Rotation into a few roles, all based in the technology sector. I did my first 6 months as a Automated Test Engineer and my second 6 months as Software Developer
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
For the most part I enjoyed my time at Landmark. I learned a lot in my time there and met some great people. The only negatives came from parts of the company I was working in going through shifts, causing people to leave and teams to be disbanded, which at times didn't create a great atmosphere.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
People treated me with respect and were more than happy to spend time with me to ensure I understand anything I might be having trouble with. A very friendly environment with great people.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Unfortunately my placement supervisor at the time was based in Exeter (as my year was the first time were doing an Industrial Placement in the Reading office). This meant that contact was limited, however we did still catch up every so often on the phone and when he did visit the Reading office. I also felt that I would easily be able to go to him if I had any issues. My direct management in the first 6 months were great. They really took my ability and interests into account and tried to make my role as interesting and as stretching as possible within the team, while still making sure I was comfortable. The second 6 months were with a different team, where I was the only developer and given side projects that the team didn't have the time/skills for. This, along with the team being really busy, meant there wasn't as much support in these 6 months.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The first 6 months as an Automated tester I was kept busy building and maintaining the automated test suite. As well as running through tests before a release. In the second 6 months as a Software Developer I was kept busy for about 5 of the 6 months. However this was only because there wasn't really enough time for me to start a new project in that last month of employment.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Lots of responsibility! At one point I was the sole QA Analyst for one of Landmark's biggest products through a couple of it's releases. This was not forced upon me though, I was told that if I felt uncomfortable with this to let someone know and they could pull in extra resources to help me. My time spent as a Developer saw me create tools specifically to help other people in the company, this was left entirely up to me to design, organise and develop. So once again, lots of responsibility!
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Immensely. I am now 2 years on from my placement at Landmark Information Group and yet I still regard it as one of the best decisions I made. I very much enjoyed my time there, met some really great people and learned so much more than University can teach. It set me up perfectly when looking for graduate roles, giving me so much to talk about in interviews and being able to say I have already have experience of tools used in business but me yards ahead of others who had not taken the opportunity.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Great. The office was very bright, modern and open. Everyone knows everyone and everybody is open to getting to know new joiners when they come into the company. A lot of the people here are very good at their jobs but know that there can also be time for fun as long as the work is getting done.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Due to a few unforeseen circumstances, and the fact is was the first time an Industrial Placement student had worked in that office it perhaps wasn't as organised as it could have been. Originally I was told I would have four 3 month rotations in different teams/roles to give me a taste of different areas of the business. However this ended up only being two 6 month rotations.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company gave me access to a website called Pluralsight, which was incredibly helpful in bringing me up to speed with some of the technologies being used. They were also more than happy to give me the time to dedicate to this as well.
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?
I was the only placement student in that office, so no social scene in that way. However I went to quite a lot of social events with my team, such as dinners, drinks etc.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Reading is quite an expensive place in general. I'd say at the moment rent is anything from £450+ per month not including bills.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Reading nightlife is pretty good, it is a university town after all! Quite a lot od clubs to choose from too.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?