Assisting with the preparation of month-end accounts, quarterly forecasting, producing financial reports, etc.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have been working at C&D UK for over a year now and by the time I finish, I will have worked there for 14 months. That's how much I have enjoyed my placement.
The experience presented lots of challenges, and in return has taught me many valuable skills, which will surely pay off in the future.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I really cannot give this a score any lower than a 10. I'd give 11 if I could. I've done a lot of work which has benefited my peers, been offered to have my placement extended, and praised for a job well done, more than I can remember. All the colleagues have been amazing.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The managers have always had the time to answer any questions or to sit down for a one on one conversation to provide guidance. Any criticism has been delivered constructively, which has encouraged me not to give up, but rather aim higher and higher. I don't think I would have achieved good results, had my managers not been there for me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Well, perhaps this is one of those areas of improvement, but not in a bad way. There are always things to do at month end, quarter end or forecasting periods, but there should also be some down time during quieter times. However, C&D is a rapidly growing company, which means that there are new challenges and new things to learn, every day. As a result, there are days when "busy" is an understatement!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I don't think I could have asked for more. After the first 6 months, I did not feel as an intern anymore, but rather like a full-time employee. Colleagues treat you as one and take you seriously. It also means, that when your numbers don't tie back, you get some serious conversations (j/k).
Not sure about other departments, but there was a lot of responsibility given in finance and the successful completion of lots of processes depended on the intern.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Again, 10 stars do not justify the answer. In one word - immensely. Most of my work was based on Excel which is one of the key skills you can have if you want to get a decent job in finance. Also, I taught myself VBA with which I have improved many processes.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Sometimes quiet, which means it's busy and if you have a few deadlines to meet, then it's for the better. On the other hand, it does get lively and we have shared many exciting conversations with the colleagues. I have really enjoyed working in the finance department and the people that I have made friends with. It's one of those places where you are excited to see what the day is going to bring and that's what helps me get up every morning.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I am only scoring this an 8, because a lot depends on how you organise your work and where you choose to invest your spare time. Personally, I love creating new things and improving others, so most often I'd be working on something exciting without anyone knowing too much about it. If you are only interested in getting the main things done, then perhaps the structure isn't built to work for you.
Having said that, there is a long handover process between interns and the initial set up is there to help the new interns settle in.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I've attended quite a few whole day training courses from time management to advanced Excel, but perhaps not as many as I may have wished for. Ultimately, I could have asked for more, but did not invest enough time into that.
There are opportunities available to attend various training courses if required.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have been offered to work part-time in a different department during my studies, so it's great start. They do not have graduate schemes, but there have been placement students to come back after university and fill vacant roles.
The more you stand out during your placement, the higher the chance of being able to come back as a full-time employee a year later. There doesn't need to be a grad scheme for that. Hard work is what's needed.
I prefer to stay in my current area after university, so C&D may be the place to go to.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Unfortunately, being a loner and a mature student on top of that did not result in getting involved much with other placement students, but I hear they all had a blast.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Folkestone isn't too expensive in general, but there are a few places where you can enjoy higher class for a higher price.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I don't really enjoy night clubs so never had a need for one. Apart from that, there are decent bars around, with happy hour cocktails and posh menus. It may not be the town of choice for a
good night life because it's just a small sea-side town, but it was enough for me. It's quiet when you want it to be and it has character :)
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
In terms of work, probably, but I haven't paid too much interest in that, so can't comment. In terms of other activities, such as sports, etc., there are facilities available in Folkestone, so I'm sure one can find what he/she is after.