1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
This was very great year that has given me a great insight into the gas distribution within the United Kingdom. There has been a very good balance of office work, site visits and trips within the network to view certain projects and infrastructure on a large scale. I've fully enjoyed being part of the Operations team here specifically the Emergency Response and Repair team and being a crucial part of the day-to-day that the public do not generally know about.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I found that colleagues are encouraged to "use you" in a sense, you are guided to become in integral part of whatever department you are based in. I found that my colleagues really valued the work that I was doing and the feedback I received was generally good. Over time this improves as well as with encouragement to get yourself out there.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Feedback and personal growth is an integral part of this placement. Every quarter you attend a review with your Line Manager and you Placement Coordinator to discuss what you have achieved within the last 3 month period and what you aim to achieve by the next. This helps you consolidate your feelings about you work and really aim to achieve your personal targets by the next review period. Whatever support or extra guidance you need will be provided.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Personally within my department I found that the workload varies. There is a healthy mix of work where some days will be more intense than others. I have had daily tasks that I need to complete as well as long term project goals to aim for all while learning around the business and keeping up with your team. I have enjoyed the balance.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During the placement, quite naturally, I found I slowly became an integral part of my team and responsibilities grew as a result of completing work to a good standard as part of the team. As the company push for you to get the most out of your placement, you are beyond encouraged to ask for more work and ask for more difficult tasks during you placement, from this you can find yourself taking on quite a lot of challenging work.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
From my experiences of this year, during the placement when you have a task set there is not right or wrong way to go about completing a goal. Usually there is a time-frame in which the task needs to be completed by. Time management skills during work is what was definitely improved upon during the course of the year. In my case I also learnt how to breakdown a large piece of work into set tasks that needs to be completed as well as bolstering my multitasking and interpersonal skills. These will be indispensable skills that will greatly aide me going into not only my final year of study but beyond that in my own future endeavors.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere within the operations department was very relaxed and less corporal than a typical office environment, you are encouraged to have a chat and get to know your colleagues, this helps you more to ease into work. However when work needs to be done there is a real team focus and effort which can be felt within the office.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement is very structured with well defined goals and calendar events throughout the year, you know exactly where your are and where you aim to be in the next period. There is a very big push for you to also socialize with the other placement students during the year so you build a very good network.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
It is a mandatory requirement to attend building sessions a the start and end of your placement. As well as different courses throughout the year to fully induct you into the company and its values such as performance excellence courses and Core Practices Foundation Training. The company invest a lot in your development.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future employment prospects within the company are very appealing, the Graduate Scheme is one of the most competitive and rewarding Graduate Schemes that exist on the market. You are encouraged to speak to those already on the graduate scheme and are also told that If you impress during the Placement year you will be given a place on the Graduate Scheme, this means that after the placement year is over you would only need to focus on your final year as you have a well respected job secured after university.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
This was a very much encouraged aspect of the placement scheme and through the efforts of both the fellow students, colleagues and placement coordinators you build up a very good network of people that are only a text, call or email away. You are also assigned a Placement buddy through its entirety that can assists you with settling in and advice on who to speak to.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
In my personal case my scheme was based in my home city; London so this couldn't have been more perfect. I already had friends and family around coupled with a workplace that was very close to my home was beyond ideal. However, the general price for nightlife is quite high comparatively, there is not a shortage of things to do. I can imagine the cost of living would be quite high as well.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
London, need i say more?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was a lot of site visits on a large scale to see the infrastructure and assets controlled by the company. These trips will be arranged so that you would attend with the other placement students so you could socialize as well as learn. Very fun trips to things like power stations and Energy infrastructure.