1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year, I gained a lot of experience working in industry. The people that I worked with where very knowledgeable in the subject area and gave me a lot of help and support during my placement. I would definitely recommend doing a placement year to anyone with little/no work experience.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by my colleagues, i feel they gave me the same respect as all the other members of my team. I was also told during appraisals that i was regarded as a normal member of staff rather than a student. At no point did I feel undervalued or that my colleagues where being condescending.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of support and guidance by both my manager/mentor and other members of my team. They answered any questions that I had, they always took time out of their day to help me if I needed it. They would always explain a problem to me rather than just doing it for me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
At the start of my placement i was a little quite but that soon built up to being quite busy. However the work load was very mismatched even when I was a few months into the year. I would have some weeks where I had work to do all the time and some weeks where I had almost nothing to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given responsibility of a number of different projects. This was being involved in large projects and also running my own smaller projects. I was also given administrator access to a number of servers and tools in order for me to carry out my day to day tasks, without supervision.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learned a lot of new skills that will help me in my studies, although my placement has involved a lot of technology that I haven't covered in my studies so far, a lot of the soft skills that I have learned will definitely carry over into my degree. this includes project management, people and presentation skills.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I enjoyed the atmosphere in my office, we regularly had pies and cakes brought in to celebrate peoples birthdays and everyone in the office knew each other. Our team in particular and the teams surrounding us were very friendly and I felt like everyone got a long well with no issues.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I think the placement was quite well organised. we attended a number of different workshops and assessment centres before we got to the interview stages and these all seemed well organised. While at our placement we had tutors visit us a couple of time's to look over our work and make sure we were settling in well.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had a lot of training during our placement, we had the opportunity to sign ourselves up for a number of different courses during the year. we also had mandatory courses that we all took and i think the majority of people enjoyed and took a lot away from. Although a lot of training courses we were offered were not suitable as they are material handling etc.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Due to the nature of the business I don't think a graduate position is very likely, there has not been a grad hired in this department for about 5-6 years. If i did manage to get a grad position here I think it would be a great opportunity and the grads that I do know are very much enjoying their time here.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, during our year I made a lot of very good friends that I will be friends with for a long time. We regularly went out together for meals and nights out. I have heard that this is rare for the office as we are the only group who has stayed together for the entire year, but I don't see why this cant continue.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living in Newcastle is about average, not as cheap as some city's but certainly cheaper than Manchester or Leeds. the night life can be quite expensive though, especially on a weekend. However I think Newcastle is worth the extra money for night life as it is so good, and we are well known for it.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Although we worked in Sunderland we are very close to Newcastle and most students lived there rather than Sunderland as the night life is fantastic. Sunderland itself is a lot cheaper than Newcastle but there is a lot less to do in Sunderland, or so i believe. I have only been on one or two nights out here.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, I play 5-a-side very week with people from the office. There are also a lot of clubs available with the sports and social clubs if you wanted to be involved in that. Other than that there were plenty of nights out and drinks to go to if you wanted.