1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
This has been a really enjoyable experience and an insight into how the company operates. It has been very challenging as you are given responsibility straight away and there is a limited time for training in an 2 month internship so you really do have to learn on the job. Overtime obviously this became a lot easier.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My Colleagues seemed very grateful that I was here to help them! I was working on an optimization scheme which would help them in the long run with their processing. But I also helped with other tasks in the office which helped ease the pressure on the other member of staff. They were also always happy to help, and always wanting to teach you something new.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Someone was always on hand to answer my questions. My Buddies support was invaluable as she helped with everything, from the simplest Admin questions to more complex theoretical questions. Being able to message people also really helped as it was much less daunting to ask for help as it showed if people were available. My supervisor is and Area Geophysicist who is very busy and has lots of responsibilities, but he still manages to find time every day to help me with my complex, project specific questions.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
At the beginning of the internship, things obviously started up a little slow. There was lots of paperwork and admin to do, alongside some basic technical training. As things started getting started I got busier, especially as I became more independent and didn't have to ask for help as often. At no point was I too busy to take a break, and it was a constant progression so there were few slow periods.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Although I had a separate independent project, I believe I was given a lot of responsibility. I was testing new methods of processing data, and my findings would be used to update and change the way the Staff work here. This to me was a big responsibility as my project could change the efficiency of work by a large amount.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The lessons I have learned from this are going to be very useful in the future! Not only have I enhanced my Soft skills but I have also leaned a lot of technical skills which will be useful in my chose career. The company aims to develop you as a well rounded person, with a wide range of skills and I believe they were very successful at teaching me their values and enhancing my skills
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was quite quiet. This was mainly because a lot of people were on holiday and many people had been sent out into the field. It was always very comfortable and friendly and people will always say hello if they walk past. There is a good team atmosphere and cake if often brought in for special occasions. Unfortunately in such a big office the lack of people around can sometimes be noticed slightly.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The set up for the internship was relatively slow, all the admin and introductory training was spread throughout the first 2 weeks, but during that time there wasn't much else we could do due to a lack of access to data and skills to actually help with any of the jobs. After this time it started to pick up. The staff did mention they had little warning of us coming, so it took them a reasonable amount of time to get suitable projects together. This led to some slow periods at the beginning.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company spent a reasonable amount of time training them on the software and encouraged us to always ask if there was something we couldn't do. The Staff kept an eye on how you were doing at all times and made sure you felt like you were making good progress. There were consistently other activities to encourage you to learn more and always ask questions and develop yourself. In the limited time frame I don't think there was much else they could have done.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects are very appealing and we have been provided with lots of information about the graduate program and possible paths we can follow in the company. This is one of the few companies in the world that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and emphasise the range of different roles an employee could follow within the company. I would really love to pursue my career with the company.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The Interns had a great community and we really supported each other. The Summer social was a great time to get to know people from around the office and we all had a really enjoyable time! The recent graduates were particularly welcoming and would encourage us to socialise with them and they organized events for us.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Our Accommodation was included in the Internship so it worked out very cheap. We were able to reclaim our transport and there were plenty of large supermarkets around so the cost of living was very low. In terms of socialising things were reasonably priced and with the money we were saving we could try more things out.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There wasn't really much of a 'night life' so to speak in Gatwick, but it was close to London so if we had wanted to we could have gone out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were sports clubs at lunch and seminar to attend if you wanted to. There was also plenty of time in the evenings to participate in external activities.