Main project focused on the Tassimo system. Getting involved in design work related to this and other single serve systems as opposed to working with the coffee product itself.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall very enjoyable and a good company to work for. Large office so lots of people to help you, and a good social atmosphere. Lots of different opportunities and plenty of resources to help with your work/project. As a brand new company teething problems could be expected, for instance the department didn't always have a clear direction and many people struggled with the change.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Generally the closer i worked with someone the more valued i felt, for instance if they had an input to my project or i was helping them with theirs. Certain senior staff were actively interested and wanted to know what interns were working on and have an input, certain others didn't care as much - it depended on the person.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
In my experience my manager and the team around me were fantastic and approachable, offering quality advice and direction as well as nurturing my independence.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This could fluctuate weekly. Sometimes very busy which was much more preferable, other times could be quite bored and looking for something to do (often due to long lead times which prevented me making progress). Generally improved towards the end of the placement with more to do, though some of the work i sourced myself by talking to other colleagues.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Given almost full responsibility and trusted and treated like a FTE, even on larger projects which affected the whole business.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Gained a wealth of tranferable skills i.e. teamwork, project management, analysis etc., and lots useful to my degree (design based skills - CAD, RPT, manufacture, working with suppliers) However certain skills were also only relevant to the company and the niche area of the market (coffee, packaging)
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Overall the office had a good atmosphere, could be affected if lots of people were away/travelling though. Seemed to be a distinct difference between the 2 offices though which was disappointing, and sitting in the 'quieter' office my opinion is biased.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
At the beginning of the placement all relevant inductions and presentations were planned out and done promptly. The mentoring scheme which ran throughout the year was very useful and a good aspect. The end of the placement, which was reset for the new company, was executed very well; with all interns engaging in a final presentation and full review being carried out. Day to day aspects of the placement depended on the quality of the manager.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
This could have been done better. There were no official training courses or events available to students, for example i feel i could have benefitted from a CAD course. Generally it was up to the intern to be proactive, and seek out the relevant people to train them on in house processes. I was also able to develop my knowledge in one area by going to a conference which the company allowed - however it was organised off my own back.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There isn't a specific graduate scheme, though as a new company i feel this could be developed in years to come. However after assessing the interns at the end of the year and reviewing the whole placement, jobs were offered to certain students who they wanted back.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Each year the company takes around 20 placement students, in addition to apprentices and younger colleagues this makes for a great social scene with lots of events usually taking place, all the interns were very sociable and encouraged by previous interns/colleagues. there are also good sports activities run after work with colleagues; football, touch rugby, badminton, frisbee
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Not bad, living was cheaper than at university though it depends where in the area you live. Standard prices for a night out. Not a university town so no student-y places.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Great pubs and bars, 1 bad club. Though easy access to oxford, birmingham, even london where the nightlifes are better.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, plenty of sports 'clubs' as mentioned above, usually at least 3 per week. Also certain charity and volunteering activities .