1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement overall; it's been nice to be in a completely different environment to university and overall I had a really positive experience. I got to work on a lot of cool tasks & projects and travel a few times too. It's also been good to network.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was made to feel welcome from the start. The amount of people there was to meet was initially intimidating but everyone was really friendly and always gave me the time of day. I was made to feel like a part of the team rather than "just an intern."
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager and close colleagues have always been really supportive. They are patient and understanding and always willing to show/help me with things I may struggle with or not quite understand.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were definite peaks and troughs with this work and I would say that that could be one of the drawbacks, though it's not always a bad thing. At certain times I was so busy that I felt like I couldn't breathe! Especially during the December-February period which is when we hire the new interns. It gets so busy that you often go full weeks working through lunch etc. Then other times there isn't always much to do and you can find yourself a bit bored if you're not careful, but there's always more to do if you ask around. So overall it isn't too bad but you have to use your initiative.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility which definitely surprised me, especially in the Talent & Resourcing team where I was trusted to conduct assessment centre interviews by myself (after assisting with many others beforehand they trusted I had had enough experience). It was nice that they trusted me enough to do that, and I was more than capable of doing the job to the standard required because I'd been given the chance to support on many interviews beforehand.
When I was in the L&D team I headed up a project myself, liaising with an external consultant and producing an induction booklet that was made entirely under my direction. It was scary in a sense to do that but it made me feel good that they trusted me. I also was given support via regular meetings if I needed them so I wasn't totally alone. It was a success and I feel proud that I've done that.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I've definitely improved on or in some cases learned important skills such as CV screening, conducting interviews, presentation skills, project/time management and understanding of workplace health and wellbeing. These will help me through both university during my final year modules and the working world, as they are all very important skills to have. Also, being on the other side of the recruiting table and knowing what recruiters look for has definitely made me more confident when it's my turn to be the applicant.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It can vary by the day to be honest - Fridays are usually quite quiet but other days can be really busy. It's an open plan office which has its pros and cons! We are a European team so people from other offices come over quite frequently and it's nice to see them and have a chat before getting back to work. Other times it can be distracting when there is a lot of noise around you, so sometimes I book a meeting room just so I can work alone with no distractions.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There are clear rotations between teams so this is good as you are never without a team or work. However, the order of the rotations could have been worked out a bit better as my work with Talent and L&D overlapped significantly. Maybe if their order had been swapped around and I was in L&D first, it wouldn't have been so stressful with two teams worth of workloads when Talent's busy period came around.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Us interns had 4 development days through the course of the year where we visited different Sony sister companies. Each time, people would give a presentation on what they've been doing on their placement. Then we'd do a full-day activity - the last one was at Pinewood Studios, where we got to create a short film. It's a good way to connect with the other interns at the Basingstoke office and a nice break from work!
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is a graduate programme but this is not for the same amount of business areas that are offered on placement. Only a few grads are selected in the Sales and Marketing functions, so it's not really relevant to me. I know I'd be welcomed if applying for an entry-level HR role (if there were any available at the time), but I'd want a structured scheme. So for me personally it's not that great.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The interns at each site usually go out with the interns from their own site and its rare that we'd all meet up outside of work as a huge group, but even still there are definitely opportunities within groups to go out, and it's a good social scene if you make one. It just depends on the people. However we always eat together every lunch and go to the fun room together so it's nice to socialise then.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Weybridge (and Surrey in general) is an expensive area to live in so I decided to stay at home in London and commute from there. In Weybridge there's not much to do at all and the things that are there (pubs etc.) are expensive. However it's a pretty and quiet area, which would be nice if you like that sort of thing.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There's not really any nightlife in Weybridge at all and so when going out we'd go to other surrounding areas, like Clapham, Kingston etc.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not really - however even if there were I probably wouldn't have wanted to join in as I lived far away and spend a lot of my day commuting as it is!