1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Prior to joining Computacenter, I was unaware of the opportunities available to support my professional development. I can confidently say that applying for an IT in Business Placement at Computacenter was one of the best decisions I have made to help shape my future. Working in a large corporate organisation that supports my development has broadened my knowledge of an IT environment, thus improving my competency and efficiency in my role.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The most exciting part of my role was expanding my network by interacting and collaborating with employees around the organisation. In my first three months at Computacenter, I was given opportunities to visit Computacenter offices in Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Blackfriars, and Kerpen. These experiences have improved my business etiquette, commercial awareness, and productivity in the workplace.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
In my role, it was essential to collaborate with various teams by establishing common goals and articulating ideas to resolve problems. As an individual, it was essential to demonstrate organisation, prioritisation, and analytical thinking in the workplace. Commercial Operations have encouraged me to obtain industry recognised qualifications to gain a better understanding of the business and the services delivered. It is great to see Computacenter investing in industrial placement students like me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My role has given me a great level of exposure to various commercial activities, service assurance and how functions/processes interconnect across the group. On a daily basis, I used Microsoft Outlook to organise and prioritise all of my tasks. One of my responsibilities was to manage multiple shared mailboxes which were a central place for information, documents, meeting invitations and questions to be sent. Furthermore, I accurately created and distributed weekly/monthly reports to senior managers.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Throughout my placement, at Computacenter, I felt like a valued and important member of the team. As a result, I helped to improve the profitability of the department and costing for new business. One of my responsibilities was to create customer specific reports which were sent to senior managers and presented to the customer for billing purposes.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Gaining a mentor at Computacenter was extremely beneficial because it enhanced my professional development through the year. We discussed how to increase my organisation/efficiency in and out of the workplace. Furthermore, I shadowed other areas of the business thus increasing my awareness of roles/responsibilities. As a result, I am considering Project Management and Service Management roles in the near future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Computacenter is a large corporate organisation with offices all around the world. I was based at the Head Office location in Hatfield which is a modern and contemporary building. The environment I worked in created a positive and friendly atmosphere. Furthermore, I sat in close proximity to teams I interact with on a daily basis, therefore, it was easy to communicate and collaborate.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There were three placement students prior to me in my role. As a result of their feedback, the placement set up improved over the years. My IT in Business placement at Computacenter was very well organised from start to finish and I always felt supported by my colleagues. Moreover, there were processes in place to guide me with role/responsibilities.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The job specification for the IT in Business placement at Computacenter mentioned that successful candidates will be given an opportunity to complete ITIL Foundation. My Line Manager was extremely supportive and allowed me to complete ITIL Foundation, PRINCE2 Foundation, a presentation courses to boost my confidence and also various Microsoft courses to benefit me in my role.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have really enjoyed my 13-month placement at Computacenter because I have built my network by speaking to employees in different areas of the business. In the near future, I will be applying to various graduate schemes/jobs the company has to offer. Unfortunately, Computacenter does not fast-track students thinking to return after their placement year. I do wish this process could be improved as other companies are more encouraging of the return of their students.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I really enjoyed getting to know all 16 of the 2017/2018 intake of Industrial Placement students at Computacenter. Our first week together consisted of various talks and icebreaker activities which allowed us to get to know each other. Over the year we communicated regularly via a WhatsApp group to enable socials outside of work hours. I am grateful for all the friends I have made this year.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
While I was on placement I lived at home with my family. My drive to work every morning was approximately 40 minutes. A benefit of commuting from home was the money I saved on accommodation. My main costs each month included petrol to drive to/from work, socials gatherings, and food purchases.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Hatfield Railway Station is a 20-minute train journey to get into London.
St Albans is a 15-minute car journey. Alternatively, there are clubs/pubs nearby which include the Forum at Hertfordshire University and Batchwood in St Albans.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
My intake of Industrial Placement Students 2017/2018 had numerous social events outside of work hours including a trip to Winter Wonderland, a barbeque, and various birthday celebrations. Additionally, the teams I collaborated with occasionally had social events after team meetings which were a good way for us to get to know each other.