1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Placement was well organized and very enjoyable. The work was interesting and there was always something for me to do. I wasn't expected to know anything at the beginning and the work ramped up in both difficulty and quantity to suit my knowledge and ability. I would definitely recommend the scheme to anyone considering it if only for access to the staff shop.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Colleagues seemed to genuinely value my input, no one looked down on me due to status as an intern. I was given responsibilities and my manager was never checking over my shoulder to ensure I had done them. Help was always available if I needed it but I was trusted to get my work done on time and in good order and that trust was appreciated.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My supervisor was very helpful, giving me support and guiding me through the internship whenever I asked. I was given a lot of autonomy and freedom but it was made clear that if I needed help or was stuck that it was always available. My manger took a lot of time to explain concepts to me relating to my work to ensure I had a solid understanding of what I was doing at all times which was very helpful.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My work was all project based so I was as busy as I wanted to be so long as I handed in my projects on time. I always felt like I had something to do and if I ran out of work my manager was happy to give me a new project to look at or to help him with one. I never felt overwhelmed with work and managed to strike a good balance between very busy and bored.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility during my placement. My manager gave me work to do and would not look over my shoulder while I did it, trusting that it would get done. My work was very project based, one of my projects was quite a lot of responsibility however the others were much less so. Having more interesting side projects would have been nice.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I was given a lot of help and training to use Microsoft excel which will be incredibly useful later in life. Lots of online HR training courses as well however they are of dubious value. the skills developed from working within a professional and fast paced environment will be extremely useful in the future. I would feel a lot more comfortable joining a new company now.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Atmosphere within the office was very friendly. Everyone was happy to help if I had questions, work related or not. Was not working in the London office and as such the office was a little more laid back. There was 'summer hours' meaning we left at 3 on Fridays and casual Fridays as well which made work a lot more bearable towards the end of the week. Work was obviously the priority but the people were very friendly
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Placement was well organized - I always had work to do and was very rarely bored. I had to travel to London occasionally for meetings and that was always easy with things being booked quickly and I was never left out of pocket. My progress was regularly reviewed which was good as it allowed me to discover weak points and improve on them.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was given access to an e-learning website to improve my excel skills which was useful. Company also put on regular 'lunch&learn' talks where the intern cohort was given talks from other people within the organization which were helpful in explaining the culture and giving tips and advice for being efficient with your work. These were good however often the phone conferencing service would fail
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects were very appealing. From what I understand the company invests heavily in their graduate scheme and everyone who I have talked to says it is well worth doing. The process to get on is difficult even if you have the internship however that is to be expected from such a top company. The company allows a lot of flexibility with its workforce allowing people to shift careers if they become burnt out in a field.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I was not working in the London office so the social scene was much more limited. There was only one other intern in my office who was very friendly, we could not socialize outside of the office however due to the distance between our accommodations. I also had a very long commute which made out of work socializing difficult. Maybe the one area that was poor for the internship however it never bothered me too much.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
cost of living in Manchester was not too high especially when compared with London. Manchester was an exciting place to live however I often found I was much too tired from work to go out and socialize mid week. The area the office is in is terrible for socializing as it is within an industrial park with no real pubs/bars nearby. to be expected from a distribution center tho.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
no nightlife in area of work as the office is built into the distribution center in an industrial park. Manchester itself ahs fantastic nightlife though so that made up for it
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not really as I was not working in the London office. I was too tired after work everyday to want to do many activities so it wasn't much of an issue for me