1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I loved my time at ERAC, as everybody in the company started from the same position there is a massive understanding for new starters the support and progression (if you want it) is never-ending.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I relocated to a completely unknown area which increased my concerns and anxiety starting in the branch. Quickly, however, I felt like a piece of the furniture and in the end, i didn't want to leave!
Even as an intern you are given the opportunity to voice your opinions on the operational tasks in branch and how they could be improved.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
After initial 3 days comprehensive training at head office with other interns/placement students in the area you are literally thrown into the deep-end. Within the 1st week at the branch I had been to lunch with my branch manager & area manager, this continued to recognise achievements and for general support.
We had regular monthly 1-1s / 3 month reviews and other business-related meetings. There wasn't a time I didn't feel supported at ERAC by people in the branch to senior members in the head office.
If you had questions about other business streams meetings could be arranged with people in those departments, this really helped understand the business further and it is worth taking full advantage of where possible.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Because you are given a certain level of autonomy within the branch, there is never a quiet moment. But it is to be noted that customers are the TOP priority at all costs if a customer was to walk through the door and the phone started to ring you need to be there for the customer in front of you.
The branch I was in wasn't as conveniently located for retail customers, therefore, a lot of customers had pre-booked and used our free pick-up service, however, this didn't mean it was a quiet branch.
You are also tasked to take control in all areas of business therefore if customer base was quiet you could be working on your folder, dealing with accounts, catching up with paperwork
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
From day one you are given a lot of responsibility, in all aspects of the business model for the branch. Taking control of these responsibilities and exceeding targets and expectations give's you a sense of self-accomplishment.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I developed during my summer internship will aid me in the future and I have been given the opportunity to carry on working on a branch close to university and also the opportunity to become a campus brand manager to inspire future hires into the company
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone in the office wants the branch to succeed so there was always a positive work ethic in the branch. As a 50+ hour job, the staff become like family so the banter and general support were never-ending.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
ERAC is renowned for the employee development, I was extremely surprised by the level of organisation that goes into their scheme and the continuous support given by all employees.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
As stated earlier ERAC does heavily invest in training and development. Every aspect of your work in the branch is not only to grow the business but to grow you as an individual and give you the best opportunities. It is however how much you want to get out of the internship though! During my internship, I had the opportunity to speak to various staff members from different streams in the business, go on training days & activities to say thank you.
My training folder is actually larger than one of my module folders!
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
YES!! That's all I need to say really, during my time back at uni I will be working part-time at a local branch. Continuing to complete my training folder before going back next summer for my placement year.
Also, i am partaking in Campus Brand Manager in collaboration with my uni
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We were all scattered around the area so only really saw them on training days, however, the 3-day training at the start we were all put up in a hotel where we all got to know each other and went out every night.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I relocated to a completely unknown area, i was lucky to move into a house share with great people at a reasonable cost!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Not fantastic but central location to larger cities
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are a lot of charity based events you can get involved in even though i didn't have time to get involved myself a few co-workers got involved in pride events & 5 aside football & foodbank events