1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement. In all respects it exceeded my expectations and I developed significantly from my experiences at Aon.
I feel that I made good connections with many people in the organisation and I am keen to stay in contact with them going forward.
Gaining experience at a large company and getting the opportunity to network with senior leadership was a brilliant experience for me.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt highly valued. This is probably something that exceeded my expectations the most; I joined a busy office where I genuinely felt that my contribution was valued by my colleagues.
I left my placement feeling that I had grown to have important roles on my client teams and was made aware by my colleagues that my absence would be felt. It was very satisfying to receive comments like this.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I have no doubt that my line manager's feedback and guidance helped me to improve my work and develop as a person significantly.
Frequent feedback sessions with my manager enabled me to receive feedback from a range of people in the office and reflect on it with him.
I was really impressed by the fact that my personal development sessions and goal setting with my manager reflected that of a full time employee - being a placement student did not affect the amount of time that my manager put into my development.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
From my first couple of weeks in, I had plenty of work to be getting on with and was fully occupied for the majority of my time. Also, as my capabilities progressed and I gained experience, I found that my workload increased to fully match my capacity as a result of the strong demand for my resource around the office.
Occasionally I found that I was at risk of having taken on too much work. This encouraged me to improve my workload management skills, and colleagues were supportive of this.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I feel that a healthy balance was struck in my placement between being given a large amount responsibility (where the learning curve occasionally seemed very steep) and having access to the guidance of others.
I always felt challenged in my role, but not to a level where I could not cope, thanks to the fantastic mentorship of my colleagues. I have no doubt that this was brilliant for my development.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Getting the opportunity to work for over a year in a collaborative and results focused environment provided me with a range of completely new experiences.
I have no doubt that my greatly improved organisational and problem solving skills will be of tremendous benefit to me during my final year at university and in my future career.
In addition to this, I am now equipped with an understanding of the career as an actuarial consultant, which interests me greatly.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was really positive. The general style of working seemed to be relaxed but focused. Open discussion about work was frequent and the majority of people are very happy to discuss work with you if you go to their desk to speak to them. I personally really enjoyed the interactivity with other colleagues the work often involved.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very well set up. At the start of my placement I attended an induction with interns and placement students from across the business which gave me a chance to network with others and learn about other business areas.
During my year I was also able to attend a variety of company events and training sessions. These added a great deal of value to my placement and enabled me to connect with senior colleagues from across the business.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
If you look just outside the city centre you can find some very reasonably priced accommodation. I stayed in shared house which was just over a mile from the city centre for only £325 per month.
The price of socialising is not too bad. A wide range of restaurants and bars is available in and around Birmingham.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Birmingham is a very exciting city to live in. It has a vibrant social scene and a wide range of facilities.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are plenty of activities available to get involved in. These include general work socials (e.g. meals out, boat trips on the canals) to sports such as netball, football and badminton. The cost of hiring courts and pitches for sports is typically covered by the company also.
These social activities gave me the opportunity to network with colleagues.