1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Placement at Travelport was a great experience with lots of opportunities to enhance skills and learn about the business. The company has been running their intern scheme for a few years now, so it is well developed. However, the managers are also always willing to improve it and the interns were encouraged to give feedback about their placement.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
During my placement, I did not feel like an intern, I felt just like another employee, as I was treated with respect and everyone was friendly. My colleagues were always helpful and understanding, They offered me to take part in various work projects throughout the year and I felt that I really added value and was an essential part of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was very supportive, we had weekly review meetings to discuss how I was getting on and what other duties I could take on. I was also encouraged to set my goals at the beginning of the placement and myself and my manager reviewed these halfway through and at the end of the placement year. This really helped to evaluate my progress. Furthermore, my manager made sure that I was able to learn about other parts of the business outside my internship department that I was interested in.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Once I got used to my role, there was always something to do and I was never bored. The nature of my role/department meant that priorities could change every day, so some periods got very busy and I had to learn how to manage my time well. Sometimes I also had to come in earlier or stay later, however, so did my manager and members of the team to make sure everything was done on time. Also, people were understanding if I told them I needed more time to finish a task.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was very happy with the amount of responsibility I was given, as I felt that my work was contributing to the successful running of the business. There were tasks and projects that I had to complete on my own, while some involved being a part of a team. I also liked that I was given a lot of freedom in terms of planning my day to day schedule, I was never micromanaged.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I definitely gained a lot from this placement - from learning Excel and business systems to enhancing my communication, organisation, interpersonal, and time management skills. The company also run interesting sessions for interns that helped us learn more about the corporate business world. Now I also have an insight into how my degree relates to real life situations. Moreover, I think the placement experience will really help me when looking for graduate positions.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
At the beginning of my placement, I was pleasantly surprised about how friendly the atmosphere at the Travelport Langley office was. Even though it may have been a bit of a struggle to wake up early each day, it was good to come into the office, as someone would always greet you with a smile.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was easy to settle in at the company, as I received a link to an onboarding portal with the information about the company prior to starting the placement, as well as an induction session was run on the first day that covered important things, such as getting paid. Even if something was unclear, there was always someone to help out. The internship felt well set up throughout the year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
My manager made sure that I could achieve my personal development goals. I wanted to improve my presentation skills, so I was given a project the outcome of which I had to present to my team. The company also has an online learning tool with e-learning courses about wide range of topics - from how to use Microsoft Office to dealing with conflicts at the workplace. There were also useful workshops about CVs, interviewing, and using LinkedIn to apply for jobs.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is currently no graduate scheme in place at Travelport and I believe that it is something the company should look into as they keep expanding the intern scheme. However, if suitable permanent roles come up, previous interns are considered for those. If such opportunity would arise for me, I would consider it.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
My team had regular lunches outside the office to celebrate birthdays and such. The company also has an annual Christmas party, which was a lot of fun. In addition, Travelport has a Social Club and for a symbolic price employees can become members and get great discounts to events, such as different shows in London, Go Karting, boat parties, and comedy nights. As some of the interns had to relocate for placement, we also did lots of things together outside the office.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As Langley is close to London, the prices of rent, transport, food, and socialising are a bit on the higher side. However, it was still possible to socialise and even save up some money with the placement salary, and I was also able to afford a nice en-suite room in a shared house during my placement.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Unfortunately, Langley/Slough is not well known for its nightlife, however, it has good transport links to London, Windsor, and Reading, which then gives plenty of options for pubs and clubs. I also used my weekends to visit University friends, so I did not feel like I was missing out on nightlife during the placement.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As mentioned before, the company has a Social Club offering good options for activities outside work. Furthermore, the interns were given a charity project to run throughout the year, so there were good opportunities to volunteer and take part in fundraising events, which was a good way to further enhance our skills. Travelport employees also get a discount for Langley Leisure Centre.