Internship in EDF Trading was my first internship in a real, professional environment and I can't recommend it enough. It really boosted my skills development and allowed me to experience how the work in such place looks like which only reinforced my fascination about this field. The only thing that I'm sad about is the length, I'd love to stay there for longer than just 10 weeks. Up to this time I was strongly discouraged about corporate work, being told that you are brushed under the carpet and quickly burn out doing same tasks over and over. That's not the case here where everyday I was faced with new challenges.
While working in my team, I was truly treated as an equally qualified person which may be able to provide valuable feedback regarding current projects. Very often I was approached to share an opinion on different matters or provide help with something. It was a wonderful feeling not to be only seen as just an intern from University, but actually a professional.
Throughout my work I had daily catch-up sessions to update my manager about the progress I've made in the past days and to set new targets or reinforce old ones. Surrounded with colleagues I was able to approach any of them and ask for their help in case my manager was busy (which is unsurprisingly common in this environment). Regular meetings with people from different departments to establish their needs also helped at lot.
The day usually started with a daily catch-up where we discussed my progress. Lunch and learn sessions were also a common occurrence where I could learn about the industry in general, not only in regards of my internship field. Can't forget about various training sessions to teach me about the technologies being used across the company. Overall I was rarely bored, but there were slower days when I was looking for something to do, it is not internship specific problem though but rather general one, especially if you go through your work and tasks quickly.
After the first two weeks I could tell that people across the company realized that I may be helpful when it comes to their individual projects and needs so they started approaching me to assist them with their work. Colleagues from different departments started asking me to perform tasks (which were outside my main internship project) to aid the development of the company. I can feel that I was trusted with those tasks.
Learning how the industry works from the within was one of the most professionally valuable lessons of my life. Especially considering the lunch and learn sessions where I could also learn about the energy market itself. But in regards of my field, I certainly first-hand experienced the practices and ways to tackle problems which surely will come back at some point in future. Interning here was a perfect entry to the professional market and now I don't fear unknown, I will be able to apply what I have learned in every future workplace to be.
My colleagues and people I was working with were very friendly, created an atmosphere which I wasn't scared of or afraid to speak up at. Everyone was treated as an equal regardless of their position or experience. Anyone could consult anyone about their issues or problems. If you are worried about corporate atmosphere, then don't be!
There were a lot of training and learn sessions set in place. Also an outing session was organised during which all interns and HR members could spend a day together, having a break from the office environment. Very tight calendar was filled with activities - at least once a week, but it didn't feel too overwhelming. I believe the HR department has found a perfect balance.
I went through a lot of personalized training sessions which taught us very specific skills. Staff and trainers from different organizations were brought up to lead the meetings and show us the industry along with improving our employability which in return would make us promising employees. I was also shown how systems in the company operate, which are pretty specific to them.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
I was told that there would be no issues with returning to work full-time after my graduation, been offered plenty of recommendations due to my work done so as long as you are promising and are giving 100% out of yourself, you can expect to be offered to come back (or stay if you have already graduated)
Other interns came from all over the country who were very social people and I will be surely staying in touch with them after finishing the internship. After all EDF Trading attracts people with similar mindsets and interests so it's nothing abnormal to expect to get along with each other. If you qualify for the programme, you can be sure that other people are going to be as enthusiastic as you are.
Unfortunately this London we are talking about so prices are quite high, £5 for a pint is a minimum. Additionally if you like going out to nightclubs and such then expect to pay a lot. Luckily the company pays good enough to make up for the London prices, so as long as you are reasonable, you should have no problems.
I'm not a fan of nightlife, so can't really speak from the experience but this is central London we are talking about, so if there is no nightlife here then I have no idea where. When commuting back you constantly bump into pubs and clubs so everyone will find something for themselves!
There was an opportunity to take part in the run representing the company and one outing session for all the interns. One could call it very little, for someone else it'd be enough. I'm the latter, I don't feel like I lost out on my holidays and free time, after all I opted-in for gaining experience and I was happy. Besides 10 weeks is not a lot of time so better make the best out of it.
Internship (1-4 Months)
Computer and Systems Engineering, Computer Science, Information Technology
8th August 2017