6 week, well-structured internship in an area of the company selected at the application phase.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
6 weeks was a good amount of time to actually work on some significant projects and achieve some real work. Different to shorter work experience placements I've done before, in which you rarely get any responsibility. Company culture and working environment are incredibly attractive, making working here for the duration of the internship very enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was very involved in the team as a whole, be that in meetings, work or viewings. Over the course of the internship I completed work for every team member, from the level of graduates up to directors, so I felt valued as part of there team to help with any task.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I received excellent support from my 'buddy' graduate throughout, but all members of the team were also happy to answer any questions I had regarding work set for me, or anything else. My line manager in my team was also incredibly supportive, taking the time to sit down with me and regularly check my progress and workload.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
As the internship went on I became incredibly busy, which allowed me to develop better time-management skills. Ultimately you are in control of this based on how much work you take on from team members, but I was not too busy to cope. This was a good balance, as I always had something to do but didn't have an impossible mountain of work. My supervisors were key in this, making sure I had enough to do at any time, but not too much.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
From day one I was surprised at the amount of responsibility I was given, immediately being responsible for communicating with clients and other agents in the market in a variety of contexts. The projects I worked one were meaningful and the work was actually used, which has been rare in my previous experience of work. I was allowed to attend and assist with viewings, as well as have a lot of contact with other agents over the phone and email.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I developed in this role will be incredibly useful in later life. As a non-cognate I had little knowledge of the property market, but now have a good understanding of the day to day processes, tasks and terminology used, which will be very useful going forwards toward a career in the commercial property sector. I also developed many transferrable skills in presentations, general administration and mailouts, and improved confidence contacting people by telephone.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone in the office was incredibly friendly and helpful - the best description of the atmosphere would be that of 'work hard, play hard'. The hours of 8am-6pm take some getting used to, but these are typical of the industry, plus the hard work is definitely balanced by enjoyable social and networking occassions in evenings. There was a lot of collaboration between teams in the office, and an enjoyable atmosphere overall.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was very well-structured, with a number of meetings and workshops throughout for all interns, alongside our work within our individual teams. We were tasked with a project in the form of a presentation in the final weeks, which benefitted all our organisational skills, as well as those in actually presenting and public speaking. There were also a number of social events organised, which were a good way to meet and network with the other interns, as well as other graduates in the company.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Even as a 6-week intern, the company provided workshops for interns on presentation and public speaking skills, which were incredibly useful. From these I have definitely developed skills for life, which is more than you would expect a company to provide for a short term placement. I also developed in terms of understanding the industry, simply through exposure to the market and daily work.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
For those that complete the internship there are high prospects for the company's graduate scheme, as you have already passed their stringent critera to get this far. The variety of roles available in the company are huge, so there is potential for employment in a number of areas. While they have introduced their graduate intake, I believe that completing the internship is useful in improving employment prospects with them.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
While there were organised social events, there was also a good amount of networking between fellow interns. For example, most weeks there would be an opportunity to go for lunch, drinks or similar after work with a large group of interns. This is a great way to meet other people in the same role as you. The company organised events like Graduates vs. interns softball, too, which added to the social scene.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As you would expect in central London, cost of living and socialising is relatively expensive. That said, some costs of socialising were subsidised by the company for their organised intern social events, which was beneficial. As I commuted from outside London, I cannot comment on the cost of living in the area I worked in.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Being situated in the centre of the City of London, there is a large amount closeby in terms of nightlife. While there are many pubs and bars very closeby, you are also not far from areas like Old Street and Shoreditch, or the West End, both of which have a large number of good bars and clubs to go to.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
This only being an internship, this does not really apply. That said, there are many opportunities in a graduate role in the company to get involved in activities such as sports teams, sponsored events, and more. As interns, we were still provided with lots of information on this, and a taste of the potential opportunities outside of work with a softball game organised by the company.