This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
I enjoyed most of it.
To a decent extent. Obviously as an intern I don't think they were expecting me to be particularly valuable in terms of my work but they were very friendly, and seemed genuinely in how I was doing and in the tool I was coding for their eventual use. Most days I didn't interact that much with the others in the office, just briefly over coffee breaks usually but they were willing to talk and some to answer extensive questions about different aspects of the company.
I was given a mentor to ask technical questions to, and a manager to occasionally check up on my progress. I had a weekly status meeting with my manager which often went on for nearly an hour, so I always felt like they were willing to spend time looking after me. I was assured that I should ask questions frequently and my mentor knew a lot about my project so was able to guide me thoroughly. However he did often seem busy and I would have appreciated more ramp up information to avoid having to ask basic questions.
I was fairly busy, working pretty solidly for at least 8 hours a day, and the work was usually stimulating and engaging. I didn't have many tight deadlines for things bu there was a constant desire to try to get as much as possible done over the course of the internship. I had a lot to learn about and my projects involved lots of different coding concepts and tools which I had to get to get to grips with. There was complete flexibility though in terms of when to take breaks.
I was responsible for one project which I was convinced could be very useful for the company if done well. On the other hand the project had been thought about a lot before I came so I didn't have very much responsibility in terms of coming up with a design. I was allowed to make changes on the company intranet and I could work fairly independently some of the time, and it was often up to me to ask for meetings with my mentor and bring up things with my manager.
I think this has been a very useful experience in this regard overall because I learned a fairly large amount of coding in Python which I can see myself using in the future. For instance I can now comfortably deal with classes and some complicated functions. I think I have made a lot of progress in terms of being able to approach any programming language and quickly come up with efficient ways of approaching problems.In terms of content I think most of the limited information I picked up about telephone networks will never be useful again.
The general atmosphere was friendly and there was an internal company competition going on during my internship for which we were in teams by office, so there was a spirit of comradery too. We had a few team meals together which was nice and there was occasional banter, although for most of the time people just got on with their work. There never seemed to be any hostility and people seemed happy to talk about their weekends and home lives to a reasonable extent.
The project itself seemed well though through and organised although I never got to see a timetable mapping out when I was expected to have finished certain parts of it. The intern activity week was fun and well organised and there were occasional lectures and workshops that we were invited to attend. There were reliable leaving and starting drinks for each intern, but there were some complaints that the intern company housing was not well organised, since people arrived without the current occupants being made aware beforehand. Overall good though.
They seemed to invest quite a lot in me because they sat me close to my manager and mentor so that I could interrupt them at pretty much any time. They also spent lots of money buying us starting and leaving drinks any time anyone left or started working, and they paid us reasonably as well. My manager took time trying to explain the company's products and innner workings to me. Also HR gave us free hoodies, and free fruit and biscuits in the office. They clearly want to encourage people to come back.
Sports and Social Club
I think I would seriously consider working here. The general morale and friendliness is good, although in other teams people seemed a bit too work focused. Also there was a general feeling that the company underpays people and lets the happy and relaxed environment convince them to stay. Lots of people seemed to like being challenged every day, so I think that's a very appealing aspect. But also the work seems a little narrow in its focus and in a meeting they discussed making employees specialize still further so overall I am unsure about returning to work.
Yes the leaving and starting drinks meant that lots of interns did socialise with each other quite regularly. We had board games in peoples houses and parties after the pub, plus a few of the interns had lunch together most days in the canteen or at Nandos. Also the clubs and sports events helped people get to know each other, and the fact that 9 people had to share one company house ensured that some people got friendly. Overall I think the social scene was good although not everyone took advantage of it.
The cost of living was very reasonable. Travelling to central London on an Oyster card was my main expense. The company housing was cheap (£77 a week) and I spent very little on food. The drinks as I've mentioned were free every time someone (even the interns) started or left, and there was usually enough on the tab for everyone who wanted to have at least one drink and often more. The gym was cheap, especially with the company discount that meant no membership fee.
Don't know, didn't try it, but heard it's not good.
Yes there were lunch time sports clubs it seemed like every day and there was a company wide competition going on with quizzes and other games. There were a couple of sports days with food afterwards and a fun intern activity week where people from other offices came to Enfield and we did a Vacathon (like a hackathon but a few days instead of just one). There were also other societies like a board game society, book club etc. But in the end work was still what you ended up spending most of your time on.
Internship (1-4 Months)
Computer and Systems Engineering
26th September 2017