1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
As a company and socially I had enjoyed standard life, however, the actual scheme and the projects I received were not particularly enjoyable. Socially it works well because they pay to accommodate all the non Edinburgh based interns in a block of flats 20min walk from the office which is good to meet fellow interns. The actual work was devoid of interest and monotonous tasks, more applicable to a work experience scheme rather than an internship.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Standard Life has a great atmosphere in that everyone is nice and approachable. We chatted often and people were always often to give overviews of their role, their department, or a particular system. People also responded to requests about aid in completing work. Then again, because the work I did was not high level I believe that they saw me more of a work experience student rather than an intern doing proper jobs.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was not very useful. Only on one occasion did I actually receive proper feedback about my work but that was about the income. Would have been far more useful to have received feedback on my approach, how I handled it, how I could do it better etc. yet this was never forthcoming. About mid way through the internship my manager gave me a supervisor who was more helpful - but still never received any constructive feedback on how to improve.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Really varied. Some days I was busy all day whilst others I was sat at my desk with nothing to do - either with work being complete (as in final couple of weeks) or waiting on someone to review what I had done so far. This is partially because I had no proper project that could be openly expanded to fill my time and is a reflection on a poorly thought out internship role. Busiest period was in preparation for end of internship presentation.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Little responsibility - as mentioned in other answers I was given fairly monotonous work more in line with what a work experience student might expect rather than an intern. It was all work that needed to be done for the department though little 'thought' was needed. When I mentioned this to my box I was told that I could not really be given anything else because I could not learn enough about the department in such a short space of time to be given more responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Presentation skills which were as part of the internship programme rather than learnt 'on the job' were the most useful transferable skills. We had to prepare fore end of internship presentations which was a 10 min talk about our time with the company. We had had a 2 hour lesson how presentations then had a couple of weeks to create slides, practice, and then present. This was enjoyable and can be transferred into both skills for university and beyond.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Great atmosphere- SLI is known for this and it is very relaxed which I enjoyed. Everybody is approachable and willing to help out, have a chat, joke around. We had a departmental BBQ near the beginning and near the end we went out to a Fringe show with our 'Buddies'. All this contributed to a fun and related office atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The programme was well organised with each week all the interns getting together for a 2 hour learning course on either presentation skills, insight into company etc. We also took the first day to meet the other interns and learn more details about the company which was useful. The organisation of my role within the department was far worse. My manager barely met with me and then did not realise that this was an issue until past the half way mark when I was given another supervisor, my projects obviously had not been discussed as one of them had to be removed as it was decided after a day that it was not useful, and generally it was poor.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Had training courses with other interns most weeks with talks on skills such as how to present. Also we were able to take time out of our work to go the Hub to learn how to use a particular software. I also had overviews about the systems and processes my team used which were useful - then I was left free to decide what else I needed to learn and seek out how to learn it.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
We were all asked whether we wanted to be considered for the Grad scheme. They are making an effort to get interns to progress onto the graduate scheme because then they can assess people over a longer period of time rather than just in an assessment centre. If you do well and want a job you are basically on to the graduate scheme for the following year!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We were all placed in the same block of flats at the companies expense for 10 weeks meaning we were close together, could meet each other and socialise. We also had socials at work such as department BBQ, and went for lunch with our Buddies as well as going to a Fringe show with them. During the fringe the interns went to a number of shows together as well!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Edinburgh during the Fringe was fun. Good selection of clubs and in August for the Fringe every bar becomes a great place to go out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?