1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It has been an extremely enjoyable, I am so glad I've done it. The people around me were a massive factor in that as they made me feel involved and not 'just the intern'. Additionally, the work I've been doing was proper work with a lot of business value attached and so my internship felt like it had meaning and I could see the point in everything I was doing.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
They immediately made me feel part of the team and were happy to spend any amount of time helping me or just talking about the work they are doing. Also, the fact that I was able to contribute to the work they were doing through my project meant that I was able to add business value through not just the work I've been doing but also by contributing to others.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was always willing to provide as much support as I wanted or needed. Although he also really recognised the times when it was best for him to step back and let me work it out myself, despite me trying to ask him questions about it, which in the long-term I really value as they were the times when I developed and became more independent.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I always had enough work to be doing, and it always seemed like the right amount to provide the perfect challenge. For example in the first couple of weeks while I was still settling in the work load was much less than towards the end, but that is a way which makes sense and felt right. There was always the option of extra work to get involved in with other members of my team. I would say the balance was perfect.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
In terms of my main project my manager was willing and encouraged to make as many important decisions about it as possible, even if at first I was more hesitant to do so. Having that responsibility has really helped me to develop and actually become more confident in the decisions I make.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I believe that the skills I've developed have given me a really solid foundation for working life. The whole experience has been a really interesting learning curve and one which I've enjoyed. Particularly, the more personal traits I've developed, such as assertiveness and confidence, are the ones which I believe will help me in everything I do. Additionally, as part of my personal development my manager gave me a lot of one to one help and feedback in terms of presenting, which again was very helpful in ways which I had never considered or had pointed out to me before.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was great. Everyone was very friendly and happy to help. People around me were always happy to have a conversation and have a good laugh as a break from work. Despite only being an intern I didn't find the office environment intimidating due to it being so relaxed and friendly, yet hard working.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The overall internship programme for all interns across Standard Life was set up quite well, with weekly sessions designed to help our personal development. My internship was in Technology, and their organisation of the internship was incredible. They ensured we spent time meeting with people from each team within Technology and learning about how they all work together. I also believe they spent a lot of time making sure they gave us projects they believed would suit us and actually had real business value.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
A lot of emphasis was put on personal development at Standard Life Investments. All interns had weekly sessions to help our personal development on things such as presentation skills and understanding our strengths. Also my placement manager spent a lot more time than he had to helping me improve several skills we identified as having room for improvement.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very appealing! I would love to go back to work for Standard Life Investments. Their graduate scheme sounds very interesting and having met a lot of the current graduates I have heard a lot of really good feedback about it. I believe I got a good flavour during my internship of what working for SLI is like, and to have the opportunity to go back is a challenge I would relish.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Most of the interns were living in the same accommodation, making it really easy to meet up and go out after work. Also small things like meeting up at lunch with the other interns was a good way to split up the day. Other colleagues at SLI also made a lot of effort to include me in activities after work as well, like going out for drinks or a meal, which was really nice.
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?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?