1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement year. It has helped my confidence grow and has provided me with a unique opportunity to develop invaluable skills. Also, it has given me an insight into how my degree can be used in the workplace and the different career paths that I can pursue.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was very fortunate in that I had supportive colleagues who monitored my progress and increased my responsibilities throughout the year. My work efforts were recognised through an encore award at quarter end. I had regular feedback from my colleagues as well as appraisals which were very helpful from a developmental perspective.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
When I first started I was fortunate enough to receive a formal hand over from the incumbent placement student. I felt supported with weekly one-to-one meetings with my line manager who provided invaluable feedback regarding my progress and areas for improvement. Team meetings also provided learning opportunities and an insight into current issues that the team was dealing with.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My working days were variable depending on where we were in the accounting calendar. Month close and quarter close were periods that I was extremely busy and the working hours were long, as they were for the rest of my team. Other than those times I was working normal hours and fairly busy.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As the year progressed and my confidence grew my line manager gave me increased responsibilities and the scope of my duties widened. I was given the opportunity to present balance sheet analysis to the finance directors of the UK and France with my team.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As part of my business degree course I had to conduct a research project. I chose to research the effectiveness of the FLDP program and was fortunate enough to interview the head of the program and J&J employees for the purpose of my primary research. I am presently analysing the data for my dissertation.
The skills that I have developed during my placement year are invaluable and will assist me when I graduate and seek future employment.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
My work colleagues were very easy to get on with and there was a very positive working environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement year was well organised and I was given a one week handover with the previous placement student in my position. The induction week provided training in the skills that were essential to my job role and also the companies essential rules, policies and credo. During the placement year I was also encouraged to work with other departments in order to gain a better understanding of the different finance roles at J & J.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Throughout the year there were compulsory training modules that had to be completed. These modules were useful as they were about specific skills that my job required. The initial induction week also provided some training in essential skills that were necessary for my job role.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am very interested in returning to J&J as I have had a very positive and rewarding placement year. I will be applying for a position on the FLDP program this autumn. The placement year has provided me with an invaluable insight into the FLDP program and given me an opportunity to interact with the current FLDP students.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were opportunities for the placement students to network and socialise throughout the year. Ath the beginning of the placement year nights out and other activities were organised with all the placement students. I have had the opportunity to make some very good friends this year.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was lucky enough to stay at home during the placement year because my parents live very close to the J & J offices. The cost of living would have been a concern if I was living in private rented accomodation.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The social and nightlife in Reading is very good with plenty of good places to go out to socialise and eat. Maidenhead however is rather limited in its offering of nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I had the opportunity to play football for J&J in a 5 a side tournament in Budapest where we competed against other teams within J&J from different European countries. I trained with the J & J football team throughout the year and also attended the Bisham sports centre.