1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement at PSA and would definitely recommend it to other people. The company has had industrial placement students for years so it is very well organised. Everyone at the company is really friendly and understand that you may not have had much experience before you join at the start of your placement. I also learnt a lot of useful knowledge and skills throughout the year.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
As the role I was in is a permanent role that has always had an industrial placement student in it I felt very valued by my team and the wider department. I was always asked my opinion about things and my thoughts were always taken on board. Even when I had just started everyone I worked with valued the work I was doing.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Despite my manager working from home at least one day a week I felt very supported and he always made time for me if I needed it. When I started I received lots of guidance on everything I did which was really helpful while I was still settling in, as well as from everyone I worked with. I always felt like I could ask if I was unsure of something.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
How busy I was varied quite a bit. There were days when I'd have a really busy morning and a quieter afternoon etc. but this is normal. I never felt overly stressed in my job and when I had a lot going on it meant the day went by really quickly. I also never felt like I had nothing to do - from speaking to people doing placements at other companies they seem to have days when they are really bored which I never experienced.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As the year went on I was given more and more responsibility once I started to fully understand the company, brands and role of the department I was in. I was given more responsibility than I expected to have during my industrial placement which is great experience for the future.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
During the year we had three training sessions on different skills that were useful to us including presenting skills, organisation and persuading and influencing. These were on the whole enjoyable sessions and I felt like I could use what I learnt in future. Other skills I developed through my day-to-day job will also be beneficial, such as the ability to manage my time effectively and professionalism.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone in the office is really friendly. There are periods of time where certain people are a bit busier or more stressed and the atmosphere also seems to be a bit different depending on the department, but overall the atmosphere in the office is quite relaxed. There is a communal kitchen for the whole office where you can chat to people from different departments and a restaurant where you can go for lunch.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The industrial placement was really well organised. We had an induction day and 3 days of introduction sessions where we learnt all of the things we needed to know about working at the company. I then had a handover with the previous placement student in my role for a few weeks which was really helpful. We then had training throughout the year and various meetings with our managers to discuss how we were finding the placement.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living in Coventry is quite cheap, especially compared to London or other cities down south. Rent isn't too bad at all and restaurants and bars are relatively cheap too. You definitely earn enough on the placement to afford to live in the area. Leamington Spa is a nicer area but a bit more expensive than Coventry and further away. Birmingham is nearby too but this is probably also more expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Coventry night life is average, there are a few clubs and bars but they aren't amazing (although prices of drinks and entry are quite cheap). Coventry and Warwick Universities are nearby so there are other students around but it doesn't really feel like a student city. Birmingham is only 20 minutes away on the train so I'd say it's probably worth going there for nights out and I've heard that Leamington Spa can be good for a night out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?