1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Adequate support was given by my mentor and fellow interns; work was challenging yet manageable. The office environment was positive and people at the office were very friendly; it wasn't a dread having to show up at work every weekday. I came into work every day knowing that I had work to do and was motivated to complete the tasks at hand.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt that my work was vital to the company, that I was contributing something meaningful. My mentor made effort to include other key staff in our meetings, including staff from other countries who were concerned with the progress of our project. All in all I felt like I was a valuable team asset.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My mentor was always readily available for advice, and was more than happy to answer questions regarding geophysics that I was not so well-versed in. There also was an experienced software programmer around in the office who was readily approachable should I require advice requiring some of the finer points of coding, which came in handy when dealing with aspects of coding I was less familiar with.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
While I got to work at my own pace, the workload was sufficient to create a time pressure on myself. Often times I find myself juggling multiple tasks at once, which required me to systematically deal with them in parallel. This demanded a fair amount of organisational skills and bookkeeping to keep tabs on the progress of each of the tasks I was working on.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I am the sole developer of my project, and was accountable for everything that fell under it.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
It worked the other way too - knowledge in my studies and skills were transferrable to my job.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere was very much positive. Colleagues were very friendly, and often took the initiative to ask us out for coffee or lunch. The office was open-concept as opposed to each individual being boxed into their cubicle. This was great at facilitating social interaction amongst colleagues. It wasn't uncommon to have chatter going on during the day, which contributed to the relaxed and enjoyable environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
From the start I felt that everything was well organised by the relevant staff in charge. My mentor had the contacts to ensure I received all the equipment I needed to work in a timely fashion. Tasks were clearly outlined and I never felt lost while embarking on my job. It helped that being a big company, existing structures were in place to ensure that everything was smooth sailing.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Enough training was given to ensure I could handle my job scope. There was also mandatory Quality, Health and Safety training as a company wide policy to ensure minimal risk or danger throughout the workplace. However, in terms of further training or enrichment, not much was given - possibly because of my position as a student intern rather than a permanent member of staff, possibly because of the short period of time I have had with the company so far.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
This rating has to take into account the unfortunate reality that the industry is experiencing an unprecedented downturn, and as such is looking a lot less appealing that it otherwise would be. From my observation, the work life balance and company culture are appealing when it comes to deciding whether I should consider future employment here, but it must be balanced by the economic factor as well.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Absolutely. Fellow interns often hung out together during meal times, and it certainly helped that we worked in the same area, and thus got to interact fairly often. There were also avenues to socialise, such as twice weekly football during lunch. Interns were of diverse backgrounds, so we were all able to fit in and mingle nicely. This was definitely one of the aspects of the internship I appreciated a fair bit!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The work location is fairly sequestered, and a distance away from the main city. There is not even a pub within the vicinity of the area. As such, there was barely any night life. Most of my colleagues went straight home after work from what I have observed. Any social activities that would take place at night would certainly not be around the area; we would adjourn to the city instead.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?