1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the placement. The work was both challenging and interesting. Work was varied and there was a nice mix of large and small clients. I was involved in all stages of projects, from researching potential clients and opportunities, to producing final reports and projects. I gained a lot of technical knowledge as well developing my practical skills and confidence.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Working in a small team meant that I got to know everyone in the both local and national team very well. They were all lovely. They were heavily invested in my development and pushed me to continuously challenge myself, putting me forward to deliver training presentation and volunteering me to work on national projects. I felt valued and, more importantly, comfortable around my colleagues. Despite my initial expectations, even those in a more senior position would always take the time, where possible, to help you with any questions you had and talk you through anything you didn’t understand.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Upon starting, I was assigned a supervisor and a buddy. My supervisor was responsible for managing any questions I had regarding assigned work, whereas my buddy was there to help with any other problems (e.g. admin). Both were brilliant – they were very helpful, approachable and they always had time for me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Work flow was varied. For the most part, there was a reasonable and appropriate work load. I was able to come in at 9 and leave on time at 5. Rarely was I required to stay late or come in early. On occasion, there were quiet days where I would struggle to find work locally and would have to turn to the national team.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility and I was heavily involved in the management of projects. I was left to juggle a variety of tasks for a number of different projects, complete them to tight deadlines. I was responsible for the organisation of my day and management of tasks. Although it was challenging, the responsibility was manageable and I didn't feel that the tasks I were given we impossible. I was also trusted with client contact, which although difficult at times was extremely rewarding.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Although I don't feel that the skills I learnt necessary applied to my degree directly, it did greatly improve my skills overall. I found that the way I write and communicate greatly improved, which has benefited my studies. Also my time-management and organisation has greatly improved, as at work I was often left to juggle tasks, organise my day and complete task on time.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The firm was keen to train you. The first week was essentially a crash course in Tax and everything else you'd need to know about the company. Although there was no formal training on the internal systems, there were plenty of online tools (including video tutorials and 'How to' guides). In addition, there were fortnightly lunchtime training sessions which further helped to develop my knowledge.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
In terms of progression, there is a clear path and goalposts that you need to meet in order to successfully get promoted. The way is clear cut and there are many internal opportunities as well as international ones. Internal mobility is readily available and most straight forward. I myself moved between offices during my time there.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Although, I was the only placement student in the office, my colleagues were very friendly and there were plenty of opportunities to socialise with them. There were often gatherings after work and other social events, including a cryptic treasure hunt, Christmas meal and Year-end parties. They were a great opportunity to meet people that weren't necessarily in your department.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Glasgow is very cheap. My commute cost me £400 a year, compared to the £4,000 I would've incurred living at home an commuting into London. Cost of living was reasonable. I paid £425 for a decent one bed flat, 10 m train ride from the city center and close to some of the major shopping outlets and best country parks.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Glasgow was great. The office is right in the city centre, with the West-End just a ten minute walk (or a short cab ride away). There were plenty of great bars, clubs and other watering holes about. For the more cultured there was also the ballet, opera and a couple of theaters just a stones throw away.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were plenty of additional opportunities that you could take part in, including a wide range of volunteering opportunities. Every year you get an fixed amount of volunteering hours which you could use throughout the year to take paid time off to do something good. I myself volunteered to teach primary school children maths for an hour, once a week.