1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I did have a good experience this year at HPE but I feel that it was largely down to the team that I worked with rather than the practices that the company itself employed. I was unfortunate to join when HPE was going through massive organisational restructuring causing redundancies and a lot of job uncertainty. This led to the creation of quite an unhappy environment within the office. I did however feel that my experience within my role was not as affected by these changes as others. I was given a good level of responsibility, trusted to work autonomously when necessary and also offered many opportunities to enhance my development.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
In my role I always felt I was fully integrated in the team activities and played crucial roles in delivering success as a department. Also, I did feel that my opinion was valued and that I was trusted to lead projects on my own.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Most of my team was off-site and worked from home so face to face meetings weren't a frequent thing. This made it difficult at times to assess where I was at and whether I was doing things correctly. I would have preferred more time on-site with the team. Although, saying this, my manager and supervisors were always more than willing to provide feedback if need be.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were times at HPE where I would be working till late at night most days and then there were other occasions where I had very little to do. I would have liked to have a better balance when it came to managing business. I think having a team that was on-site would have definitely helped with this a lot more.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Towards the end of my placement I was trusted to run my own events and lead projects on behalf of my manager. I feel that I was given a perfect level of responsibility at each stage of my placement and as I progressed through the role.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have been able to gain a lot of skills and knowledge from this year, helping guide me through decisions I make when I look at where I would like to take my career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Due to organisational changes the atmosphere within the office became very negative towards the start of my placement but as I finish up I have seen that it is beginning to improve. I do however feel the office can be too quiet at times and needs a bit of livening up.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The whole of my placement process was well organised and I felt that my manager had a clearly defined role and set of expectations for me.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I don't feel that HPE particularly went out of the way to enhance my personal training and development. I feel that anything I learnt was through the tasks I performed as part of the role. I would have liked to have seen more opportunities at HPE to learn different things and gain understanding on different areas of the business.
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?
I don't feel future employment prospects with HPE would be enticing for myself but that is more down to my personal tastes and career preferences. I would like to be in a more creative role and I find that at times corporate life can be bland because you have to work within the confines of strict brand guidelines.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
At the beginning and end of the year more social events appear but there was nothing prolonged throughout the year.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
We were mainly based in Bracknell so we socialised in Reading which was priced normally for the South of England.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Reading nightlife was okay there is a lot of variety however I lived at home on placement so it was harder for me to get there.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not really - we had charity events every now and then but mainly no events were held outside of work.