I assisted with month-end financial reports and helped post journal entries. I supported reconciliation of accounts receivable, payable and bank statement reconciliation.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
During my internship, I really enjoyed the team I was working with. They were ambitious individuals yet sometimes I felt excluded. They gave me very repetitive tasks and I did not feel like I am developing any new knowledge or skills. I spent one-month doing photocopies. I understand I was an intern, but doing photocopies was a bit too cliche.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Some of them were very friendly- trying to find me more interesting tasks to do, namely posting amounts to different accounts, but others behave like they did not care much about anything, including their job. They just came to do their things and then go home to their families. I did not feel valued and I do not think they felt valued either.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My supervisors were the learning and development team. Every time I came up with an initiative to schedule a meeting with anyone, I had to run the idea first through the learning and development team. Even one of my senior colleagues felt it is ridiculous. Eventually, I felt like each of my actions has to be closely monitored.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Not busy at all, which is hell when you have to stay at the office for 8h trying to find yourself something to do. Photocopies were the highlight of a day, in the free time I was enhancing my Excel skills. One of the grads was pretty helpful and he was trying to teach me some of the things he learnt, but otherwise, it was a bore.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I got one responsibility to do an electronic version of the contractor invoices from part 5 years and the second responsibility was to create a calendar in Excel where people would indicate where they are based. I tried to come up with more initiatives, but learning and development team would tell me not to do it...
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I think the only skill I developed was my patience. I have not received any training, I do not think it helped me in any way with my degree studies, however the access to their annual statements from past 20 years helped me do a case study for my dissertation, so maybe it was not just a waste of time.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
People were really quiet. Not many people spoke with each other. It was almost the same atmosphere as in the library where no one is talking and everyone is working on their thing. There were no social events for the workers. Only outside the office on the way home, I would speak with the few people and their opinion about the company was not too good.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There was no preparation made. I mean, how can you bring someone to work in the office and have no tasks for them? That's the waste of my time and company's money. From such a big and prestigious company I expected much more than what I got. I was disappointed.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We did not have any training. There were a few internal meetings, but that was a social thing more than a training. There was one session where we learnt what the company is working on and what are their strategies for the future, but that was it. Nothing tailored to the actual role.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Maybe now after the takeover, the situation is better, but it is hard to tell. I hope the approach to learning and development changed and there are people genuinely interested in helping their interns and grads to develop skills and monitor their progression. I wish for no one to end up in the same role I was.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
That is probably the only positive thing I can say. The grads were great, we had a fantastic time hanging out together, we organised lots of social events outside the work and we stayed in touch even after out internships ended. It was a good way to build our social network.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It was ok, it was not as expensive as London, but also not the cheapest place to live and work. The cost of socialising was alright and we were paid a good wage, so we could afford more than usually. I enjoyed the time spent outside of work with the fellow interns.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was ok, there were 3/4 clubs maybe. Lots of bars in the area, quite cheap. The clubs were not full, as it was during the summer time and many students returned home, but as the internship lasted until the beginning of September we had a few good nights out then.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Nothing that I was aware of. They did not suggest anything we could do the work, so I imagine their options were short when it came to organising something outside of work. My suggestion would probably be to get interns involved in some volunteering activities, that is a good way to spend time and rise CRS within the office.