It has been the best year I could ask for - I have experienced how such a global company works from the inside. Seeing big decisions being made (how and why) have really given me an invaluable insight. Although I had a lot of Excel/admin tasks at the beginning, towards the end I got involved in creative and exciting projects and tasks. I have enjoyed 100% of this year; there have been successes and there have been failures - both of these I have learned from and both of these made this year a unique and invaluable experience.
My team has been brilliant, they have made the transition smooth and did a smashing job at being my true work family. I have experienced a truly supportive and encouraging culture in Sony. Positive comments and suggestions how to improve my work have speeded up my development over the course of the year. Furthermore, I am very grateful for this 'extra' bit of attention; I was able to get valuable advice which I will apply not only in my further work but also in my life in general.
Half-way through my placement year, my manager went on her maternity leave, I have felt that routine 1-2-1 meetings have been really reduced due to her need to finish/handover any of her projects. Nevertheless, she would always be available for me when needed. Although took the strategy of overcoming issues and searching for opportunities/taking initiative, I have also felt the support of my colleagues.
My daily tasks have varied not only from week to week but also monthly workload could differ based on peak and low demand. I had weekly/monthly tasks and I was also involved in various one-off projects or continuous initiatives. This had truly improved my efficiency in coping with workload during busy times and eliminated any impact of stress on the output.
Upon starting my placement my main responsibilities have included admin tasks, where accuracy was vital, but the scope of impact I could make was limited. However, as the placement went on I took on various projects, was involved with other departments and really explored my creativity in proposing, designing and producing an internal infographic - a true boost to my graphic design skills and also huge responsibility maintaining the professional image and reputation.
The skills I gained from the placement were slightly from my initial expectations: I have developed transferable skills - communication, professionalism, working to deadlines. I believe it is these transferable skills and the advice I was privileged to receive from industry specialists that will make a real difference in my future career - not only experience at Sony will make me stand out but my work ethic has also been developed to a new level.
The atmosphere was very friendly, there was a real team culture. We would always help each other out in difficult times. Everyone was approachable and nice, this has really improved the final output as engagement and involvement has at the highest level. It does not compare to the stereotype of a scary corporate environment.
During my first week, the previous intern was on holidays so I felt that this was not organised so well as it meant that I only had 1 week of handover comparing to 2-week induction for the rest of interns. Except for this, during the year the organisation was great - we had 4 intern days where we would go on various experiences such as visiting Playstation office in London or Pinewood Studios.
The interns had the same training opportunities as the rest of the employees - we had access to professional training. During the year I have completed Interpersonal Excellence and The Skilled Presenter 2-day training courses. Both of these were delivered at a high level and I believe they have made a real difference in my performance.
Sony has introduced the Graduate Scheme, which I would definitely be interested in. There is such a variety of roles across both consumer and professional businesses - having experienced the Sony culture it does not seem very appealing to search for graduate positions elsewhere. Particularly in my area - Service - there might not be suitable roles but I am looking forward to finding out about opportunities in other areas.
Yes, the interns spent a lot of time together and were always welcoming for anyone to join. In my case I was more involved with my colleagues - we become very close. Going to the gym together, having lunch, going out for tea and other out-of-work time with them was great!
The cost of living varies depending on whether you would like to live in a flat in the town centre (Basingstoke Office) or rent a room in a house out of the centre. Renting a room would cost you around £450, the distances are quite close to walk to the bus stop (Sony has a free shuttle bus from the train station) and also the area would be nice and quiet.
As far as I am aware there are only a couple of clubs in Basingstoke, none of which seem very appealing. I would say if you are interested in Nightlife you might want to consider going out in Reading - really close to Basingstoke and much wider choice of things to do.
I believe it depends on your team and department, in my experience having a close relationship with the team meant we would do activities outside of work from time to time. There is also a Social Club that runs various trips (eg to theatres) and organises films in 4k cinema in the Basingstoke office.