1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I highly enjoyed my placement, the work place was very amicable, enough training was provided for the tasks which were to be completed, and my colleagues were very friendly. I feel like I learnt a lot, and will still learn a lot more in the field within which I was working, and would say that the experience has been very valuable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued. Not only did I make great friends with some of them, but I also felt that the work I was doing was valuable, and that my analysis was being used, and that I was making a genuine difference within my team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was assigned a buddy which was a great help; someone who was an expert within my field and area of work, someone I could turn to with any queries regarding my project. My manager was also very approachable. Training was also provided plentifully for preparation of my project work.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was kept busy every day, and always had enough work to do daily. If there was less work to do, there was always training areas to catch up on or do further reading or research within my project, so if I wasn't directly working on something, I was always at least learning something new.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given an acceptable level of responsibility considering I was a placement student. As mentioned above, the work which I completed reflected upon the team, and left an impact and was of genuine help to the team. If I didn't complete the work, the team would not have had the analysis or results necessary, hence I felt there was responsibility on my shoulders.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
What I was doing will help me greatly within the rest of my degree. The type of analysis conducted by myself on my placement is a very similar type of analysis and research that I will conduct on my specialized course back at university. The training especially taught me the ins and outs of the processes and ways to get results which I would later need.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere here in the office is very positive. Everyone is friendly, and very approachable. On multiple occasions cake is brought in, and this brings people closer together, so within the office there is almost a sense of community. I have made friends in the meantime too, so I feel like I can socialize and talk to people with ease.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I think it was set up quite well to be honest, when I got there, there was a plan in place for the work I would be doing, and the training that was to be done, so upon finishing the training there was work given to me which wasn't just given in order to fill time, but useful work had been saved and provided to me. As time progressed and I worked through the work provided, understandably there wasn't immediately upon completion another project to be working on, so occasionally there was a scupper for the next project.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I felt the training was adequate enough for me. Upon arrival there was online health and safety and company related training, which took a week to complete, followed by the various different trainings that I needed to do for the software that I would be working with. This comprised of learning modules followed by workshops on those modules, which covered all aspects of the software. This then took a further 4-5 weeks to complete so by the time I started actual work I felt I was well enough equipped to be able to do so properly.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Currently with the effects of the drop in oil price, prospects are not as high as they used to be. However with oil making a decently strong comeback, I expect in the not too distant future it should start to pick up again, as should the prospects of future employment. As the company is so big, there are opportunities to transfer to different centers, as well as working on different projects and also working my way up the employment ladder.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes I felt like the social side was very positive. As mentioned previously there was a sense of community within the office, and I felt I made some good friends within the workplace. At lunch I had a group of friends that I would eat and socialize with, and we would sometimes go into town for lunch together. There were always people to have a cup of tea with, and some people became friends outside of work too.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Living in Cheltenham was by no means unaffordable. The flat was shared by all 3 interns which was good as all bills were shared and costs were split between us all, and the same occurred with driving, so fuel etc was split between us. Cheltenham is a relatively posh town, and other things like drinks in the quaint little pubs could be expensive, but overall ok.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I thought the nightlife was ok considering the size of Cheltenham itself, there were a few clubs, and a lot of pubs, but its not always the place, it is the people too, and the colleagues who I had gotten to know well at work and became friends outside of work often joined together and we would go for drinks in the evenings, which was very sociable and was very welcoming in the area.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The company has an employees club in which for a small monthly fee, activities are put on for half the price that they would normally be outside of work, and the events were very popular, they would fill up remarkably quickly, so clearly it was a very positive thing. As with socializing outside of work though, I had good colleague friends with whom I could go and do activities such as bowling or go-karting, but that was very much up to us. Where the company itself was based in Stonehouse there was very little to do in terms of activities, and Cheltenham didn't have the finest pick but it was acceptable.