1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I learned of course some things, but it was way under my expectations. The first 3 months I learned a lot, my support was good, but maybe I was "too" productive or more than expected and therefore my load of tasks got way lower the following months. I expected an internship as a possibility to see how things work and what it would be like to work within the company. In order to do that I thought I would be part of important projects where my personality and knowledge help me make a difference.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt like I was more the person to give the boring tasks to rather than someone new you should inspire and motivate so that he wants to work permanently within the company. At the beginning I was learning VBA and mastered it (this was the best period of the placement where everyday I was lerning new things) and afterwards my colleagues just asked me to help them in order to format documents, write VBA codes etc...->so something I could have done in ANY company rather than something mirroring what they do and something which could motivate me to want to stay here longer.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support and guidance were ok, not I had to chase for gettting new tasks, those tasks being the ones which were a pain to do mostly.
At the beginning, my support was great in order to prepare all the administrative papers since I came from abroad. I asked loads of questions and my Manager was always there to answer me but I after 3 months, I realized that my colleagues expected me to go to them to ask if I could help somehow rather than them coming with some tasks. I had to chase them so that they give me tasks they didn't want to do (formatting, automation of some repetitive processes via VBA)
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My productivity was not valued. Most of the days I had to stay at the office just to do my "8 hours" even though I didn't have 8h of daily tasks. I used to finish my tasks quickly. But again, as I said, since those tasks were so unimportant, the business wouldn't be affected at all in I were present or not. At some point I got bored but then I chose to use this time to improve my VBA skills way beyond the tasks I was given. I started wroking on performacne optimisation of my codes rather than just finding one way to achieve something.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was mostly given responsability for the tasks people didn't want to do. My biggest tasks were :
- Managing a group fund (2£) than most of the people of the office would take part in to buy coffee, tea, sugar and milk for everyone
- Friday PieDay : Asking would wanted a Pie for lunch, since we would organize a Pie lunch every Friday
- Automating some processes (80% of my placement) (pure coding - unrelated to the company) where I could make a code which does what someone would do manually repetitively
- Creating a new template of a report : This was my most interesting task since I would see figures and targets (-> related to the company) and that everyone was interested in this -> I felt like I had an impact
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Since I had lots of "free time", I could focus and master coding skills more than just to simply achieve my tasks and also think to where I could possibly apply them to.
Though, after graduating from one of the best scientific University of the world, I expected that I could use the skills I studied somehow...which was not the case at all. The only thing I applied was my knowledge to know how to learn new things quickly.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Very quiet since I was not placed in the main building but in a building 30 minutes by car with only 20-25 people. All the events and intern meetings were taken place in Goodwood. So I was missing most of them and didn't have the chance to meet so many people. I wish I was placed in Goodwood where I would have had the possibility to use the facilities they have + interacat with way more people.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The recruitment part was good but once I arrived in UK I had no one supporting me since I came from abroad and I had to get some extra papers. I didn't receive my salary on the first month because I couldn't open a Bank account since I had to wait for my NiNo to arrive etc...I was lucky to have parent who could send me money to help me out at the start, but I was really disappointed about the support at this point.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company didn't invest at all for me. One example : I offered some help to Geneva Motor Show since I speak French and come from there, I could be of great support. The Marketing department was really pleased to hear that and asked when I could come. We arrenged dated, I received all the information (brochure, my badge etc) but it is only 1 week before that I learn that I have to pay for all my costs (flight + accomodation) since they don't need me there and I am just an extra...
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am not interesting in working longer within this company. Partly due to my unexpectedly sad experience but also because I am not interested in a 9-to-5 job at all.
I heard that BMW UK offer some remote jobs opportunities which hasn't been set here yet, but this is a great way to value your productivity rather than "forcing" you to do 8h even though you would need less to complete your tasks.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were some interns meeting and nights out, but again since I was in TLC (isolated from the rest of the interns), I had to figure out by myself (took more than a month to discover the facebook chat) the events and create contacts from a distance. Some interns were really determined to oragnize events and this definitely was a big + !
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I live in Bognor Regis, the cheapest region in the area, but at least near my workplace...
People there are no sociable compared to bigger cities like London or Brighton. Most of them are Polish barely speaking Englih and retired couples so my city was definitely not the place to go to in order to socialize
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As I said above it was not the best at all. Chichester is better but I feel like people in this countryside are not very open and it was hard for me to make good friends (outside of the interns) when going out. In Bognor Regis, there are some bars (always empty) where we can play pool/snooker which is a +. there is also the biggest club in the whole area inbetween Portsmouth and Brighton
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not really. Once I got in touch with the other interns we organized some nights out yes, but most of them were going back home during the weekend since it s not the best area to go out in here. Within the company, we used to do some drinks out when someone was leaving the department, but this usually occured once every 2 months. I used to go every 2 weeks to London rather than staying here.