This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
- 1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
- 2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
- 3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
- 4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
- 5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
- 6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
- 7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
- 8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
- 9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
- 10. What were the perks on your work placement?
- 11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
- 12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
- 13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
- 14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
- 15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As far as work goes, I really enjoyed my Internship. I felt I was given a really insightful and interesting experience into the everyday running of the business, the various roles within insurance and the values of Allianz and its people. I was given a good variation of work tasks and I enjoyed working in a new environment - this was my first "9-5" job and was a very different environment to what I'm used to at university.
My colleagues were all very warm and friendly, and they all seemed genuinely happy to have me on board. Everyone always thanked me sincerely for any task I did for them, no matter how small. I felt that they appreciated my help and in return they were very willing to give me guidance or allow me to learn about their role in the business, so that made me feel valued.
My line manager gave me amazing support. She was always available if I had a query and she was more than willing to help me out if I needed it. Being in the company a long time, she knew everything there was to know about anything, she was always able to fully answer my questions, guide me in the right direction and explain things really clearly and concisely.
This depended, and to be honest was probably one of the not so great things about this internship. Some days I didn't have much to do at all and was struggling to find work to do, other days I had a lot on. Much of this can't be helped though, nobody can control when clients make their queries, for example, and nobody can ensure a steady flow of mail throughout the week.
I felt like I was given quite a lot of responsibility and that colleagues had faith in me to do things correctly. For example, towards the end of my nine weeks I was being trusted to do MTAs (i.e. making changes to policies on the system) and then sending that information out to brokers without the need for supervision or for my work to be checked first.
I learnt/improved a lot of skills that I think will benefit me in general life and in any future workplace. In particular learning to work on my own initiative was a challenge I enjoyed; finding work to do, setting goals, prioritising work tasks etc. I also learned self-reliance, to trust my own judgement and not have to get confirmation for everything. In contrast though, I learned it's OK to ask for help as many times as you need - it's better to do work correctly and confidently than to do something you're unsure about. Communication and people skills are also hugely important when working in insurance, as your relationship with brokers is of utmost importance. I didn't realise this about the industry before beginning my internship, but I think by the end of it I had definitely strengthened those skills..
The atmosphere in the office was really relaxed and chilled. It was fairly quiet (apart from the phones), but colleagues still chatted away throughout the day and there was a friendly vibe. It wasn't exactly an atmosphere full of energy, but definitely not dead either. I'd say it was a perfect balance between both and nicely laid-back.
Overall I don't think the internship had an exact structure to it, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It just meant that there wasn't the same plan for all the interns across the UK branches - each branch wasn't under any specific instructions about what to do with their interns. The Glasgow branch that I was at seemed well-prepared for me though. My line manager had already set up lots of things for me to do in my diary before I arrived.
I did my general training (that every new employee has to do) in my first week at Allianz. I was also told that I could feel free at any stage to do some of the many training modules available on their Intranet site and so I made use of some of these. I was given my own email address, direct dial phone number, added on to everyone's printed phone list and given access to several systems they use. So considering I was only their for nine weeks I did feel like they welcomed me as a proper employee. I also received training from various members of staff that allowed me to do work tasks throughout my weeks so I also felt like they invested in me and my time there and the contributions I could make during my short employment.
If you want to work in insurance (whether that be underwriting, claims, finance, HR, IT etc), then I think they're really appealing. I have decided that insurance is not for me (I want to pursue my Science degree) but I do honestly think the company is great. Being such a huge company with so many employees, different roles, and locations in the UK and rest of the world, opportunities are not scarce. I do believe they really invest in their employees and help you develop and improve, as I've met many people who have moved up the company ladder really fast.
If I'm honest, it wasn't great for someone of my age. We went out once mid-way through my internship for someone's leaving night, and then again on my final day (which happened to be their Summer Party). For nine weeks, that's not a lot. However this is more of a reflection on the particular branch than on Allianz. At the moment Glasgow's branch has a very experienced workforce, with few people under 40. This doesn't mean they aren't good fun though! And they are slowly beginning to hire more young people as others retire, so this may all change in the near future. Other branches are a lot different, and at the Guildford branch they had 5/6 interns working there this summer, so it sounds like they had a blast! It all depends on several factors...
Glasgow is cheap enough, better than Edinburgh and definitely a whole lot better than the likes of London! It's probably comparable to Manchester. You have loads restaurants, bars and clubs that have a huge price range - you can easily find something super cheap if that's what you want, and similarly can find any level of fancy above that. I'm not sure about the inner city accommodation, as I stayed out in Ibrox. This was very cheap though and the subway makes it really easy to get into the city in minutes!
The nightlife is great in Glasgow, I'm really going to miss this city! I come from Dublin in Ireland and study in Edinburgh, and neither of these cities compare to Glasgow, It has a wonderful lived-in feel, and a vibe full of energy and excitement. There are so many bars, clubs and great restaurants and the people are really friendly everywhere you go.
Depends if this question means completely outside of work, or things related to work like sports teams or social nights. Organised by Allianz, there wasn't many opportunities during my nine weeks except for a hike that got cancelled. Outside of work completely it's like anywhere - you can easily find sports clubs, social clubs and loads of other things to get involved in. MeetUp is a really good app to see what's available around you. Personally I joined a pole dancing/fitness class to keep up my practice while I was away from Edinburgh.
Internship (1-4 Months)
Administration/Secretarial, Insurance, Telecommunications