makes you feel like a valued member of the team and that what you are working on is a real project that will be used in the future.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I have been given a lot of guidance working on my projects, however, I got a lot of support from the graduate in my office and I found this very helpful as he knew what situation I was in and made sure to involve me in as much as he could, whether that be work activities or extra out-of-work activities.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There was always work for me to do but the pressure was not extreme to get things completed, which I found really helpful as I needed to learn new programming languages before I could start which obviously pushed my deadlines further away. However, my manager did not have a problem with this and was happy to wait for me to learn the languages.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was tasked with creating things that were going on important systems that will actually be used in the future. Although it is easily replaceable if it needed to be, but it is nice that we have the opportunity to contribute to big projects and have our opinions counted in the making of a project.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Undoubtedly, the skills I have gained here will definitely help me in the future. I have learnt not only new languages, but also how to work on big software projects and working as part of a team where every member feels as valued as the last. It has been eye opening and has really pushed me to continue with a career in this industry.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was good as there was always someone to talk to if you needed to. However, you do not always get placed with other interns or graduates so you need to be prepared to work with people older than you who demand a lot more respect which is also a good lesson to learn. But generally, they are quite nice.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was well organised as before the internship started they assigned you a buddy who you could ask as many questions as you wanted to. My buddy was really good and gave me lots of advice. However, when you start they will not have all the systems you need to do your training etc. but they understand and give you as much time as needed.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I got all the basic training like all the other interns. However, as I was a programmer I did not need as much training in safety and things like that as the hardware interns did. But they give you all the help you need and if you need some training that they have not given you, it is always best to ask as they will more than likely help you out.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
If you get a good review from your summer placement you are more than likely going to get a place on the graduate development scheme and that is really good. They want you to do well as they are investing in you so it is important that, even if you find it hard, you try as hard as you can as, even if your don't get the work completed, they will see how hard you are trying.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, they all get along quite well and the company has invested money into doing events for the new starters, like a barbecue which was really good and I would urge you all to go to. They also put on events so that you can have more of a friendly atmosphere amongst the people you work with, like a quiz for charity which was great.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It is expensive to live here as it is so close to London and if you are not from here you need to be prepared to spend some money just to live. Housing can be pretty expensive if you try and get it in a good location. But I would say a nicer place to live is more important than saving a few pounds. Yes it is expensive, but the experience is invaluable.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are places to go out and have a good time. But it is not like a university town, you will not be surrounded by people your own ages all of the time and they get a little rowdy down here. However, if you go out with the other interns or people you know, it is generally quite a good night out. I would recommend having at least one night out during the internship.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are lots of different things to get involved in outside of work, for example, they have a badminton club, a football club, hockey club etc. There will nearly always be something for everyone. Like I said before, they put on events like the charity quiz which is really fun and they are interested in you making friends so that you are happy at work which is lovely.