Finance based role, supporting the business in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at J&J, I have learnt so much and had some fun along the way. Getting on with my team and the group of placements, as well as the relaxed office atmosphere have contributed to making the year enjoyable - and I would definitely recommend it.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I have been given a lot of responsibility within J&J, working with my direct team as well as colleagues in other countries, and other departments. I have certainly felt valued by my direct team, but when working with colleagues based elsewhere it can be hard to make a name for yourself, which at times can make you feel underestimated and undervalued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Managers are always very approachable, and will answer any questions you may have. I have had regular catch ups throughout the year, initially weekly and have become more sporadic as I have become more comfortable in my role. On a day to day basis it can be difficult to find time to speak to your manager, due to heavy workload, but everyone at J&J is always happy to make time to support you.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Within a finance role you tend to find yourself as busier the week before and the week after month end, particularly quarter ends and year end. On quieter weeks I have worked on projects or optimising and building reports that we use. I rarely felt 'too busy' or stressed to feel I had to stay late, but there are always things to keep you busy.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
You are given a lot responsibility right from the initial start at J&J, and treated as an equal member of the team. My experience was also very flexible in both taking over the work my previous placement was doing, but also finding out the work that I enjoy doing the most and finding tasks and projects to help me get the most out of the year.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
There isn't really a link between the theory I have learnt during my degree, and my placement, so in that sense the skills will not help directly. However more widely, and on a personal basis, I have gained a vast range of skills to use moving forward.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
J&J is general a very relaxed atmosphere; the dress code is fairly casual and everyone is happy to chat, or eat some cake! On the whole my building tends to be quieter, than others may be on the Maidenhead campus, since most work is with people cased elsewhere in Europe, rather than working with each other. Overall, everyone in the office is approachable, but can at times feel a bit quiet.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Between getting the placement, and it commencing, there was a Facebook group set up for placements to speak to each other, and sort out housing - however, it would have been nice to have an induction session to meet each other, and our teams. The initial handover was good with lots of training sessions given, but this did seem disorganised at times.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was an initial two week handover with my predecessor, in which I was trained on some systems and over J&J overview - however you very much learn on the job. Although everyone is always willing to help, there are few formal trainings throughout the year apart from some online training resources that are available.
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?
The FLDP scheme is very commendable in that it is based regionally, allowing for travel and rotations within the finance function which will help you to develop. You can also be funded through your accountancy qualifications, and there are many people who I work with who joined J&J through the FDLP scheme. The application process as an ex placements is applying online, and going through the assessment centre process.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I have got on very well with both my team and fellow placements. As a team we have been for pub lunches, charity days, and some nights out - however due to family commitments these are not particularly common. The 20 or so placements this year have been very active in socialising together, eating lunch together every day, days/meals/nights out - the social group has definitely made my year here!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Due to living at home this year I have saved on the cost of living, and am also used to the social costs of being in an affluent area in the South. The cost of living and socialising can be expensive, but the salary is reasonable still allowing money for holidays/to be saved.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are few bars/clubs in the area, but London is accessible or just make do! With a good group of people you can have fun - we've had some good fun over the year.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are a few activities to get involved in, largely sporting or charity - these aren't particularly well advertised within J&J. Socially, there is plenty to do with London being close, but I would have liked more social events with work.