1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) as I found it incredibly insightful working on the various reports, communicating with delegates and attending both internal and external meetings. I also appreciated the opportunities that were provided, including attending the various events that were held throughout the year.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
During the year, not only did I work with the Data & Analytics team, but I also worked on Ad-hoc data collections that were set up on request from other teams at the ABI when they needed additional data on a more granular level. Working with colleagues at the ABI was rewarding and I felt like a valued member of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
At the beginning of my placement I was able to adapt to my surroundings quickly as we were shown exactly what work needed to be done and how to do it. I was given various training sessions, including excel/SQL sessions. If I needed any additional support from my manager then this was easily accessible and would be provided promptly.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Generally, work would be busy on a daily basis but manageable as long as I kept myself organised and well-prepared. There would tend to be busy peaks that required me to work to deadlines, and occasionally there would be a few reports that needed to be released around the same time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The start of my placement required me to learn from my colleagues and understand how the ABI worked and what was expected from me. As my placement went on, my confidence improved and I was able to work independently on the reports and provide a more valuable input. The level of responsibility was beneficial as it allowed me to develop my skills.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Going into my placement, I had limited experience using Microsoft Excel, and so I needed to understand how to use the relevant functions in order to undertake the data analysis. I can now confidently use Excel, and although this doesn't necessarily help with my degree it will be useful in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere was positive and I could work effectively at my desk without distraction. I appreciated the location of the office as it provided scenic views of London and provided a pleasant work environment. With the many teams in the office, it could also be quite busy as they would often need to communicate with one another.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was very well-organised and I had no issues with regards to how it operated with my university. Any paperwork that was needed for my placement was promptly put together and I could rely on my colleagues to get it completed on time. Visits from my university were easy to organise.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
My main form of external training was attendance to the The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) training which was a training day for new staff members. This was important as it provided an overview of the insurance industry. We were also provided with all-staff internal meetings that would cover a range of topics.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The ABI has appealing employment prospects as there is a real opportunity to work with both internal and external delegates and expand your knowledge of the industry. Depending on your own personal career path, the ABI help you to achieve your goals and gain the relevant skills you need.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
On my year of placement, myself and another placement student worked for the ABI as Data & Analytics Assistants. This isn't comparative to a placement where 10+ students may be hired as such, but the ABI still ran staff social events such as pub quizzes and various other staff-bonding events.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost of living and socialising in this area was quite expensive, but I did appreciate the location as it was in close proximity to London Cannon Street and London Bridge station, so it made it easier to commute. Although I did not rent in the area, the cost of transport was quite high.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The range of pubs and bars in the area is good, but it can be expensive for what you're getting. Only a 15 minute walk away, the St. Pauls area hosts a greater variety of bars and also carries a better atmosphere. On a Thursday and Friday evening it can be really busy however.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work, such as pub quizzes and a book club. There were also sporty activities that you could get involved in such as football and badminton. Although these didn't quite appeal to me, the all-staff events were fun and included activities such as mini-golf.