1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I was treated as a permanent full employee thought my placement and never felt like "just and intern". The training and mentorship I was given was good, however this will depend greatly on who your manager is. I was given freedom to work on exciting new projects that weren’t originally part of my role and given opportunities to get involved in community projects.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Everyone I worked with was very friendly and helpful. GE is advocating feedback to be given to employees and this has meant I regularly get feedback on how I’m doing and how I could improve. My role valued in the company and I became a subject matter expert in my role, this meant the team valued my role and would come to me for questions it.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was extremely supportive and gave feedback to me not only on how to improve in my role but how to advance my career. There were many times when the influence of my manager could help me overcome roadblocks. Management were friendly and easy to approach when it came to guidance on projects.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This will greatly depend on the role you are given. I know some placement interns who had very little to do while others were very busy. I had a mixture of both busy times and time where there was little to do. Fortunately, at times I had little to do I could get involved with other projects so I always had some work to do and didn’t have to sit around idly.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility and lead a project that involved working with external collaborators, this involved new technologies the team was not familiar with and meant I was responsible for delivering the project. Outside of this I was given the opportunities to get involved in other projects where I could take up important responsibilities.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Unfortunately, my role turned out not to be as technical as I was hoping it to be. This was due to changing requirements of the team and the priorities of some tasks. I have however gained an excellent understanding of the business I was in (healthcare) and plethora soft skills. My presentation and communication skills have greatly improved from what they were before this.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone in the office were friendly and approachable. I found the atmosphere was neither lively nor quiet but somewhere in the between. Due to the small office, I was placed in everyone knew each other well. People would get together on birthdays to celebrate in the office and sharing cakes and other treats was common.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
HR did a good job setting the placement up but orientation felt a little short and I didn’t quite know where or how I fitted in the company. I had no issues with HR when joining and any changes in my contract or tax was easily fixed. The organisation of the team you are placed in me vary however. When I first arrived, my team were not prepared however I quickly felt like part of the team after just a few weeks.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was given the chance to go to conferences and special training. The company has invested in several online training platforms that have enabled me to improve my technical skills. When starting, you are given many training courses to teach you about your chosen business and relevant laws and compliance.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Some teams face a hiring freeze so it is very challenging for them to hire you if they’d like to. The alternative is to apply to one of their graduate schemes however they can be very competitive and you will likely not be working in the same place as you were.
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?
Unfortunately cost of living in the area I worked was somewhat high and there wasn’t that much to do however this will vary greatly depending on what business you are placed in to. If the cost of living is too high however it is easy to live just a bit out and travel in to save on rent. As for the social life London isn’t too far nor is Watford.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?