1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my time at Microsoft. The office was a fantastic environment and the work I was given was genuinely interesting and I feel had an impact. Moreover the team I was working with were all very friendly, helpful and really strived to make my experience a good one. The work life balance was especially good having heard many horror stories from other firms
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt reasonably valued by colleagues, we had a number of social outings like pub trips/lunches etc which I was invited too. I also feel the work I was doing was valued and all of a suitable level. I was never made to do photocopying etc. it was all technical work which other people in the team were genuinely interested in seeing finished.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a manager and mentor before arriving. My manager was exceptional and I feel he really made an effort to help me experience certain elements of the work the team did which I expressed interest in. As far as technical help went there were multiople people in the office whom I went to frequently asking for help and they were always very helpful
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The work life balance I thought was pretty brilliant, I’d heard many horror stories of software interships at other large tech companies in which people were doing 50 hour weeks as interns. This was not the case at all at Microsoft, the work I was given was challenging and interesting but there was no expectation to work beyond the normal 9-5:30.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The work I was doing seemed to be of reasonable importance, I was working on internal tools but the tools had very obvious uses and I received several emails over the course of the internship from interested parties, often from people in the US whom I had never before spoken too. Having said that it perhaps would’ve been nice to also work on some features that would’ve been seen by the public.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The entire internship was technical and I feel my programming skills have been massively improved as a result. I also feel I improved many soft skills that I rarely get the opportunity to use at university, my projects all having elements of interacting with others, working out designs based on specifications, evaluation etc which I don’t get in my academic studies
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Atmosphere was very quiet which was a little intimidating at first, there was also a little lack of socials going on outside work which initially was difficult as someone new to the area. Having said that thought this did improve as the internship went on and pub trips seemed much more common towards the end. As a working environment there was nothing wrong with it.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internships organisation was a little lacklustre in that I felt I wasn’t given much information on what I would be working on before arriving and there wasn’t really anything formal in place for when I arrived beyond a quick tour of the office. It would have been really nice if there was slightly more in terms of a formal induction. It would’ve been especially nice to be introduced to more people on arrival
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The work was all very technical and there was initial training videos to learn more about the work that was done by the team but beyond this there was little in the way of specific training.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very appealing, I really enjoyed my internship with them!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were quite a few other interns in the office and a number of events were put on for us including attending a music festival in hyde park! Socially this was really good but also allowed us all to discuss what we were doing and help each other with work. This was very positive.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London, so very expensive but the pay was really good so this was offset
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
It was in central london so the nightlife was fantastic, although very expensive. I am particularly into music and so for me it was perfect as it allowed me to see many concerts and bands which don’t tour elsewhere. There were also countless pubs, bars theatres nightclubs etc as one would expect from a capital city.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
In terms of with work there seemed to be plenty going on in terms of board game nights and pub trips across the different teams in the office, although the specific team I was working with was quieter. Having said this outside of work there was plenty going on of course as we were in Lonndon.