1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at Aon. Colleagues engaged me in work without overloading me and I was encouraged to participate in numerous office social events including football, rounders and fantasy football. The work environment at the office I was based was both relaxed and professional and work, although at times very light, provided me with a wide variety of jobs to get involved in.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
A worry for an intern is that colleagues may look down on you as you start especially if you don't really know what you're doing (which is likely quite often at the start). Aon's work place isn't like this at all. Many of the colleagues I met were themselves, at one point an intern or new grad so the workplace itself is very embracing of interns. I was given opportunities to work with a range of colleagues from a range of seniority and all had a very embracing and supportive attitude towards me and the fellow interns. However, going in hand with this, they will expect you to pull your weight.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
As an intern, the worry is always that you will feel a bit out of your depth and alienated especially if you hadn't done work in the industry before. Initially, since I had no former background in the industry, I shared this worry. Aon provides you with a buddy (usually a graduate/apprentice) who helps you integrate into the community and give guidance in the work you're doing. Additionally, when given work by colleagues, they will take their time to explain what I need to do and give you some background information to broaden my overall knowledge. Regular manager conversations and a mid-internship review also provides ample feedback on what I'd been up to as well as what colleagues feel you can try and improve on. However, at times, some work that was given to me threw me a bit too far into the deep end, especially at the beginning of the internship.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My buddy mentioned to me that work comes in waves. This was definitely apparant as in some weeks, I'd have jobs to keep me busy for a few days running whilst other weeks, I'd be sat there sending out numerous emails to colleagues asking for work. Unfortunately, during my internship, the latter was more apparant. Work load is usually reduced during the summer season in the industry so this was understandable, however I did often find myself doing very little work on some days even after asking for something from colleagues. However, on the brightside, at no point was I ever worried about being overloaded.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A lot of the work I was doing was work that would be sent out to actual clients so there was emphasis on correctness as well as taking responsibility for work done all done in quite a safe environement for us interns through checks and guidance from colleagues. The project we worked on during the course of the internship also gave us interns an idea of seeing a project through in full from start to finish and taking full responsibility of the outcome.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Being given the opportunity to work in a work environment has taught me quite a few crucial skills relevant in many walks of life. From work prioritisation and time management to small talk with colleagues. Additionally, the technical skills I learnt during the course of the internship has probably increased my skills regarding the bulk of the microsoft office a few folds over. The skills and knowledge (although one might argue quite niche) gained during the internship will no doubt be useful in future, not only in my studies, but also for a future career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I was based in the St Albans office which was on the smaller sides. The colleagues in the office were very professional when it came to work but were very fun and personal when not relating to work! Thanks to this, the atmosphere in the office was very light-hearted and relaxed. The teams were close-knit as well and were very happy to welcome me into the team.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Overall the internship was well set up. The only issue was locally at the office where we didn't manage to get a cupboard for work and an access card until a few weeks into the internship.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Initial 3 day induction training dedicated to us interns and industrial placements.
Weekly 1 hour information talks about a wide range of talks.
A project where we interns were given a real charity client. The charity I worked with was an official partner of Aon.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Internships are one of the main streams that Aon recruits its graduates from. I can't say about my situation at the moment since they only give offers a few weeks after the internship finishes.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
St Albans is one of the smaller offices so we only had 4 interns for the entire office. Hence our social scene itself wasn't as good. Although we would have lunch together on occasion and go out on some of the social events organised by the office.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
For the course of my internship, I stayed in London, before commuting up to St Albans. So.... that was very pricey.
Other than that, the cost of other things in St Albans is a bit cheaper than in London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
N/A, didn't participate in the Nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The office ran numerous other activities that they encouraged us interns into joining. To name a few: football, cricket, rounders, fantasy football, email activities, social events.