The work was challenging and employees helpful and friendly. I didn't want to feel like a placement student and certainly didn't feel this which really made the placement feel less like a placement and actually like a job which paired with projects that actually made an impact to the company made the placement one of the best decision for my degree and start of my career.
The work took a while to pick up but once going the projects I was involved with had great enough impact that I felt like I wasn't a placement student and actually an employee.
No question was never unanswered regardless of how simple or stupid it was. The company has many acronyms and processes which can seem daunting at first but with employees with a wide pool of knowledge you never feel like a question won't be answered and be swallowed up by the volume of information thrown at you.
The initial month was very slow with training here and there and not really much to do. It picked up through the year but never felt swamped with work and sometimes going a week or two with no project work to do.
Projects would typically be worked in pairs with a colleague to distribute the workload and provide support where needed but never felt like they were over my shoulder checking everything that I was doing which was great. After a couple of months some solo projects were assigned and that felt great, setting up the meetings, presenting solutions and overall having that project responsibility.
I would say that the two skills I will take away are discipline and project management for sure. In terms of assisting my degree not really much as the nature of the degree is more theory based and memory not so much real-world problem solving. Beyond the degree though I would say there are some really useful skills for future jobs e.g. data visualisation, which can't be taught in university.
Open with a friendly feeling throughout. You could easily get up and talk to someone down the other end without feeling like you are intruding on them during work.
As this was the first year of the placement there were some teething problems. Onboarding could have been improved, as previously mentioned the first month or so was twiddling thumbs with training.
There was some meetings to discuss what the future holds and approaching it but barely any. Alongside this there was cv and linkedin sessions but it would have been better if there were more.
Working from home
After this experience I feel like a job could be offered (ofcourse nothing is comfirmed) but the company is always growing and seems like new people join everyday so it could be on the table.
The pool of placement students was fairly small 6 but we would eat lunch and hang out frequently which was great as it didn't feel like you were the only placement student. Work colleagues would often include us and go for meal frequently to local pubs and restaurants along with a bar visit or two.
Based in Cambridge resulted in not the cheapest experience both living and socializing.
There's plenty of bars, pubs and restaurants and a few clubs. You'll never run out of unique bars and eateries in Cambridge so if that's your thing it's perfect.
The company promoted a lot of opportunities such as cinema visits (company paid) along with trips to London which normally require only the coach fee paid for, to see shows. Many charity events e.g. charity runs were organised which many people from the company also get involved with.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Logistics and Operations
11th December 2017