1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I found my placement to be very enjoyable. I have not only used skills that I acquired in the University, but also picked up a lot of other ones. The variety of work really kept it interesting for me and made me realise what I want to do later on after I graduate.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
If you would like to feel as a full-time member of the team, this position would be for you. I felt very valued by my team, part of it could be due to the office being quite small, so everyone depends on each other. Although, be aware that with great trust comes great responsibility.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The support from my manager and other members of the team was absolutely fantastic. There is no barrier between people whatsoever, so everyone can ask questions to get answers and opinions. It was also great that I could get support with non-work related questions and everyone was happy to help.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I would say the work load was perfect. There were regular meetings, where we would plan the workload. However, if some tasks took more time than expected, I was given more time to work on them, which meant that I did not have to rush and could actually finish them to high standard. Cannot say that I had too much free time, as I was always looking for something to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During the first month I did not have a lot of responsibilities that directly involved testing of the software, as this was the time when I could learn how to use it. However, the longer I worked here, the more responsibility I was given. I was not only responsible for testing of the software, but also recording tutorial videos and writing an article for marketing.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
All of the skills I have acquired at Mentor are absolutely invaluable. I have not only improved my technical knowledge and understanding but also picked up a lot of social skills, which made me a lot more confident in presenting and communicating. I am sure these skills will help me in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was very friendly and calm. It was very easy to interact with everyone and ask questions or just talk about random things.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement set up is absolutely perfect, we had a month of overlap with the old interns, who gave me and another new intern a lot of help and support. There are also a lot of tutorials and reading material to help interns to spring into action as soon as possible.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
During first few months, there were different training programmes. One of them focused on Mentor Graphics software and gave an excellent introduction on how to use it. We also did what is called DiSC training, which explained how to work with different types of people and make each other's lives easier.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There are a lot of future prospects if you are proactive and actually look for them. I personally would like to come back to the company. Although QA Intern position is an excellent starting point, I would prefer a different role after graduation. I am sure there are a lot of available positions for different types of people.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Once a week me and my colleagues went out for lunch to a pub or a restaurant, which was a great opportunity to have a little bit of fun and discuss latest news and ideas. There also was an organised event on Christmas, which was a great opportunity to meet colleagues from other departments.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived on my own in a studio in Kingston, as I really appreciate having my own space where I can do whatever I want whenever I want. Although, it was a bit pricey at £850 per month w/o bills, the salary easily covered it, as well as any expenses I had. Living in Kingston also gave a great opportunity to socialise.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There was almost no nightlife near the office, as it is a rather quiet area but in Kingston there are a lot of pubs and clubs where people can have fun and relax. So I would advice looking for accommodation in or near Kingston if you want to have a great nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Working 9-5 and having no "homework" provided many opportunities to get involved in anything I could desire, from pubs to gyms. There is one gym in Kingston, which was extremely convenient for me to go to. I also used to go to central London to socialise and do various things that interested me.