The internship has been an excellent experience and learning opportunity. Through the year I have gained a real insight into a fast-paced and dynamic HR environment. Despite this, there were also a lot of issues through my placement which made the placement far less enjoyable. Lack of support during these times resulted in the placement and whole experience being less beneficial as I would have hoped.
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Being such a large site, I felt valued by a range of different colleagues and departments. They understood that although you were an intern and still learning, you were there with responsibilities that helped and affected the business as a whole. They trusted you to support and help when needed and would always get you involved where possible. However, I felt far less valued by my manager and relied on support from the other interns and managers.
After a lack of handover from a previous intern, I made it aware on more than one occasion at the start of my internship that I struggled to understand some of the processes that were in place. My manager failed on both occasions to support personally and simply left the matter there. Throughout the year guidance was very foggy, often being told one thing by my manager and then a while later told to do the opposite. This made it extremely difficult trying to ensure their expectations were met and resolved effectively. After discussions on this, it always came down to being my fault, with my manager being unable to listen to what I had to say without trying to turn it negatively and understand my viewpoint. At the start of my placement, my manager had a bet with their manager (both being senior managers within the business) on if I would stay with the company or not, from that date it has felt like my manager has tried to get me out of the business and defeat me.
Other than my manager, other managers gave me excellent support in order to aid my learning and help effectively complete tasks. This helped me build on my knowledge and understanding and also build on my relationships with them. I'm grateful for the excellent managers I have been able to work with who have made an excellent impact on my learning and achievements throughout my internship.
Though most days tasks were manageable, there were many occasions were workloads would increase dramatically, making it difficult to complete all pressing matters. Often, I would have to work at home or out of office hours in order to complete tasks. I had a range of tasks that had to be completed daily/weekly/monthly which ate up a lot of my time at certain periods of the month, however it made me improve my prioritization skills. There was rarely a dull day and always had something to keep me busy.
From the start of my internship, I was given a large amount of responsibility and played a vital role in supporting a range of departments and business. You are more than just an intern and you play a vital role in the success of your department and business. Across my internship I have added value by improving and implementing new processes, supporting a range of departments and employees which have been vital within the HR department.
The skills I have developed have been excellent. I've gained and developed many skills which will aid massively in my university studies, along with my future career. The experiences I have gained within the industry will help massively in my final year studies along with providing an excellent stepping stone upon other grads.
The office was often upbeat with a great atmosphere. Very positive and friendly vibes. The mix of personalities within departments, which made the environment more dynamic and fun. Often very busy, however, colleagues you always had the chance to talk whilst working and have a joke along the way. Definitely not a boring office environment. Very supportive colleagues and peers.
Initial two days induction with the rest of the intern cohort was excellent. However, on my first day on site, I was expected to be at a different site for a handover despite nothing being communicated prior to my arrival. On my first day on site, I had no one to report too and was made to buy business car insurance on the spot in order for me to travel another hour to another site for a handover period, which lasted two weeks. The intern training sessions were planned well, often with the rest of the intern cohort and were very informative and interesting. Great learning experiences.
A set intern training plan is provided, where you are expected to attend a number of training days throughout your internships. There were very interesting and ranged in topics. There was also a range of courses that you had to complete on the online training platform. No additional training was provided through my internship, other than key training that was needed in order for me to complete my role.
The company has a graduate scheme, where typically a range of interns will be picked and offered a graduate position after they graduate. There is also the possibility for interns/recent graduates to apply for open roles within the company where the graduate scheme may be added to the role.
As there was a small group of interns based on my site, we often made plans to go out for meals, nights out and various activities. The site as a whole was also very social and a range of events was planned throughout the year. In addition, there were a few company events held, these included a Christmas party, Charity and Wellness events and site celebrations.
With the site being located outside of the capital and city centre, there was the option to live near the site where living costs were lower and also the option the live in the capital/city centre. Neither option is too expensive which means the choice is dependant on your preferences. You are not restricted to stay in the local area.
Nightlife in the area around the site was not excellent, there was a nice pub a few minutes away but nothing major. The capital city is only 30/40 minutes away where there is much more going on. Regular trains ran to and from which made it ideal. A range of bars and clubs to suit all.
There was a range of activities including weekly football, Christmas parties, charity and wellness events and more. Many opportunities to get involved with your colleagues and peers.