1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed it enormously. It was a brilliant experience and was really hands on. My team were so supportive and welcoming, and really helped me to get to grips with the role. The role itself was really suited to me and helped me to improve my skills and my confidence.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt extremely valued. In the beginning, my team always made an extra effort to ensure I felt welcome and supported. They have continued to do so throughout my year. I can see that they trust me to do my job and value my opinion and insight into certain matters.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager provided me with brilliant support and guidance. We had monthly catch up meetings specifically for us to discuss any challenges/problems I was facing, and to look at my development also. In between these meetings, I always felt happy and comfortable to speak with my manager about any topic - whether I needed help, advice or just to check something.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My business varied tremendously. Sometimes it could be fairly quiet and I'd be doing desk work, but some days it would be extremely busy and I'd be doing a lot of face to face work. I enjoyed this pattern as it meant I'd have time to re-gather my thoughts and do the mundane jobs when I wasn't so busy.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility. As I was in charge of the logistics for a couple of training courses we offer, I was involved in sorting the facilitators, the materials, the rooms etc., and then was also in charge of ensuring the event ran smoothly on the day. It was a good level of responsibility, and the support of the team was helpful when I wasn't confident enough in the early days.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I won't be returning to my degree as I have already graduated, but I will definitely take the skills I have learnt with me. I have an increased confidence in presenting in front of people, but also just day to day in speaking with people and making decisions. Although I thought I was good at prioritizing and time-management, I can tell this has improved also.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Generally it was really welcoming and friendly. This could sometimes vary depending on different departments and different strains on my colleagues, but people were always happy to help if they could and open to chatting. This was really important, especially in the early days when you're finding your feet. It helps to know it's ok to approach someone.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
For me it was set up fairly well. I didn't go through my university, so I worked with TA to sort the details and they were very helpful.
My only concern was, in my role I help to recruit the next year of students, and I feel this process could be improved.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I feel the company invested a lot in me, and they do so for everyone. Working in the L&D department lends itself well as I am surrounded by opportunities and by people who can help to advise me. My team, especially my manager, were always very forthcoming with ensuring I had the training needed, and with offering different courses which could be useful to me.
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?
To me, they are appealing in the sense that I love the company and the culture it has. However, I'd be conscious of other roles/departments purely as I have gotten on so well in L&D, both from a role perspective and a team perspective. I do need to have a look around and learn a bit more about the other opportunities.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was and there wasn't. It was hard as out of 10 students, 3 commuted to work, including me. This made it a little tricky when trying to organise events outside of work, but we did manage. We also saw each other a fair amount during work, and as a result we get on pretty well.
My team have done social things e.g. Christmas dinner, leaving drinks etc., but due to certain dynamics in our team, we probably don't go out socialising as much as other teams.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I didn't live in the area I worked in. I lived about 30 minutes away as this is my home town and I had accommodation already sorted out.
The cost of socialising could vary, but it could be expensive as there isn't a huge amount to do all the time, so you'd have to spend money on travelling sometimes.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
It was ok. There are some bars which were nice, but nothing much really, which is surprising when there is a university in the centre of the town. I didn't go out a huge amount anyway due to certain dynamics/situations e.g. commuting, living 30 mins away, preferring to do other things etc.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The company is all about volunteering to do things outside of work. I didn't get involved in a huge amount, but got involved in an extra-curricular initiative called BTE. This was a great, albeit challenging experience and has been a contributing factor in helping to improve my skills. I believe there used to be sports teams but not any more.