1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed working with the colleagues around me and being challenged beyond what I thought I was capable of. Some tasks were repetitive, which was expected, but overall a very rewarding year for me. I had many interesting and impactful projects which enabled me to display and improve my skills.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was treated just like any other member of staff and not as an 'intern'. Real responsibilities were given, which showed trust from others. I was given great exposure to the most senior colleagues and was able to get my name known around the office in a variety of ways.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had great focus from my line manager, who would spend at least one hour a week in a one-on-one meeting discussing any topic I liked. This had a great impact on my development. HR also ran several very useful sessions for my professional development.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This varied vastly. Some days I would be almost overwhelmed with work and other days I would be struggling to fill my day. I expected this, as the role is very project-driven. Juggling expectations and prioritising is a skill I have developed in the process.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I could not have asked for more. Very grateful to have been given real, meaningful work. I presented to the CEO twice, once was in front of his top 100 leaders. My team treated me like any other team member, and my work was essential in projects. My work was essential in project completion. I was also assigned my own, personal project, where I was given the freedom to go offsite and speak to local data companies.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My degree is more focused on IT and coding, something I did not experience at all this year. I will take a lot with me beyond my degree, I have gained and improved an impressive skillset and mindset.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The area where I sit can be very quiet. I have enjoyed the freedom of having a laptop and being allowed to work wherever I feel like in the office. Socially, Langley is not in the best location but the staff are all very friendly and welcoming.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Given a lot of attention from all over the business. HR manage the programme very well and really prioritise your professional development. Above all, the HR team listen to feedback and incorporate sensible suggestions in the internship programme.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Involved in many workshops for development, e.g. Change Management, Continuous Improvement, Personality Types and Emotional Intelligence. Most of my learning came from my one-on-one sessions with my very knowledable and experienced line manager.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would definitely consider an offer. One slight negative is the location. The type of work and the people around me, made me look forward to coming into work. I enjoy the global view my team have. Aside from my team, I believe the company are heading in a positive direction. Many exciting projects are in the pipeline and I would enjoy being a part of some of the changes to the travel market.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I have made many friends, however not many fellow interns lived in close vicinity. The social club offered monthly events which were very entertaining and a great way to mingle with other colleagues whom you may not usually work with. The intern group was a group of 14 and I can honestly say I got along with everyone and made some lasting friendships.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
To have any social event I had to travel to London, Windsor or Reading. The travel cost was quite extreme and the local area where I lived (Langley) has nothing to offer socially for my age group. Rent was cheap compared to London, but approximately double from what I was used to paying in Belfast. Local rates for electricity and gas were also much greater than before and water, which I never had to pay for in Northern Ireland.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I had to travel by train to get to anywhere exciting. London is over an hour away and Windsor is quite expensive. The local area has nothing to offer. Once in London, there are endless options, but some are quite expensive. Overall, I would have preferred to live somewhere with more services targeted to my age group.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I was involved in a weekly 8-a-side football team. I made a great number of friends here and looked forward to it every week. My team would arrange several offsite team events throughout the year which were always a lot of fun. The social club is also very good.