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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The atmosphere is productive, collaborative and very sociable - a very nice working environment.
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.
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.
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Future prospects within the company are very appealing and I very much hope I can begin my career here.
Social meetups were very common with staff members from multiple departments regularly talking.
Cambridge is a very beautiful city but is unfortunately very, very expensive. This expands across socializing and living. It made money very tight.
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.
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.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Biology, Chemistry, Design, E-Business, Electronics, Graphic Design, Information Technology, Marketing, Medical/Health
East of England
5th December 2017