I really enjoyed my placement because I was given a lot more responsibility than I thought I would be, and a lot more responsibility than I thought I could handle. The department I am in works in a very interesting industry so I have had the chance to meet interesting people and work with cool brands.
I feel very valued by the colleagues within my team - they have been doing placement year schemes for a long time so have become accustomed to treating us like permanent employees. They give me legitimate work to do and rely on me for information about certain processes. The test is if you have to give a handover when you go on holiday!
I have been given excellent support and guidance during my time here. Over the first few months I was welcomed to ask any questions I had and was always copied into emails for visibility of everything going on so I could pick up knowledge. I also have bi-weekly meetings to catch up on work and monthly review meetings to discuss how I am getting on. These did drift off toward the end of the year but to be honest I didn't need them anymore as I got more comfortable in the role.
At the start of the placement I was always very busy every day, but not to the point of being overworked at all or having to do overtime or anything. Toward the end of the calendar year it is a less busy time for marketing in my department so work drifted off so I spent the time catching up on the more boring data stuff. Now we have our biggest tradeshows at the end of the year and it has become busy again - but still a good amount of busy!
From the start I was surprised about how much responsibility I was given. I was very much thrown in the deep end. But I definitely feel this was the best way to learn quickly because if I had been treated like an intern I would have acted like one. Half way through my placement my manager went on maternity leave so I was then given even more responsibility in taking over a lot of her role. I definitely sensed that my managers would suss out when I was able to take on a bit more and they would give it to me when I was ready.
The skills I developed will hugely assist in working life after finishing uni. I feel that taking a placement year gives you invaluable experience and insight into working life and etiquette. Not only that, I know so much more about how things work in marketing and even just the marketing lingo. To be honest, I would say I have learned more this year than the first two years of my degree - the two don't really link because real-life experience is so much better. But this year could help in Student Enterprise modules I guess with planning and marketing aspects.
Quite a good atmosphere - nice people and pretty laid back. We have a games room with a tennis table, pool table and football table so that is usually where we spend our time at lunch. 'We' being all the interns - that is probably what made the year so fun, having other students around in the same position as you.
Pretty well organised with 4 intern days throughout the year where we gather and learn about each others' roles as well as doing other activities and seeing different subsidiaries of Sony e.g. PlayStation and Sony Pictures. However at the beginning of the year we didn't all start at the same time so it was difficult organising housing. And my handover period with the previous intern was only 6 days whereas others had 2 weeks.
I took part in an Interpersonal Training workshop for two days which I found pretty interesting. My managers encouraged me to take part in any workshops I wanted so it was nice to know they were willing to cover this cost. I also got to attend a marketing offsite at Centre Parcs which was great fun and good team bonding, but not a whole lot of training/development involved.
Not that appealing as even though I really enjoyed my placement year and my role, I did not like the way the organisation works as a whole. It is incredibly slow-paced and everything has to be approved by HQ in Japan which extends everything by weeks. The smallest of tasks takes forever and the level of autonomy over things like the website even for Heads of Marketing is minimal because Japan have control.
Great social scene - at times it feels like still being at uni! We have one club in Basingstoke which we have all grown to love and we often go out and do activities together like trampolining, beach, dinners etc. There's also a games room in the office so a nice place to chill out at lunch.
Cost of living is more expensive than you would think in Basingstoke but nothing compared to London prices. All the usual chain restaurants are in town and if you sign up to emails they send deals weekly or you can use UniDays so it works out quite cheap in the end.
Not great nightlife - only one club and a few pubs. However, we all love it still and have been there many times. If you want to trek a bit further it's not far from Reading though which has good clubs. Everyone at Sony is up for a drink or two though.
There is a sports and social club which is £12 to join and they do regular discounted activities monthly. things like spa days, go karting, airsoft, cinema screenings (we have a cinema in the office). you can also join these activities despite not being in the club at a cost. very good prices though!