1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
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.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
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!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
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.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
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!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
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.
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 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.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
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.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
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.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
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.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
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.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
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.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
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.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
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.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
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!