1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I loved working for J&J as I was able to expand in many different areas of my career. Working in the R&D department at DePuy Synthes allowed me to experience the many processes involved in designing and launching new medical devices; and all the people at the company contributed to me having such a positive experience while on placement.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I really felt like my work was greatly appreciated by my team members. I received extremely positive feedback from the people I directly worked with and even had formal recognition to praise my work. We organised team dinners and activities outside of work which made the environment really welcoming and comfortable to be a part of.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
While on placement I would have weekly meetings with my supervisor to ensure that I had enough/not too much work to do and to review what I had done for the week. My supervisor would check to see if I was still happy with the projects I was involved with and if I had any questions, they would answer them. If I ever had any trouble or needed help, I felt free to ask my supervisor or other team members for support.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
As it happens with many jobs, there were troughs and peaks of work depending on what was going on at the time. Sometimes I had a lot to do and would be working non-stop, and sometimes I could take my time with tasks if they were not urgent and I didn't have much else to do. Overall, it was a perfect balance and if I ever felt bored I felt free to ask for something to do; or equally if I was too busy I would let my supervisor know.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had the opportunity of being involved with a very large project and had some insight into the planning and project management aspect, which ended up leaving a large amount of responsibilty of communicating information to senior management as and when it was needed. I was also trusted with important tasks, such as reaching out to external companies to source products that were urgently needed.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As my placement was directly related to my degree, the skills I developed were extremely valuable in advancing my career. I had hands-on experience of exactly what I had been learning about during my first and second years of university, as well as experience in vital life skills such as prioritizing and time management which will come in very useful when returning to my studies and beyond.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office was a friendly vibe; as we all sit in a communal office space with flexible seating and desks, there is no imposing feeling of superiority from more experienced staff. Everyone is extremely happy to talk or answer questions and there is a general comfortable atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My placement in particular has been going on for a few years, so it has been set up fairly well. There are tasks that the students are expected to do, but also the team is happy to provide any other opportunites that arise. There were around 20 students on site accross the different departments, as well as over 15 graduates; the company has efficiently set up the placement scheme.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company invested in me more than I ever expected. A variety of training courses were set up as well as a few opportunities to visit external labs. The company is extremely focused in investing in the students and graduates as they are training them to potentially join the company again later on.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
After I graduate, I have the opportunity of applying to the graduate scheme with a strong chance of getting a job as I already have previous experience of working for the company. The graduate scheme will last 2 years with a possibility of a job offer after that.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were around 20 other placement students on site, and we all quickly became friends outside of work after organising a few student outings. The demographic on site is quite good, as most of the employees are fairly young, so have many things in common and interact outside of work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Leeds is fairly cheap compared to the south of England, but is equally a city environment. There is a huge selection of bars/restaurants in the city centre to visit, as Leeds Uni is located in the centre as well. There are many events on all the time because it is also a student area; in town there is always a new pop-up event to visit and explore.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is great in Leeds; there are plenty of bars in town to visit, as well as a few clubs. Weekdays are great for student nights and at the weekends there is a good balance of students and locals going out. The drinks are fairly cheap depending on where you go, and the bars are open reasonably late.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were several opportunities, including paintball, a winter ball, a 2-day challenge walk, a cycle, lots of dinners and many other activities. The onsite gym has several fitness classes which are very popular among the site.