Under immediate supervision, supports the functions of the planning staff while gaining knowledge of basic
planning functions; and performs other duties as assigned.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I found my internship very interesting and enjoyed it very much. I was given a responsibility from the start, and undertook various roles within the team, from due diligence, researching of the site, mapping out potential development sites and attending various meetings.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
As I was given responsibility from the very start of my internship, I felt valued by my colleagues who took me seriously. Responsibilities included attending various meetings with my colleagues, going to a site by myself and undertaking research that I later presented to my colleagues. By being given work that directly aided the planning team was very beneficial for my progression and experience.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a fair amount of support through my line manager and other staff who helped me out if I ever had any issues or queries. I attended introductory meetings run by the management which was helpful as I learnt more about the company and the company's values.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
On a daily basis I tended to be quite busy, which I preferred as I would learn more and get more out of each task by having timescales I would have to complete work by. If I finished work early I would ask around and see if I could provide assistant in any way, which always I would be able to help someone out with their workload.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As mentioned above, I was given a high level of responsibility from the day I started. By being given tasks and work that directly linked to work that colleagues were undertaking made me feel that I was part of the team and by contributing further informed my understanding of the discipline.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The internship has aided me in my degree studies and career progression in the planning field. As I enjoyed my internship so much, I was invited back to the team the following summer on another internship. After my second internship, I have now started working at GVA part time alongside my Masters in Urban and Regional Planning. By completing the two internships and acquiring the skills and experiences, I have been able to see how a planning practice in reality and has been invaluable to my learning.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was generally formal, however the team had a light-hearted side and there was plenty of jokes. This made for a great working environment, it was easy to concentrate and get on with the tasks that needed to be completed but there was also a good atmosphere and healthy working environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was well organised, I was contacted by an administrator before I started and was sent my contract and guidelines that I must adhere to whilst working at GVA. My line manager set out what I should be bale to do by the end of the internship and I set myself clear individual goals and a list of various tasks I had completed.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
In terms of personal training and development, I believe GVA invested in me highly. Colleagues invested their time in directing me to complete tasks and were always available in case I had a question. Furthermore, by GVA inviting me back to complete a second internship with them and being given the opportunity to work with them alongside my masters has greatly helped my career progression, as well as informing my studies and next steps.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Prospects of future employment are fairly appealing within GVA, due to me having experience of working in the office and knowing the team personally. I therefore feel comfortable in this work environment and due to positive past experiences, has informed me that I wouldn't mind working for the company in the future.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was not much of a social scene amongst placement students. There was no way of knowing who was an intern as nobody was introduced from other departments, and if there were no other interns within the team then you wouldn't get a chance to meet them as there were very limited social events outside of the team where other staff at GVA got together.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
In Birmingham, the cost of living is fairly standard for a city in the UK. As I went to University here I was used to the cost of living which is higher than cities such as Leeds or Liverpool, but lower than cities like Oxford or London. There are many of activities and things to do within the city to socialise, varying from plenty of bars and clubs, to activities like go-karting and mini-golf. The team I worked in always had a team building trip each year which was great to see colleagues in a different environment too.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
In Birmingham, the nightlife is very very good. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs all over the city, and can cater for pretty much everyone. As I went to University in the city I knew and had experienced a lot of the nightlife, which I continued to do so alongside my internship!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were a few opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work at GVA. Many of the activities were for charity, such as various runs, a velo, dress down days and cake sales. There are sports teams that I could have joined such as netball and football, and a masseuse who comes to the office every few weeks. Also, each team partakes in a team building day/weekend to get to know each other better and as a reward for hard work which is great.