1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
This internship has fully given me an insight to the corporate world at GE including the whole lifecycle of software engineering and development. I have not been treated as a 'stereotypical' intern once but as an actual member of the team working on real-world customer projects. It has been an amazing experience so far developing skills that you don't normally get a chance to develop at university especially networking in the industry.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I have felt very valued by the team and was given project work within 1/2 months of starting my internship. This includes being put in-front of customers at a very early stage gaining a vast amount of experience. My work didn't go unnoticed either receiving several awards on the GE rewarding system from other members of the team such as project managers and mentors.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My mentor has been really supportive all throughout my internship and I felt like this has helped my experience in diving into the industry world. He never failed to set up 1-1 and catch up meetings always making sure that I was not left without any work and that I was happy with my time at GE
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It was a slow start at the beginning of the internship due to lots of training and getting used to the new software and technologies but later on I started to realise that this was crucial for me to build the knowlodge before I was able to work on customer projects. After this stage, I was working on 1-3 different projects at a time throughout the year.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given various project actions and tasks which meant that I was working on real issues and being expected to provide my progress in regular project meetings. I was also given the opportunity to present to other colleagues, third-party partners and customers.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I fully recommend doing an internship especially if you are studying towards a computer science degree. It really puts everything into perspective in seeing the full software development life-cycle in action at a large organisation like GE and understand how important and valuable the computing modules that are taught throughout school and university. The skills you learn along the way such as presentation, effective communication and networking are just a bonus!
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone in the office is really friendly and easy to approach. I worked in the projects team and the area was always buzzing when everyone is in as there is always a lot of work going on at all times. Working in projects also meant lots of travelling to customer sites so there were times that the area was almost empty. Saying this, I also had the opportunity to travel to at least 4 different customer sites with colleagues and even once on my own!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I was in the first cohort of 12-months-long interns in this particular office so there wasn't a programme structure set-up when I started. This has been quite difficult at the beginning but my manager was really helpful when I brought it up and quickly provided a spreadsheet with a list of things that I could be working on in the next 12 months. There definitely has been a few lessons learnt and I am currently involved in setting up a GE-wide internship programme structure for future interns so I believe it will only get better from here.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I received two weeks of the training at the start of my internship and this has really helped me at the beginning. There were training materials available for the software that I was able to go through by myself. GE has an online learning website called BrilliantYou shall you wish to take up any online courses on pretty much anything. PD@GE was also useful in setting up priorities/touchpoints with your manager. My mentor was consistent on setting up intern catch-up meetings to discuss progress and experience all throughout the year.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The graduate schemes in the company are really appealing and they usually only advertise these to current interns in the UK. They seem to be very competitive as there are over 300 interns in the UK with only less than 50 intakes a year on graduate schemes. However, there are also 'professional band' permanent roles available for graduates that are very likely offered to anyone who do well on their internship if they are available. I will definitely be looking at this after graduation
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were only 4 interns in the office and most of us did our own thing outside of work but we generally communicated in the office. The number of interns is increasing in double for next year so I could imagine it being very different in the future years in terms of organising intern social events
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I came from London and currently paying the same rent here as I was in London but I'm not surprised as it is a city and there is a lot of things to do such as restaurants, bars, clubs etc. Although, I went home most weekends so I cannot speak very much on the socialising side
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As I said above, I chose to go home on most weekends so I was not able to experience the nightlife very much but I heard good things from other interns! During summer days, people organised to go to the pub for lunch every friday so this was nice. There were also several pub trips after work
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I believe that GE recommend that you take something like 3 days out the year to help in volunteer work and you still get paid a full-days work. GE is very big on this but was unable to participate. There is also football, circuits and things to get involved in if that is any of particular interest