1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have enjoyed my work placement however the tasks did become a bit repetitive towards the end of the placement. The department is quite difficult to move around, as we have come in with a position to fill, therefore if we wanted to move about, we would need to find cover. I don't believe this is the best way to introduce an incoming placement student, I don't believe they should have a task list, they should instead get exposure to a lot of various tasks.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Throughout my work placement I felt valued by my colleagues and have grew in confidence.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I am given support by my manager on a daily basis however the PDR (Personal Development Review) process could have been more organised. I would have liked to set personal objectives rather than generic team objectives, and I would have liked a deeper focus on my own personal development.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Each day is different in terms of how busy we are. As we are a service, we base our workloads on how much work comes in each day. We have our daily tasks, however the rest of the work is ad-hoc based on monitoring the shared mailbox for each business unit. We then delegate the tasks as and when they come in.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility during my placement and I was treated just the same as any other colleague. I didn't feel like I was a student, and I have grew in independence throughout my time with BAE Systems. I also run monthly meetings by myself, with the attendance of multiple managers within the team, but the meeting is solely me presenting. This has nurtured my confidence and communication skills.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I believe I have developed my personal skills such as confidence, communication and team work. However, I don't believe the work is technical or related to my degree, which is Accounting and Finance. The training I received will not help me towards my degree, however I will take my organisational skills, timekeeping and attendance in to my final year of university. I have also developed my professionalism which will be helpful for when I graduate.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office is very team-based and there is a generally good atmosphere within the teams. The office promotes collaboration between each team, and we have daily stand up meetings where we can discuss any problems or issues we are encountering. We also have regular one-to-one meetings where we can flag any issues with our line manager. The office is a good bunch of people who I will genuinely miss when I leave.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The external FLDP events were very well organised and I felt very much part of the 1st year graduate year group. In terms of my personal site, I felt too much like a 'normal' colleague, and wasn't treated as a placement student. This is an aspect which I wish had more focus on, as they didn't see the development gaps or really understand the reasoning of me coming here to learn new things. I had a lot of fun attending conferences and workshops in out-of-office hours with the 1st year graduates.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The FLDP team invest a lot of money into you as a placement student. I have attended a Land UK Conference and a Finance Conference. I will also be attending to workshops, the first one being a Collaboration Event, promoting collaboration in the workplace. The second workshop is a Mental Health Awareness workshop. I have also attended 2 workshops with the FLDP Scheme which were a Contract Status Review workshop and a Presentation Workshop. I also got to attend the assessment centre for incoming Placement Student's, which was very nice to see it from the other side of the table.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The Finance Leadership Development Programme is highly prestigious as BAE Systems only take on around 10 people each year. A lot of time and money is invested into the graduates, as well as the CIMA Package. The opportunity to move around different sites each 12 months is attractive, as this will enhance your opportunities, broaden your employability circle and also give you invaluable experience in different locations.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a good social scene amongst my colleagues, however I was the only Finance Placement Student on my site. All of the work events/nights out were planned ourselves, and even the Christmas party was funded our self - this is something that could be worked on when considering other companies/
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I worked in Glascoed and commuted from Cardiff. There are a number of people on the Glascoed site who car share from Cardiff, which saved a lot of petrol money. Cardiff is a great area for placement students who want to continue the 'student lifestyle' I would definitely recommend living here. The rent is around 300 per month for a student.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Working in Glascoed meant that we went to Cardiff or Newport for our work nights out. Glascoed is a tiny village (with lots of sheep), so a car is necessary to get to work.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I found my room on spareroom.com and ended up with a group of students. This way I was introduced to more people my age. I also had friends in Cardiff so was able to explore further opportunities and get involved in activities outside of work. As Cardiff is a huge city, there are endless opportunities.