1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The variety of opportunities available to me throughout the year was really good; the range of things I got to experience challenged me to the right level, enabling me to learn and develop my skills. I felt included and valuable, and felt I could not only gain a lot from the year but also give back something useful.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt that my skills were valued and I was treated as an equal. All attitudes were professional and welcoming, and I never felt like I was wasting anyone's time by asking questions or when seeking help. Colleagues looked out for one another and would help out without a second thought should it be needed.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support was always given, and everyone was friendly enough and happy to give their time that you could go and ask anyone for help. There were a few times where I felt my manager put me through challenging situations, which was a shame as this did not reflect the attitude of 99% of other workers there, however I learnt a lot from being in these difficult situations.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some days I would be very busy and others I would have barely anything to do. When I asked for more work, sometimes there wouldn't be enough. I wouldn't have minded if that was just for a couple of days here or there, however there was a very long period where I didn't have enough to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given the right amount of responsibility, where the majority of my experiences were casual enough for me to learn and develop my skills. Occasionally I was given a few tasks of a higher importance which allowed me to experience and learn how to handle dealing with the pressure of having to deliver to a high standard.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
What I have learnt throughout this year has been absolutely invaluable. I developed all the skills that I expected to and more, and feel ready to start a job after graduating all the wiser. If anyone is considering undertaking a placement, my advice would be to do it. It's quite possibly the best thing I have ever done to kick-start my career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was provided a quiet and calm area suited to working efficiently and comfortably. Being an open and sociable space it meant that occasionally people could work together, have enough space or even have a chat! Each office was always at the right temperature and situated closely enough to kitchens to make getting a cup of tea easy!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
In general the organisation or the work placement was very good, where students were looked after well and our needs were always taken into consideration. The only thing I could possibly comment on negatively in my role was that what I was to work on during my year wasn't fully considered; for the first half it was good however I was often found I didn't have enough to do in the second half of the year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was allowed to go on a massive range of training sessions and experiences, both internal and external. Some of these would be little scale things, such as patent training or training on a machine, and some would be larger, like external multi-day orthopaedic engineering courses or cadaver anatomy courses. Throughout the year I was also allowed to undertake mini-placements in other departments, further developing my skills and range of experiences.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have been asked whether I would like to work with the company, and should I want to apply, my name would be highlighted in the application process. It is a very well structured organisation who really look after the well-being of their employees. I would love to work there in the future.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were options to go out with colleagues and other placement students, and Leeds is an excellent city to work and go out in. With the university, it means that there are plenty of opportunities to socialise with other people your own age. Not that this is needed, as the competitive graduate scheme offered by the company means young adults are also your colleagues.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Being in a city nothing is dirt cheap, however the city is up in the North of England (a cheaper part of the country) and it is also home to a huge university, so the numerous students mean that the prices are lowered. On top of this, most places will do a student discount.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I don't personally go out however being a student city, Leeds is incredible for going out, with a scene for everyone. The variety, diversity and culture which can be found in Leeds means you will never be bored. Societies at the university are also open to the public (and students from other universities) so you can also get involved with that too.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, loads. Whether you are into sports, arts and music, culture, gaming, languages or something else, you can join into whatever. You can find and learn anything in Leeds, and usually with options about which club or group you want to join. Leeds is like a treasure chest for everyone.