1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Spending a year and one month at GE (General Electric) Oil & Gas was exciting, interesting and most of all enjoyable. I loved my role from day one and the exposure to business is very helpful for future jobs and your degree. I enjoyed getting up in the morning to go to work and complete work which I was very interested in. I can even say I missed my job while I was on annual leave- yes, it was enjoyable!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Everyone that I worked with was very nice, willing to help and answer any of my questions whenever I had them. Every piece of work I completed or participated in was real work being used within the business- not made up like some work experience placements. Knowing my work affected many people made me feel valued and there was respect between everyone from intern to executive level.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Whenever I needed something I would ask the appropriate manager or supervisor and get the appropriate answer. My personal manager supported me with anything that I needed and would answer questions whenever I needed them by walking into their office. Some managers were slightly unapproachable and it was clear to ask questions differently to certain managers to get what you need. Some people look down on interns- but this is expected from most organisations unfortunately.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I started my internship with a lot of reports and ad hoc duties to complete. Towards halfway of my internship a lot of reports were made redundant so my time went from very busy- just about fitting in all my work in a day- to not having much to do after Monday and Tuesday. This got worse and worse throughout the year so I started looking for my own projects and create my own work to stand out and make a difference to the company. Quarter ends are always busy!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I cannot fault the responsibility given to me during my placement with GE (General Electric). I was responsible for reporting all orders/ revenue/ convertibility/ past dues etc. for around 5 different businesses. If something was wrong, then it fell to myself. Although this was great to have so much responsibility- it was extremely stressful and sometimes you would question why an intern had all this responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I have learnt during my placement are transferable, vast and will help me during my degree. Most of the things I had been taught during the first two years of my degree were not applicable and I could not transfer to my work. I hope that what I have learnt on the job will transfer to many modules across my degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere of the office depended on who was in that day, what mood they were in and what work they had that day. There would be some people you would avoid talking to because of this. Being in an open plan office also means that if one person is in a bad mood, everyone reserves the backlash. On a positive note- there is great banter.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was set up quite well. You could tell interns had been in the position as there was set work and priorities outlined. The intern I took over from did not provide relevant materials for a good handover which put me on a back foot as soon as I had started. Apart from that, the structure within my department was there and allowed me to slot straight into the team immediately.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Not too much.
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?
The graduate opportunities are almost impossible to get one- one of the most competitive graduate schemes in the world in fact. I feel like I have worked a lot of hours and put in so much hard work that it is somewhat for nothing. I have spent time trying to star out and excel in my role but it is very unlikely I will get on the graduate program. On a positive note, if you can get on it, your career is set.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We are on a very small site so the intern socials were quite limited. Most interns got on and after the first 6 months we were socialising around once a week/ biweekly. It was good to get to know people from different functions and understand the work they complete. We were not formally introduced from the start so that set everyone back a few months to introduce and get to know eachother.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
No social hubs and expensive living.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There is not a nightlife at the office I was in. you would have to travel to external cities as there was not a night club within 50 miles of the office. This restricted socialising. My advice would be: be careful where you choose to work- it is only for a year but a year is a long time!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The only opportunity for activities outside of work was a weekly football game. This was great fun- but the only thing available.