1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My internship at BuroHappold was an enjoyable and a good learning experience. Although most times I felt like I was enjoying my time as an intern, completing productive work and gaining extra knowledge, other times I felt like I was wasting my time because I wasn’t given anything to do.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt valued a lot from some colleagues, who gave me a warm welcome from the first day and made me feel part of the team throughout the whole internship. I did not feel valued from other colleagues, who did not even introduce themselves or talked to me until the end of my placement. However, I think I made some really good friendships that will continue outside of work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given limited guidance from my line manager. Most days she was so busy with her own work that she didn’t have time to give me work and explain things to me. Other days she would help me more and assign me some interesting work. I did get some help and guidance from other people on the team when my line manager was busy, so it was not too bad after all.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some days were busier than others. On some occasions, it occurred that I had to stay at work after 5.30 pm to finish my work but on other occasions I did not have assignments for long periods of time. I did like to keep myself busy to get the most out of my placement, so I would say that (especially during my last few weeks) I had a good amount of work that I managed to complete without getting stressed out.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I do not think I was given too much responsibility during my internship. I am not too sure how relevant the work I did was, but most of it was pretty straight forward. Some of it was more challenging but it was always double checked so I did not feel pressured. The tasks I was given were usually short and I was able to complete different ones in brief periods of time.
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 gained will definitely help me a lot in my degree studies and beyond. I learned how to use many different software that I will be able to use in my studies and I was also given many tips on how to solve problems that can be fundamental to my degree and for my future career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office was a bit tense when I did my placement. There were many deadlines to meet so many people were stressed and worked late to finish work on time. We did have some lunch events that created a better atmosphere and gave people a break from their work.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was set up quite well. Every intern was given a specific team within a bigger team and a supervisor in that team. I think it is very important who your line manager is because if he/she is invested in you and spends time explaining and giving you work then the placement will be a wonderful experience.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a really good social scene amongst fellow interns and colleagues (mostly younger/graduates colleagues). I felt closer to other interns and graduates in the team because they were very welcoming from the start of my placement. We always had lunch together and even met up outside work for other social events.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
My placement took place in London, so the cost of living and socialising was pretty high. However, I always tried to bring my lunch from home to minimise expenses and so that I had more spending money to socialise after work. Traveling expenses were also pretty high since I did not live very close to my office.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is really good in London. I lived in London to begin with so I did not have to adjust to anything new or to meet other people. There are many bars/pubs and really good restaurants to go to at night. Before I left my placement I went out to dinner with some of my closest colleagues to say goodbye.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?