Working in Central Functions Finance, I was involved in conducting monthly analysis relating to the operating activities of the company. This included comparing actual, budgeted and past expenditure figures; analysing and providing commentary on any variances that arise. I had the opportunity to present your findings to a variety of people within the Finance department, including managers, directors, vice presidents and the CFO. Another key responsibility involved creating business reports, which enabled a range of business people to make crucial decisions. I also had key involvement in the budgeting process: collating the necessary detail from global sources, constructing and then analysing the resulting budgets.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My placement year at Travelport has been an experience that I wouldn't change. I have thoroughly enjoyed the variety of tasks that I had the opportunity to undertake. The people at Travelport have definitely added to my experience and the culture of helping each other is one that Travelport should be extremely proud of.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I have always been given feedback and there has never been a moment when someone didn't say thank you for helping them out. I have been lucky enough to be involved in various projects over my placement year and this has enabled me to work with people from different departments and different backgrounds. This has not changed how I have been treated, and being an intern never hindered me.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was pushed from my manager to get involved in lots of different things. The support that was there when I was getting involved in other projects was unbelievable and I did not expect to be trusted so much. The whole team came together to ensure that I did not fall behind on work and this made me feel extremely lucky.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I did not have a day where I was lost for something to do. I was always kept busy with my monthly tasks and also any adhoc tasks from my business partners. Despite how busy I was, if I did ever feel overwhelmed, the support from my team was always there in the ways of advising on time management and also seeing if they could help with anything.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
When people say that you are given 'a real job' this is exactly what a placement year at Travelport is. Within my job I created work for the CFO and worked very closely with people high up in the company. The exposure, and therefore the added responsibility on your work, is unbeatable at Travelport and I always felt like I was fully a member of the team. If I didn't turn up to work then it would be noticeable in respect to the work I was responsible for and that shows me the high level of responsibility that I had throughout my placement year.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
From the more technical skills such as excel skills and powerpoint skills to the soft skills such as communication skills, time management and general professionalism, I have learnt a lot from my year at Travelport. I have learnt to be more flexible and have enhanced my critical thinking to enable my problem solving skills to develop. This puts me in an amazing place for both my final year of university and also for future jobs and future life events. I think in a way that I didn't before and even to the point of focusing and being more productive for longer periods of time, which I struggled with before. My placement year has definitely helped me feel more comfortable for my final year.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
You can have a laugh with your team which helps general morale and team spirit, but when you need to get work done, the atmosphere is encouraging and focused. There is an expectation to be present at your desks but equally no one questions you when you need a break and if you want to go take a walk to give your brain and eyes a rest. My team is a very social team and being able to have a chat and a laugh made the year extremely enjoyable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Prior to the placement there could have been slightly more communication as to the set-up of the first few days but once the placement year had started, there was a structure in place with mentors and managers ready for the year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had regular development sessions as an intern group. This ranged from sessions on LinkedIn to sessions on Continuous Improvement and robotics both within Travelport and also within the wider world. These sessions have definitely improved how I view change and also how I present myself both professionally and outside of work. There have been multiple system training sessions and if I still did not feel comfortable, I simply asked and there was never any hesitation to help.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The various different departments offer a good range of roles to get involved in. It is common for people to move around the organisation to get those different experiences and that is a very appealing aspect. The fact that this is encouraged is great too and shows a lot about the Travelport's positive attitude towards developing their employees.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a great social scene within Travelport. There is a social club that offers events throughout the year ranging from Go-Karting, Quiz & Curry nights and comedy nights to a boat party and murder mystery evenings. There is also the Christmas Party which is great fun!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I did not live in the area that I worked in so cannot comment on the cost of living.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As I did not live in the area, I didn't really go out in the area but rather than going out in Slough, we would travel to either Windsor or London.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Other than the social club there is a Tuesday Night Football. However there are no other sports events which could be a great addition to the social aspect of Travleport.