1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My work placement at Microsoft was fantastic! I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year, which is why I chose to stay for an additional month (13 months placement in total). At Microsoft, interns are given the opportunity to get involved in so many opportunities and events outside of our core job role.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt 100% valued by my colleagues. I was happy to support my team wherever possible, and they would always be very appreciative of the work I completed.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My managers were highly supportive of me throughout my placement year. As I start my placement in a large global company, my manager introduced me to colleagues and leadership, to gain an insight into the different areas of the business. With my manager’s help, I found my feet much sooner than I would have and I am thankful for the continued support throughout the year.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
How busy you are and when will depend on the role- I was particularly busy at the start and end of the month. With an internship at Microsoft, there is always something to get involved in when your main job role is quieter, which is great! You can get involved in an event to inspire school children to get into technology or reach out and get involved in new projects of interest.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given great responsibility, which was amazing. I was asked to be a Project Manager for a EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) project, which gave me so many opportunities, including presenting the status of the project to the managers in my EMEA-wide organisation. Aswell as being trusted to run activities and events as part of intern teams (101 teams/ stretch projects).
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 developed this year will help me tremendously as I return to university and in my future career. Working with colleagues both in the UK and across EMEA, has developed my communication and team-working skills, which will be beneficial in university group assignments and working with teams in the workplaces. I have developed my organisational and time management skills, which will help me to manage my modules and assignments for my final year.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Working in the Microsoft UK headquarters has been a fantastic experience. The offices are modern and provide great facilities for employees. There is everything you could possibly need- coffee shops, canteen, wellbeing centre, gym and a shop! Which gives a great atmosphere that Microsoft cares for its employees and there is a buzz when walking around the offices.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The intern program at Microsoft is very well-organised. At the start of the year, all interns have a three-day induction run by the leaving interns, which is useful, as they give insights into information that they know we need and we can also start to get to know our fellow interns. Throughout the year, there are events organised to bring those in early in career programs together to develop our skills and enhance the community.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
If you are interested in developing yourself, you can speak to your manager and they will give you support and guidance. When I was involved in a project and wanted to develop my skills further, my manager recommended online trainings that are available, which helped me in my role. Additionally, trainings workshops are organised, which I attended to expand my knowledge around subjects of interest.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would love to return to Microsoft, I have enjoyed the opportunities, and it has been a brilliant company to work for. This is highlighted when you speak to people from across the business and hear how long they have been working for Microsoft. I am therefore interested in the graduate scheme.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were many early in careers based in the UK HQ, so it was very likely that another intern, apprentice or graduate would like to go for lunch and play a game. Interns often went for nights out at the weekend and meals and drinks during the week too, so there were always chances to do something.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living and socialising in Reading was fair. Reading is a student town, so as a placement student, work out the best nights to go to places.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There is a range of restaurants, bars and clubs in the town centre, which you can get to by taking the shuttle bus service from the office.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
So many opportunities, it is unbelievable! As an intern, 70% of your time is spent on your main job role, 20% on intern program activities and 10% on your personal development. My 20% intern program activities included running events to get young women into tech, promoting Office 365 at universities and volunteering and representing Microsoft at events.