1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my internship in the Global Assignments Team here. I had a lot of different, interesting tasks and responsibilities. I could work on several projects quite independently and was supported a lot from my colleagues if I needed help. Very helpful in the beginning was furthermore the one week handover I had with the intern before me. Furthermore, my colleagues did include me a lot and I felt like a real and equal member of the team. I also had the chance to get to know the Oxford plant better but I was also allowed to go to other sites in the UK and got a tour there. The only downside was that as an intern I didn't get much access to the HR systems because of confidential data, which is understandable but sometimes was annoying while doing my tasks.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues are amazing, the supported me all the time, gave me a lot of space to do things in my own way but helped me when I asked for it. They gave me a lot of very positive feedback and included me in the team as an equal member. We also got on very well not only at work but also socialised during after work events. We all have a very good relation and I felt very very comfortable and valued in the Team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager gave me an overview of my tasks and projects in the beginning and explained the overall tasks of the team and each team member. Whenever I needed it and I asked for it my manager would give me support but I never had regular one-to-ones for example.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The team in general has a lot to do and as I supported them where I could, I did do some overtime. But my colleagues never left before me and usually they would make me leave the office at my contractual time so I would not work and stay too long. So I was usually really busy every day but still in a quite good amount of things to do, so I got never bored but was equally not stressed too much.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had several projects which I did for my colleagues. On all of them I could work quite independently and just had to give them updates at a specific time or presented the progress to them. Furthermore I had some monthly tasks I did on my own and after some time in the beginning after I knew how to do specific tasks I was able to do them very independently. So in my opinion I had quite a lot freedom and responsibility during this placement.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I got used to several HR specific systems like SAP etc. Furthermore I was working very much with PowerPoint and Excel, so I was able to develop my skills with those two programmes even more.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office I'm sitting in is quite big and there are several teams and departments sitting in it together. We don't interact a lot but we get on very well. As there are so many employees working and talking on the phone and furthermore a lot of people passing through, it is quite loud and noisy. But I always felt comfortable. The only downside is that the room heats up quite fast and it gets really stuffy in there.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I got my contract, documents and information regarding my internship in time, so I was quite well informed beforehand. When I had my induction on my first day, the beamer was not working so I actually had no induction. Luckily the intern before me who I had my handover with explained everything to me. But I had no idea which person to address for any placement related queries, I had no assigned contact person. At the end now, the process and all the things I need to do a quite clear, so I feel well prepared to organise my end of the internship.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
My colleagues invited me to their online course they attend from time to time regarding intercultural and international topics like cultural differences from country to country. As I already had several modules about these topics at university, that was not really new for me. Other trainings were not offered or promoted, so I didn't do any trainings. But on the other hand I have to say that I didn't really chase for trainings either.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I really enjoyed my internship here and would absolutely think about working here again.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
This was the best thing about this internship. I met a lot of really nice people here, in the company there are usually about 70 interns, so quite a huge community. We had a set time when to go for lunch, so whenever I would go over to the canteen alone I could be sure to find other interns already sitting there. Furthermore we have interns meeting every week, which are very good for socialising outside the working environment, so you get to know each other in a different more personal way. In addition we did a lot of day or weekend trips together and did events like laser tag. The social scene here is just amazing!!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The UK in general and Oxford in particular are quite expensive. Especially the accommodation cost a lot, it was almost half of my salary I had to spend for accommodation. Also food, either in the restaurant or in the supermarket, is quite expensive. But I have to say that I enjoyed life a lot here and did a lot of trips and still my salary could almost cover the biggest part of that. My flatmates were from Oxford so I got to know some locals here as well, but mostly I did things with the Interns.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are a lot of pubs, restaurants and pubs. Especially when you just want to go out for a beer, you have a huge variety of pubs to choose from. I think everybody finds a location to go to that they like. There are furthermore several clubs to go dancing. They are not too big but it was always fun. They play different music and the most expensive entry fee I paid was 10 pounds. Another thing you could do is go to London for clubbing, as there is a bus service connecting London and Oxford 24 hours a day you can go out in London and take a bus afterwards during the night.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are a lot of things to do outside of work. There are a lot of gyms, dance and theatre clubs or a facebook group for people from outside the UK, who meet every month. Furthermore the cultural offer is quite diverse as well, you can go to on of the movie theatres, go to a musical, the comedy club, a museum, etc. The only thing I didn't find is a public swimming pool and a spa.