1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall, I have really enjoyed my placement as a RPA (Robotic Process Automation) Financial Analyst within the Financial Systems Team at Sony Europe. My team are great, the work I do is throughly interesting and has a real impact on the Finance function and I have enjoyed the working environment, making new friends and gaining the new skills that the placement has brought me.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I feel really valued by my colleagues, both my team and across the business and feel that I am having a real impact with the projects that I am working on. Whilst not working on as complex projects as my team, they always ensure I understand what they are working on and if they have any issues, it is a team discussion to which I am very much included in. During training on an integral piece of software that we use, we all developed particular strengths and skills, and so in a number of instances, my team have also relied on my knowledge, again giving me great confidence in the work that I am doing.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My direct line manager has really helped me throughout the placement. He has been really understanding when I have needed to take time off for health reasons, approachable and has created a brilliant working relationship with my team, ensuring the team will also support me when required. On top of this, senior management have recognised my contribution on a number of occasions which gives me great confidence looking ahead to following projects.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Most of the work I have undertaken has been project work. This has meant my workload has fluctuated over the cycle of each project. Usually towards the end of the project, working with the business area that we are servicing can be challenging, and has required long days, and working with a number of different countries (mainly US), required working across different timezones. However, as I find work that I am doing interesting, despite it being stressful at times, I still feel a great sense of achievement when the projects are delivered.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A number of times I feel as though I may have been given too much responsibility, however when this happened, I have spoken to my manager and he has been excellent in dealing with the situations. I have relished most of the responsibility that I have been given as it has given me the opportunity to achieve my full potential and learn a huge amount during the course of my placement.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Going into my placement, I knew that most of subject knowledge I would gain would not really be applicable to my degree. Even though I am studying Finance at University, my day to day work is mainly process design and re-engineering of existing process combined with IT / coding skills. However, as the majority of processes that I have been working on are accounting, I have developed a basic understanding of corporate accounting methods which will be applicable in my final year at University. As a whole, I have developed both personal and business skills that I am sure will enable to develop a greater career in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There is very much a hard working atmosphere in the office. Across other teams in the office, there appears to be a rather negative mentality with a number of people recently leaving. This can be hard when there are lots of people with such negativity, but my team are quite well shielded from this
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Sony Europe use a 3rd party agency for employment of placement students, HAYS. They are absolutely awful. Extremely unhelpful, always too busy to help and their administration team are useless. They have no inclination to help anyone, and sorting out documentation was a nightmare.
Apart from this, the Finance team and Sony Europe HR team seem to done everything required of them.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
As soon as I joined Sony Europe, I immediately went on a 2 week training course at the office. This was on a piece of software that was new both to the business and myself. Despite really throwing me in at the deep end, being able to get practical experience straight away with the support of experts was great. On top of this, I have always been able to rely on assistance from my team, which has really had a great impact on my learning. In terms of personal skills, we have 4 Placement days, but I think it would have been good to have more of these.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I believe my placement has helped with my future employment prospects at Sony Europe and I will definitely apply for the Graduate scheme later this year. I have had the opportunity to meet a range of managers across the Finance Function, and I am sure that I would enjoy and learn huge amounts working for the majority of them.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There has been a good social scene with interns and across the wider business. However, whilst working at Sony, I had the opportunity to live at home. However, with living at home, I had a commute of 1 - 1 1/2 hours each way. Therefore I have not been able to make the most of these.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Having lived at home during my placement, I have been shielded from this substantially. However, having spoken to friends, they have commented how expensive an area Weybridge is, and many live in London which is even more expensive!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
In Weybridge, there are a number of pubs that people socialise after work at. Also with the proximity to London, a night out is possible but expensive.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?