1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thouroughly enjoyed my time there, it's a very relaxed and pleasant work environment. There's always something to do and while it wasn't easy, a challenge is good. I was learning something new almost every day and I'm so glad I took this placement year rather than staying at university.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
While working there, I really felt like a valued member of the department. Especially with some of the larger projects I did, I really felt like I had contributed not only to the department, but to many of the employees on site. Even the smaller things like helping employees with their IT issues made me feel appreciated.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I couldn't have asked for a more supportive manager or co-workers. If ever I was struggling with something, they would always put some time aside to go through things with me. They were very understanding, and I was never expected to completely understand things immediately. I was always given time to learn.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The majority of the time, there was always something to be done. I wasn't overworked at all, but there was always something I could be working on. There is the occasional slow day where not much comes through, but these are few and far between. Overall my workflow was pretty balanced.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Due to my position, I was given admin & root access to many private and secure systems on site.
I was granted a certain level of trust to be careful & sensible with any sensitive systems or data I was working with. I feel like this was a very important responsibility on my part. Beyond that, while I did work on my own on many things as I was trusted to be capable, any large issues were always ran by my manager.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have learnt so many things during my time at Schlumberger, and while a lot of it might not seem directly applicable to my degree (Computer Games Programming) a lot of the systems administration skills and general IT knowledge I've aquired will definitely be useful at some point. My understand of how computer systems work and are managed will definitely be useful in future carreers.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I shared my office with one other intern whom I've come to get along with very well. We had a great working relationship, very supportive and the atmosphere overall was rather relaxed and fun. Even in the department as a whole, the atmosphere was somewhat relaxed and never stressed out.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The process of getting started in the company was rather straightforward, I could go through HR for anything I didn't understand. In terms of the actual work here, we're a very organised department. There's a stand-up meeting every morning where each member of the department talks about what they did the day before, and what they plan on working on today.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
At the beginning of the placement, there are very thorough training sessions safety, privacy, and IT use. We are taken round site and shown all the departments and the IT staff help us set up our accounts and go through all security with us. As well as that, there was a one-month handover period with the previous interns so they could teach me as much as possible before they left.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
While Schlumberger isn't exactly the field I want to work in, I wouldn't rule them out completely for future employment prospects. My time here has been great and I'll be surprised if I ever find a more appealing work atmosphere in my life. The feeling of learning something new everyday is great.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
All of the interns are rather close, we all sat together at lunch and would socialise during this time. Some of the interns would go to a nearby badminton or football thing at lunchtimes. Outside of work, trips to pubs were common. I really feel like I made some friends over the course of this placement.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cambridge - at least in comparison to the previous place I lived - is a rather expensive location. Many expensive restaurants, and while pubs weren't too expensive, they were moreso than the last place I lived. My rent was also very high, though this is largely my own fault with my choice of living alone in a studio flat. Some other interns who lived outside of Cambridge or shared a house with others had rent costs nearly half that of mine.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I'm not really a nightlife person, I don't really go out to clubs and stuff, but the nightlife in Cambridge seems quite tame compared to some other places. While there are a few nightclubs here, people would mostly get the train to London if they were planning on having a "night out"
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Like I've said previously, the interns would sometimes get together for trips to the pub. Events like fayres and beer festivals are quite common in Cambridge, always seems like there's something going on. I also took a few trips down to London as there are many things to see and do there too.