1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I started my placement worried about not having enough technical skills to do the job, and less knowledge in the field than the other interns. In the end embarking on this journey turned out to be a great experience. Everyone was super supportive and I always felt that if I had any difficulty in understanding things people were there to help. This was one of the main reasons I enjoyed this placement so much.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Within the company everyone tries to make everyone feel included, there is little to no hierarchy. Even as an intern I never felt undermined or spoken down to. Whenever I had a point to make everyone would listen. If I ever asked for feedback someone of my team would always be available chat.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I think my superiors gave me all the support I could have needed. Once a bond/friendship was created then whenever I needed advice, or help with something, or I had a question I knew who to go to for an answer. All of this was available to me if I asked. Also having regular one to one sessions with my manager was useful to bring anything up if necessary.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This one really fluctuated throughout the year. During the first few months the interns were in training. This meant a couple hours a day of classroom style learning and then back in the development teams. At this stage our knowledge was not enough to do by ourselves therefore sometimes we would have to work along side someone and this could be a little slower or more boring. After the 6 month point, once we had really settled in the role and knew what was to be done the pace picked up. More individual tasks could be completed and more independent work. Most importantly I had the liberty to leave after 5.30 and was never obliged to stay overtime.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Initially it was hard to have a lot of responsibility as I did not have enough knowledge about what the team was working on, their projects, and the technologies they used. Over time once I fully understood how things worked my responsibilities increased. I would be sent to discuss plans with other teams, present team findings and take on code changes myself.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I developed while on placement in regards to how an ecommerce business works, how tech departments work together to bring features to customers and the general technical knowledge I gained day to day are all things I could have never learned from a textbook. When I return to my degree I will understand a lot more when faced with software engineering topics as I have been exposed to the subject for so long.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
ASOS is a young, fun and creative company. We regularly have fun activities going on, networking events, outdoors events, charity events, on the last friday of each month there is always music and drinks in the afternoon. The atmosphere during work is quite relaxed, unless there are days with a lot more work in which everything moves faster.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
When the 37 interns arrived we had a full day induction. We all met our managers and then went on our way. The 7 tech interns had a full 3 month training in which one month was an Engineering bootcamp with the tech Grads and then the following 11 weeks were dedicated to a personal project. Within their team from January onwards the interns all adapted in different ways but all became productive memebers of the team.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Professionals from the field came to give us introductory lectures about how the technologies we would use worked. During the Grad and intern personal project time we had a Business analyst, a developer and a delivery manager available to help us every step of the way. ASOS cares about their interns succeeding and having a good time during their placement.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Returning to ASOS is defenitely something I would like to do. We will not be told if we will have a position waiting for us after university yet. Although if you have performed well throughout the year there is a very good chance they will offer you a place after university.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, we had a few intern nights out in central london, everyone was very friendly and a lot of other interns came from out of london and lived together during the year. We also bonded a lot with the graduates who arrived in September, together we embarked on a project and spent 11 weeks together.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is expensive. The office is in camden therefore there is the streetfood market not far from the office. There are many pubs, bars, restaurants on camden high street, many offer staff discount.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Camden has many concert venues, bars, pubs etc.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, charity events, sports events, and many office events for networking. Discounts for tickets to women in tech/ women who code events. Opportunities to go to university career fairs. There is a lot to do beyond work if you are interested.