1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My placement year has been one of the most challenging but rewarding years. I've really enjoyed my placement with J&J, as the opportunities available for me to get involved in was endless.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
By the end of the placement, you realise that you are valued by your colleagues just as many member of J&J would be. At first, you may feel slightly overwhelmed, but as you learn about the products and the projects, your insight and opinions are extremely valued and if anything you are pushed to provide feedback.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager and the rest of my team were brilliant the whole way through. They took my development very seriously, with regular reviews and setting goals for the year.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
For my job role, how busy I was depended on the projects on-going, whether my team was around (for example at christmas it was very quiet) and also how willing you are to get involved. I learnt that when I perhaps had quieter moments that you can reach out and ask to get involved in more projects and as long as you can manage and prioritise J&J are happy for you to do this. The majority of the team you're busy, however it is a nice level of work - everyone is very understanding if you start to feel overwhelmed and my team was always willing to help.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Responsibility during my placement increased throughout the year. The first couple of months is about finding your feet and getting to grips with the basics and admin aspect of your role. By the middle / end of my placement, I was given responsibilities such as creating projects and leading on these. At J&J, most of the time they are open to helping you take on the responsibility on the basis they feel you can perform.
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've learnt this year will definitely be taken back to University with me, along with also helping me apply for jobs in the future. Some training was company and job role specific, but the skills i've learnt through the job role itself can be applied anywhere.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office is definitely a friendly one. Everyone is more than willing to help and there isn't a 'hierarchy' feel to it. Myself and the other students spent so much time getting to know our teams and spending time with them both inside and out of the office.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement is well organised and your development goals and objectives are clearly set when you start. The placement is obviously specific and dependent on what area you are placed in and therefore at times you may not get much insight in to other areas of the company and how they operate.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company puts a lot of time in to your training and development. When you start you have the basic trainings to help you complete your job responsibilities and then once you become more familiar to the job role and people you begin to explore and develop personally as well.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
personally I'd love to come back to J&J and the opportunities are there for you to try and do so. My team have been really helpful in working with me to ensure I am at the best stage I can be when going forward with future interviews and job applications.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As a student group we've all mixed extremely well. As we live with other placement students, we've definitely been able to take part in lots of social activities together. The company also pushes for this by putting the students in a group for charity activities across the year. Whilst we may not always integrate much whilst at work, we do make an effort outside of work to mix.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It's not as expensive as living in London and there are options for affordable accommodation based on the fact you are earning a wage for the year. You learn where the cheaper areas are and also where the good places to go out are placed, but there is a variety of options dependent on what you want to do.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There isn't much of a nightlife around this area, however London, Oxford and Reading are all close enough for a night out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
This is dependent on whether you take the time to research. There are loads of opportunities, for example some students joined the local netball team, but you need to do the research to find these opportunities.