1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The work delegated to me was quite varied, and gave me good exposure to topics that I previously had no experience with. I was invited to help with interesting tasks such as bid support, product concept design, marketing and publicity, and also highly challenging tasks such as internal strategy framework.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
On a regular basis, my skills were noticed by my colleagues, often prompting them to offer me more tasks that would harness my skillsets and enable growth. My aptitude for design and illustration was noticed by my Team Leader, thus I was able to do bid support work and concept design of future products for my department.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Every Monday, I had a meeting with my line manager to discuss my progress so far and how I was feeling about my placement. Supervisors tended to be very open and honest with me. Supervisors were very approachable, and would answer any questions that I had. I was made to feel integrated within the team very early on.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Being at the forefront of innovation for Manufacturing, my department was often very busy with multiple exciting projects and tasks. The work share was delegated around the team, and I was embarking upon tasks that required dedication, time and attention-to-detail. Resultantly, there was virtually always something to do or research about.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had the chance to run my own experiments with a research group, answer questions in a bid proposal and produce appendices for this. Furthermore, I was the main point of contact to an external media company, ensuring that our own company's marketing and publicity was done on-time and to a high standard prior to being used at exhibitions.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills developed and the advice/teachings given will prove to be useful in the future, not just in my studies but in the working world. This placement provided transferable knowledge to the final years of my University degree, and I was able to see how my degree modules linked in to industrial, real-life applications. My soft skills such as communication improved, as did my commercial awareness.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone seemed to have work to be getting on with, and everyone seemed to get along. If helped was needed, you could arrange a meeting with the relevant person in their calendar, at a convenient time for you both. People generally came across as quite friendly, well mannered and approachable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement started off with an informative induction and a free lunch. This was a good opportunity to meet with the other interns and socialise with them. There was a Facebook group setup prior to the placement commencing, wherein the other interns discussed accommodation and their plans. My placement objectives were provided to me ahead of time.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Members of the team went out of their way to explain concepts to me, and teach me about how the company operates. In that sense, there was a real time investment. If they were unable to meet me or explain something face-to-face, they would show me the relevant links or resources to consult.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Due to the innovative nature of the tasks I had during my placement, future employment prospects certainly do appeal. The only limiting factor would be location, as I work far away from my hometown and friends from University. The company does have numerous sites across the UK, so there may be potential to travel around.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Members of the team were quite jovial at times, and very friendly. People generally came across as quite friendly, well mannered and approachable. I was able to get along with every member of the team, and some individuals felt like friends as well as colleagues, which made integration into the company fairly easy.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Depending on what you purchased, canteen food had reasonable prices. I was fortunate enough to be living in a Student Village that was in close proximity to everywhere I needed to be - supermarkets, gyms food outlets, venues, and more. Student discounts were available in the gyms and certain shops in the area.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife was good, especially since you were with students around the same age as you. There were various places to go out, such as bars, clubs and good restaurants. Due to the flexi time available, you are able to leave early on a Friday should you wish, meaning that you aren't worn out for the weekend and have plenty of energy left!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
In terms of activities such as sports and societies, I did not hear of much. Because of this, perhaps I missed out on the chance to meet new people. I was able to travel to a different part of the UK on company business, which was quite exciting and somewhat rare compared to what I heard from other interns. Any opportunity to travel really appealed to me.