To create visual representations of data, improve workflows and increase departmental productivity.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed working at Illumina for my one year placement. I very much expected to be given the monotonous jobs as an intern but that has not been the case at all - I have been allowed to create, run, manage and improve my own projects that have a company wide impact while gaining exposure to many different business areas. Very happy with my experience.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The whole office have made me feel like a full time employee rather than an intern - they talk to me like a valued team member, trust what I say and never disregard or put down my opinion. This is very strong within my team and I have been given jobs with a lot more responsibility than I anticipated.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Managers across departments have supported me during my time at Illumina - each leaving me with a valuable experience and perspective of the business I will take away with me. I have had to work closely with senior management across many departments and not one of them have looked down on me as an intern, but let me host and intently listened and engaged to presentation I have delivered, and supported my projects like a full time employee's.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Initially the internship got off to a slow start, with little to do and a lot of waiting for permission and access. However as these permissions have been granted and projects have been launched, the daily workload has greatly increased to a very nice level. I can choose what I wish to prioritize on a daily basis and find the projects I am working on very rewarding. Like all jobs, there are the occasional week with a looming deadline where you have to get your head down and work late - but this doesnt happened regularly.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The amount of responsibility I was given really took me by surprise. Within my 8th week I was holding a presentation to 30 sales team members, 2 senior directors and 2 line managers, all telling them what they will be doing for my project, of which I had each and every one of their support. I regularly mentioned that I felt too beneath them to strongly action this but it was always pushed that our role is as valued as a permanent employee and would be treated like one. That has run true during my time here.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills and exposure I have received during this year has been invaluable. I now feel I have a wealth of experience I can take into an interview, being able to adapt a personal experience to almost any question they could ask. And this is something I have learnt that is essential in getting into a desired role.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere is productive, collaborative and very sociable - a very nice working environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The projects that fell into place were fantastic however there is definitely room for improvement with the internships structure. A more tailored step by step process to attain all the necessary skills would be great to implement.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company invested a great deal in my during my time. I was flown out to Eindhoven on two occasions for training and assigned multiple software licenses that I did not expect to be able to attain.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future prospects within the company are very appealing and I very much hope I can begin my career here.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Social meetups were very common with staff members from multiple departments regularly talking.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cambridge is a very beautiful city but is unfortunately very, very expensive. This expands across socializing and living. It made money very tight.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is not the greatest in Cambridge - but I have found that is primarily due to the cost. If you have a good group there is plenty to do - just finding the spare money was the hardest step.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Lots of activities and social groups in and around Cambridge - of which a lot of the employees already take part in, making it much easier to get involved.