1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Although I enjoyed the latter half of my internship, at no point did the job description I was given come close to the tasks I mostly
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
To some of the colleagues I worked with daily, I felt very valued. Continually being praised and appreciated for the work I was more than happy to do for them. With this said, the majority of the department chose not to utilise me as a resource, very often just ignoring me - I'm pretty sure half of them didn't even know who I was, even after a year.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager was an utter disappointment. They seemed much more interested in anything and everything else other then trying to support me. Their guidance was to be ambitious with my goals, and be tenacious when trying to achieve them. That ambition became very difficult when most of my goals required support from my manager, who when I needed them was no where to be found - often taking weeks to reply to a simple email. Their was zero investment from the department or the company towards me and my personal development, choosing to try and fill my time with work not even close to my job description.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Relevant work was few and far between. At the start there was almost nothing to do. The department and location was far from cut out to support this new role - even a year on I feel they cannot offer what they stated. After a while I filled my days with almost 100% learning - reading white papers, documentation, experimenting with hardware and software. All of which I had the capability of doing from my own home - not what I expected from a internship at one of the biggest names in technology.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Although the work was few a far between, towards the latter part of the year, I was finally trusted with basic tasks such as TCO and BOM creation. I was actually given considerable amounts of responsibility for much less relevant tasks such as event organisation and management. Although this was appreciated - it wasn't at all useful for my career choice.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Due to the fact I spend most of my year stuck in books, I did learn a awful lot. Most of this will be relevant to future en-devours - including my final year at university and the jobs I am interested beyond. With that said, I also failed to develop any skills in some of the key areas of the role I was supposed to be in.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Poor. The office is giant and empty, and the facilities are sub-par. Everything really was just below what you would expect from a tech giant. This meant the atmosphere, particularly in my part was dreary and boring. Most my team were based out of the London office, which is where I feel this internship should have been based all along.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The intern program as a whole, so the introduction to the generic stuff such as the company, what we do, orientation etc. was great - I can't fault that. However, my specific internship within my department with nothing short of dire. No one had any idea what work I would do - most of them thinking I was doing a completely different roll. Even after being told multiple times would still try and hand over irrelevant work, with no intention of giving something which match my job description in the future.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Outside of paying for a pair of qualifications, there was zero investment from the company. Although even then, they wouldn't buy the learning materials for them. At the start of the year, it was even hard to get travel expended to our London office, even though it/s where most of my team are based, and where I might have actually had some customer engagement.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Although the internship was dire, the graduate scheme offered by the department has everyone singing its praises. So it is a place I will be applying to again, even though the internship was far from ideal. That said, it's a shame they choose to invest so much in a graduate scheme, but next to nothing in the step beforehand.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes - there were regular intern outings which proved to be lots of fun. Especially the Intern Balls that occurred at the start and end of the year. Unfortunately my departments socials were none existent, probably due to the lack of funding on offer - but I had come to expect nothing less.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
More or less what I expected. With the rise of the wage for next years intake they will easily be able to live, and save a bit for university next year. Housing proved to be a little more expensive than I would have expected, but there are lots of bars and pubs nearby that offer reasonable pricing so you can save a little there.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Great. There were lots of different places on the list for the socials that were organised by the intern committee. If you ran out of things to do in Reading, London was only a train ride away - and I don't think I need to say how much Nightlife there is there.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, especially in the charity space. As the cohort we were given charity targets and lots of the actives arranged outside of work revolved around this. For example Palace to Palace cycle, sponsored walks and runs, as well as game based challenges and competitions. All in all there were quite a few to pick from.