1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at ProspectSoft. It is definitely a great place to experience your first year of working in a professional environment.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
One of the advantages ProspectSoft has is that a lot of it's current workforce is ex-placement students. Especially in the development department where I have spent most of my time. This might be one of the reasons that everyone is very good at listening to placement students and listening to opinions. I've always felt as if any ideas I have are listened to and considered.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I have had progress meetings throughout the year with my manager who has given feedback and targets which I have worked towards. Currently the director of my department is in a very active role whereby he is often in the department, working through things with various members of the team. Each morning we currently report our recent progress to the head of the department who can then adjust what we work on accordingly.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I am not sure if there has ever been a time here where I haven't had more on my list to do than I have had time to do it in and if I ever run out of things to do, there is always something new to work on. The expectation is that placements work as hard as full time members of the team and because of that you always fortunately have lots to do. The difficulty of the work has been variable but there has been an interesting variety of work to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
At first I was perhaps managed more heavily and as I got more experienced less so. This works out well as you are given responsibility for producing a good standard of work. Almost straight away after your initial training you start working on real projects either for in house use or for customers, which is an immediate and nice change from University where your work isn't usually used for anything.
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 here will be invaluable in my future career and my last year of University. I can definitely say I have learnt more on this year of placement than I learn during my first two years of University. I have also gained soft skills throughout my time here, which have been a bit harder to get develop at University.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office is generally very good. In development it's generally fairly quiet, but people often work together on issues. The company as a whole is a very friendly place to work.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement scheme has been running for many years and as a result it's very organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had an initial month of training on the product and some specific training. After that it was mostly getting on with work and asking questions as you go. Everyone is very good at answering questions.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Around 50% of placements get asked to return to the company. I would be happy to return should I be offered a job.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I'm not the most social of people, but there were a few events and meals out that have happened in the last year which were good. There has also been the opportunity to play some sports with people. People who live in Oxford may find that they do more socialising outside of work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home during my placement, however it's a very expensive area to live in generally and I know those who lived in Oxford found their expenses to be high.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Stokenchurch itself is a relatively small place and there is no nightlife that I know of here. Many people however live in Oxford which is about 30 mins away and the nightlife there is supposed to be good.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were some events that were setup by different departments which were enjoyable, but there weren't many company wide events that took place. As a department we go out for a meal once a month and some of us do trampolining once a month.