1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement year at Roche, the work was varied as well as interesting and the people I worked with were all happy to help and answer any questions. The company as a whole had a great work ethic and seemed invested in its employees well-being and career progression, which was really nice to see. Overall I felt like I had lots of opportunities for work and was lucky to work with a team of people that also enjoyed the work they did.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
By the end of my year, I really felt like a valued member of the team I worked in and was given responsibilities I'd never thought I get when I first started. It was nice to see that when I was finishing the team were genuinely concerned about how they would complete upcoming tasks without having me as a resource.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was assigned a development manager for the year who I met with weekly to discuss how I was getting on. At each of these meetings we would go through some clear attainable goals I could aim for which really helped me to get the most out of my year and develop not only technical programming skills but also soft skills.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
How busy I was varied quite a bit depending on if there was a deliverable coming up. Having flexitime really helped as there were days where I didn't have much on and could focus on catching up on any trainings, and also times where I had important deadlines to meet and had to stay late.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As you would expect as the year went on I was given more responsibilities, although I never felt as though I was too overloaded. Towards the end of the year I was independently creating Spotfire displays and was also the lead on a reporting event whilst my team member was away.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Although I have not started at university yet I am confident that the skills I obtained at Roche will definitely help me in my final year at university. My time-management and organisational skills have definitely got better and I am a lot more confident at communicating with a range of people as well as presenting.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There was a really nice atmosphere in the office. Since it was open desk you could be sitting next to different people each week and it was okay to chat and work with the people around you. People also brought in cake/treats from birthdays or trips that were shared across the department (which was much appreciated!).
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement year was set up well, and we were given all the necessary information before we started and then given lots of trainings to inform us about different systems, standard procedures and other departments. If I had any questions I knew the people that I could ask, which was really good as there was quite a lot to take in at the beginning!
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
With regards to training, as placement students we attended pretty much all the trainings that were given out to our department. Alongside that, Roche offers a lot of courses ran by external companies and I was lucky enough to attend a two day presenting course after I outlined it as something I wanted to work on.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Although they don't give out formal job offers at the end of placement, they say that you have a much better chance of getting a job there when you have a placement year there on your CV. At the end of my year my line manger and other team members all said that I'd have a great chance of getting a job there given my contributions to reporting events and other exploratory work.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a total of four students across Biostatistics and Statistical Programming and Analysis and all of us got on really well. It was good to have other placement students around to ask any questions to and made it easier to integrate into the department when you knew someone else in the same boat as you!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Since I lived at home for the year I can't really comment on living costs - however socialising was pretty inexpensive at one of the local pubs.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There isn't really much nightlife at all in Welwyn... however you're a twenty minute train ride into central London.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was a nice social group of people from SPA and Stats who arranged social activities outside of work. These were things like going to the pub after work, or going out in London at the weekend which was really fun.