Graphic Designer

by Computacenter

Best Student Employer

This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.


  • The Role
  • The Company
  • The Culture

    The Role

  • 1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
  • There was definitely a hurdle to jump over during the first few months - my team did their best to introduce me to working practices slowly, however, there was just so much to learn even from the admin side of working here at CC. Learning the language, and the way we sell ourselves to customers and clients took me around 3/4 months to get myself up to speed. However, after that hurdle, things are a lot smoother. And by that I mean a lot. While there were so many changes in management, my role simply developed into better and bigger things which I really enjoyed. My line manager is incredibly supportive and invested in my development, even paying for 2 day courses which I would not have gotten otherwise. I learnt quickly and I wasn't introduced to too many different tasks. The introduction to new areas was solely my decision and dependent on my working pace, which I loved. I just really love how much I made the role my own. If you have particular skills which may not be directly useful to your role, your manager will probably want to take advantage of it, and likewise to many other colleagues at Computacenter. My only gripe is the age gap - it is dependent on your department, but I did feel quite alone in my opinions and hobbies. I don't think the company does enough to create their own communities and meet new people in the company who are like minded. I'm seeing changes in that happening right now, I just wish it was done sooner! Aside from that, I'm definitely glad I took this job over any other. My previous point would only affect me if I was here for the long term.


  • 2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
  • I felt like I was part of a family. The whole team are really supportive of each other, even with complex or even controversial settings. We do talk about a lot of personal topics, which helped me and them get to know where we stand in certain situations and encourages better collaboration. When things go wrong, I felt devastated, yes, but I wasn't afraid to be honest to my manager/colleagues. That says a lot about my colleagues. It means I can rectify the situation as quickly as possible and talk about how I can prevent it in the future. My time was also valued, and I was treated like a professional in my field, even if I don't feel professional just yet!


  • 3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
  • My line managers were one of the best parts about my role. They really love what I do, and wanted to invest as much as they can into my skills. I even got multiple training courses which span across 2 days (they're expensive!) which I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. These training courses weren't directly involved in my role either, which speaks volumes about their investment in me. My managers were never too far away - they were either on the same floor or only a phone call away. You could barely tell they had any more authority than me, we spoke on the same level. I loved talking to them as I felt like I could be myself while still being professional. My supervisors who did the same role as me, however, were a bit difficult to reach. They were constantly busy and I was never sure if they were approachable or not with any issues.It was difficult to learn the practices on my own as I only had previous work and a document as guidance really. I still feel like there's a lot more I could have learnt regarding improving my workflow to industry level speeds. My team is small, so it really couldn't be helped because they were that busy. I just know that if I could shadow for some time, I'm able to hit the ground running.


  • 4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
  • It's up to you to manage how busy you are - you're able to decline some things if you know you can't finish it to the client's standards and their deadline. I did take a lot of jobs and I was quite busy most of the days, but some weeks are fairly quiet. Often I would be asked to do many small tasks throughout the day when I am not so busy. I liked the busyness, but it's not for everyone! so if you're struggling, you can say so, and the team will help you to lessen the tasks at hand. Again, it's all dependent on how you work - if you're able to work quickly, the company will expect that level of quickness for other tasks, and vice versa.


  • 5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
  • Once again, it does take some time to establish yourself as a valued member in your department. Once you start doing work given by your manager/close colleagues, and the client is impressed, they'll start recommending or mentioning you to others. You'll end up with more and more responsibility if they feel you're up to the task. Which was great! I was given so much more responsibility than what my role speicifications had on it's 'advantages' list. Rest assured, your role would develop if you gained skills in other areas too. I even took on projects from some of the 'higher ups' in the company which was really scary yet rewarding. I can definitely say I probably wouldn't get this from any other company. Being a large company, they give you the space to develop and try new things as well, including new roles. Some placement students even moved around different areas of the company just to see what it was like!


  • 6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
  • Because my team work at industry level standards and speeds, my skills have greatly developed to accompany that. Working fast and efficiently increases the ease of use of the software I work with day to day. This will definitely help with tight deadlines, and giving me time to work on the areas that need more focus. I also greatly value the soft skills learnt during this placement. Managing my time better, organizing tasks and projects, and discussing with company directors are all things which will definitely help me in the future. However I believe my team, and department in general, do work a little bit backwards. If we are to work to industry-level standards, we need industry-level organisation of our work and projects and better collaboration. Just using a shared area is not enough to ensure we work together the best that we can. I wish I had some experience with business-level workflow as at the moment, it doesn't work well especially when one of the members of the team were away. (It's a very compex issue, which is why it hasn't been solved in the time I was here) The skills that I have learnt, above all, have definitely impacted my future. One of the responsibilities which I was given was something I never thought I would be interested in. being able to learn it with the courses I was given has definitely given me a head start in my career.


    The Company

  • 7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
  • The general atmosphere is very calm, chill and comfortable. You're able to come off your desk for a coffee or drink from the kitchenette whenever you feel. The general ettiquette is; so long as you do your work as and when needed, you're able to do as you wish. I've discovered I can't work well without complete silence/music, so I've been able to work with my headphones on when I asked if it way okay to! Because of the age gap, though, I did feel a bit lost among my floor. I didn't really have much to talk about since I didn't have any of the same hobbies that they did, let alone have the same humour. This is where the placement student social group helped a lot, otherwise I'd really struggle. I really wish there was more likeminded people so that I could enjoy myself a bit more when working. More communities are definitely needed. It does depend on the department a little, but we seem to work too hard! No pool table or entertainment every now and then, occasionally we get a dress-down day for charity or football for charity (on a weekend) I do wish there was more going on. My music playlist has grown by huge amounts though, so that's a plus.


  • 8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
  • The set up wasn't too great - I got a lot of equipment, software licenses and admin rights late and some I had to request myself. It took a while to set up and it was all during a very busy time for the team. This was the first time they were hiring someone for my role, however, so it's a small nit pick in what was otherwise a good introduction to the company.


  • 9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
  • As mentioned previously, my managers invested in me 100% - from the soft skills of consulting with large stakeholders to managing own projects, and even paying for intermediate and expert level courses in the software I really wanted to learn and do for my career. This is definitely a huge advantage to working in a large company over a small, 'homely' start-up in London. Paying for expensive courses is only one of the seemingly small things a large company can do for their placement students. That's something I wouldn't be able to get easily in a smaller company.


  • 10. What were the perks on your work placement?
  • Subsidised Canteen

    National Travel

    International Travel

    Company Parties/Events

    Staff Sales/Staff Shop

    Working from home


  • 11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
  • Working back at Computacenter would mean I can get the same benefits as I do now, with perhaps a few more responsibilities. Nothing would really change as I was already working like a full time employee. The salary is very competitive and I would have a hard time looking for another job at that same level!


    The Culture

  • 12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
  • The placement student group was one of the best. During the introduction week at Computacenter (Yes, week!) the future talent team put a significant amount of effort into ensuring the students become a 'group' throughout the week, so that during the year, this group becomes their backbone throughout the year. We've done a lot together as a group; went out for mini-golf sessions, clubbing, trip to winter-wonderland in London, we even created our own placement student video to show how we felt after a few months of working for this company.


  • 13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
  • The cost of living is bearable - living with somebody else is a must however. The uni of Hertfordshire is close by, and so there are many student places to rent. It is like being a student again! Hatfield does get boring very quick however, you can only rely on the train to take you anywhere fun, since the buses are expensive. St Albans is nearby which we often get Ubers to. St Albans is the only place with a decent greenery as well. The Hatfield town is laughable, but it's got everything you need. If you wanted entertainment, there's a cinema, but anything else has to be done in Stevenage, London or St Albans. I don't enjoy spending money on entertainment and going out so I wasn't initially bothered, but when the cost of living is high and there isn't much to do during sunny days, it did start to annoy me.


  • 14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
  • Again, laughable. There is only 1 club in Hatfield and the rest are in surrounding areas. However I'm not a fan of clubs, so I wasn't too fussed. It's just the fact that there isn't anything else to do at night. However, the train to London is only a 20 minute journey into Kings Cross, which is great. Stevenage has an indoor mini-golf that is also a pub that's open until 12am, which is something I've never heard of and is better than my previous residence's night-life. I enjoy being inside rather than outside at night, so for me personally, this isn't a dealbreaker, but it might be for some.


  • 15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
  • There were a few, but not many that I was interested in. They may have had some that would interest me but I didn't hear of it. This company does feel geared towards people with families a bit so events are few and far between. Having said that, the opportunities that did interest me were great fun. I just wish there was more so that I could get to know more people here.


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Placement Year (10 Months+)

Art, Arts/Entertainment/Media, Computer Science, Design, Film/Photography, Graphic Design, Marketing, Media

Greater London

June 2018

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