IT security, with a primary focus on insider threat
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have really enjoyed my placement so far. It has given me a good focus for my final year of university and also given me a great insight as to the type of job I want to pursue once I have attained my degree. The office environment is very relaxed, which, is very different to other jobs I have had, but has shown me that you can still be very productive and motivated in such an office environment. There has been a good mix of working with others or by myself on various tasks, which has kept the job interesting.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
From the very first day I started, I have always been asked to input my opinions and ideas. My colleagues are always looking for new ways of approaching tasks to see if there are any ways of improving them. I have always been encouraged to ask questions, no matter how stupid I may consider them to be, they are always answered professionally.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I have been given lots of support and guidance by my managers. This includes colleagues who have visited the office but I'm not in regular contact with. Everyone has offered to help in any way they can if I ever have any questions or ideas. This help and guidance has not just been in relation to the job itself, but also to my final year project at university. Managers have been keen to try and give me as much training as is feasibly possible that fits in with the job and try to expose me to using new skills.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I am very busy on a daily basis. I think this is primarily based on my desire to get as much out of my placement as possible. Although I am only contracted to work 37 hours a week, I usually find myself working over that as I am enjoying the experience. Despite being kept busy, I still have regular breaks and the ability to chat to others. I find this to be a good balance, but understand that not everyone would necessarily have the same work ethic as me.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I have been able to work autonomously with almost every task I have been given on my placement. The primary job I do involves me working closely with one other colleague. When they are off on holiday, I am given the responsibility of leading that area in the office. This has involved me supervising other colleagues whilst they are assisting me during the time that the other person is away. I have been able to do this without being constantly checked up on and I feel as if this has given me a much better experience, instead of being monitored all of the time.
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 have developed and the experience I have gained on my placement will not only help me with my final year project of university, but will also help me with future interviews/jobs. I feel I have gained more confidence and a better understanding of what to expect in this field. I also have a much clearer idea of what future skills I can work towards if I want to progress my career further.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere has always been very relaxed upbeat. People are free to talk across the office is they ever need anything or just want to have a conversation with someone else. We have the radio on every day, but are also able to listen to our own music if we choose to do so.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The first couple of weeks weren't organised too well. However, this was for two reasons: 1. one of the managers was leaving at the time, so they were in the process of hiring a replacement and this also involved having to reorganise the department. 2. this was only the second year that the department had taken on placement students, so it was still very much a learning experience for them as it was for me. After this initial time, the organisation has been very good and I have been asked for my feedback as to how or what I would change or recommend for them to do for future placements, which is very encouraging.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I have always been told that once I have done my work, I can look for my own training, which will be supported (within reason) by the company. I have gotten the impression that they will invest in you, if you show the willingness and dedication to work hard for them.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
BAE have a very good graduate scheme and there is plenty of opportunity to work for them in various areas of the business, with plenty of prospects to progress in the company as well. I think this is very appealing, as you do not have to be tied down to one department. The graduate scheme allows you to experience different departments in different locations and therefore, enables you to find out what you like/don't like and/or what you're good at/not so good at. From this experience you can tailor the path you want your career to follow.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There are plenty of social events that take place most months. Every Friday we all have the opportunity to go to a local pub to socialise with colleagues from other departments, not just our own. There are work outings for people's birthdays, Christmas parties. Outside of work, I meet up with other colleagues/placement students over the weekends.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living/socialising has been very reasonable in Bristol. Like most cities, it depends on where you and how much you want to spend and how often you go out. I haven't ever found myself struggling from one pay day to the next. I found it useful to research different areas of Bristol, to compare costs.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Bristol is a very busy and thriving city. There is always something going on in the evenings. There are plenty of clubs/bars/restaurants and other entertainment available in the city. It's very difficult to get bored, there is always somewhere different to go, I have barely scratched the surface of the city and I've lived here for 8 months so far.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Again, Bristol is a popular and thriving city, there is so much to see and do. It is all down to the individual, you can do as little or as much as you want to do. There are loads of clubs/societies/gyms to get involved in, whatever your hobbies or interests are, you're bound to find other like minded people.