1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My internship has been filled with a large variety of work over the year, most of which I have really enjoyed. As a Business Analyst I have been had the chance to work on a variety of projects, ranging in size from small 2 week objectives all the way to larger projects spanning months that I have jumped on board to help with.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
This varied from team to team, however overall I felt valued. Having 'Intern' on the end of my job title pushed me to show that I was just as valuable as any other member of the business and I felt this was the case over my year. People where understanding of that fact that I was learning whilst working, and the first 6 months felt very different to the last 6 because of this. Later into the placement I felt like I had more responsibility as I began to understand more going on around me.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Being between teams over the course of my placement meant I had several different people to report to at any given time. Support was always available and any queries or concerns I raised where always quickly addressed. Guidance was sometimes sparse however I think this relates to the nature of my role, however I was given the confidence to ask questions and I found a lot of support from my colleagues.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
For most of my placement I have been busy every day, I have felt utilised despite jumping between a range of projects. There where natural lulls in the work streams however I found I could always speak to my team and assist in other tasks whilst waiting for another to come around.
I haven’t felt overburdened at any time; however I have felt pushed to work hard.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
From day one I was given responsibility and this only continued to develop over the course of the year. Towards the end of my placement I was responsible for organising and running a range of workshops for a larger project which I found to be really enjoyable. I have understood how my responsibilities fit into the wider scope of the business.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel that this year has been incredibly valuable in this respect, I have picked up so much information about standard business processes and developed my skills around these in a way that has aligned with my studies I have completed so far, and for the modules I have chosen for next year. I feel confident with this experience under my belt.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Between the two offices, I definitely prefer Watersmead. The office is large and diner is great for lunch and meetings. Everyone is very friendly and it does feel like a nice community of people compared to the London office, which has a much peppier professional atmosphere. The dress code is informal which my preference, being comfortable is and happy to wear what I would normally wear on a day out to work is really good.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
For my role I feel like I had a great opportunity to throw myself straight into the deep end of working life. From the first week to the last I have done the same role but have improved on my own ways of working. This was only possible because of the organisation around me, allowing me to work as part of two teams which gave me a lot of opportunities. I have felt like a full time employee rather than just an intern throughout the placement.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There have been a number of training sessions set up over the year which have been beneficial, not only for the new systems and practices being implemented within the company, but also for general learning purposes to improve within my own role. Specific intern workshops have run over the year which have been good at first to allow us to settle in, and further down the line helped with knowledge around useful skills for the workplace, such as excel.
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?
I would really enjoy coming back to The Body Shop after university. It is a comfortable workplace with good opportunities to really get stuck in and push for new ideas if you have the right backing. I feel like I have learnt enough about the company over the year that it would be beneficial to return and continue to learn whilst really being able to apply myself and make a difference for a company with good ethics.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Absolutely. The set of interns this year have been fantastic to work with and spend free time with outside of office hours. Despite two separate groups working in Watersmead and London, there have been a number of company run and intern run events over the year that has allowed everyone to get together and have a great time. I have made so many great friends over this year.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living has been higher than I would have hoped for such a small town with not a lot to do, however there where limited options for us all to live together so we opted for a more expensive option but it ensured we have had no housing problems over the year, which has been really nice as it wouldn’t be something I’d want to deal with whilst working and learning too. Otherwise there are a number of nice places to eat and spending time at the beach is great!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Littlehampton isn’t the hub of any nightlife unfortunately, however being a 40 minute train journey to Brighton meant it isn’t completed disconnected from this scene. A few nights out there has been fun however there is a still a long taxi journey home which isn’t ideal. It’s best to plan ahead and aim for events in London with an overnight stay!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I have been involved in a handful of opportunities outside of work, both as part of my department and my team. It is quite a social setting in both Watersmead and London with all the teams up for a range of activities – Most recently was Dragon Boat racing in the Thames.