1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
An enjoyable internship overall.
It provided a great introduction to the industry, giving me an insight into what a full-time position would be like.
The best part of my time was the team dynamic, there was a really nice atmosphere, with people always up for having a chat - but also working hard.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
There was a welcome lunch, which gave me the opportunity to introduce myself to the team. There were other numerous social events throughout my time which really helped with my integration.
Everyone in the office, regardless of position, showed an interest in me and were always happy to have a chat about their career advice etc.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My direct manager was extremely busy throughout the summer, splitting her time between a few offices. Also, other senior managers were away for much of my time which increased the workload.
I would perhaps liked more regular guidance and feedback on my progress, but the grads on the team were always happy to help.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This depended on how proactive you were in asking for work. I found that if you showed an interest in a specific area, this would result in a new task more often that not.
In addition, the grads always had tasks they needed help with, although these were often quite menial - it stopped me being bored.
The CSR intern project also takes up a lot of time, and is the sort of thing you can really throw yourself in to.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Again, this depends a lot on how proactive you were.
In regards to one client, I was involved in pretty much all of the client work. This included attending the Trustee meeting which was a particular highlight of my time.
Any work you do will be checked over numerous times by more senior people, but you are trusted to complete tasks initially.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
At the start of the internship, I said that I really wanted to improve my presentation skills and become more confident talking in front of people.
So I was given lots of opportunities to practice this in team meetings etc.
In terms of my degree, some reports I did needed some knoweldge of economics, so I brought this in well.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The whole retirement division seem to be really close knit, with everyone knowing each other well. My team got on well, often talking about random things during the day. Love Island was a hot topic.
I think this is typical of a regional office, with London being quite different on the occasions I went there.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There were 2-3 days of induction to start the internship, where you were with all the other interns. This was a great few days with the chance to meet everyone, while also receiving some general training.
There were also weekly 'Lunch and learns' so that the interns could understand more about the wider business.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was the standard training which HR organised, ie. induction and lunch and learn. But I found the best training and development came on occasions when I asked people for it.
For example I felt comfortable asking senior people in the office for a coffee to go through what they do etc.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The process for the graduate program is very seamless, with no additonal assessment required. Your manager gives you a reference on your performance, then you are told after the internship if you have been accepted.
Although, there was less flexibilty than I was expecting - with getting a graduate position in a different team/location quite hard.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
London is the place to be for this. There were only a few other interns in the office. While we did socialise sometimes, it was difficult as people had long commutes so often had to shoot off after work.
Interns in london went for drinks quite often. On the occasion where there were london events, then that was fun.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Lived at home, so managed to save a fair amount of my salary over the internship, with the train being quite cheap also.
Although, I had collegues who had substantial commutes so spent lots of money on trains.
Farnborough is quite cheap generally, with the local cinema only being £5 was good.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was 5-a-side football on a monday night which was good fun. Also a chance to get to know other people in the office.
Also we went to the horse racing one evening.
There were numerous lunches as well during the summer which were quite nice.
There was a charity day where we did some gardening for a local hospice.