1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Went into the placement with an expectation of working on a project with a combination of maths and computing aspects being on a joint course at university. The work was mostly 3 or 4 out of 5 in difficulty, with aspects from the whole development stack (backend, frontend, storage etc). Fun social events were held often for the interns and helped with networking.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Considering I took on a project to work on by myself it felt like I was given a lot of responsibility for this. In terms of day to day interactions, I had a mentor who was incredibly helpful and listened to my views when we had conflicting ideas for some aspects of the project. Colleagues reviewing code also treated me with respect and I was happy to be learning from them.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Each intern / placement is assigned a mentor, who is your first point of contact for most things. From the first week my mentor provided me with guidance through sitting down with me and discussing plans, and also showing me the various resources available in terms of training. The open desk policy also meant I could easily talk to other members when my mentor was unavailable.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The length of my placement was 6 months, and the project I was working on took the latter 5 months from start to finish, with the first month being for settling in and figuring out how the development process would work. The project being long term with multiple components meant I usually had work to do, and only had less to do when needing code reviewed. But otherwise I had to be independent to find documentation to read for the next component to work on.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Aside from the specification of the product required, I was given full control of my work, relying on colleagues for code reviews and guidance. My project was not included on the teams' weekly sprints or the kanban board meaning I had the responsibility of planning my own work and reporting to my manager in the daily standups.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I had not done code reviews before so this was a very useful skill to learn, which I will keep for the next job. Overall the experience was a confidence boost in my ability to program and I have learnt how to better plan out an approach to a problem and will be using this for degree work.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was very relaxed, and rarely stressful. The pantry in the office was always lively and a good meeting place to talk with friends and have lunch. With the open desk policy at Bloomberg I was happy to walk up to someone (when they don't look too busy!) and talk about my work and any problems I was having.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There was regular contact between HR and the interns, and always knowing who we could contact. In terms of work, the only thing that was lacking was formal training for developers (we had a day introduction for the terminal and various HR-related information), however being on the placement meant there wasn't a group of new hires large enough to give resources for training. My mentor provided a great introduction however, and from being independent at uni I was happy to get on with teaching myself the basics of the Bloomberg environment.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was no formal training for placement developers, so I had to make do with independently reading the training resources and getting information from my mentor. However, there are also many workshops and talks for engineers to sign up for and attend, and having attended a few they were always high quality and informative.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Bloomberg often hires people who have completed an internship or placement with them, and I am hoping to get a return offer for a graduate role. The future prospects and opportunities offered are great for a student coming out of university, as it is simple to transfer roles, teams and even locations.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were many events for networking and fellow interns met up a lot. Overall, I was happy with the social scene from the events and meeting up with friends for lunches and events. There are also many clubs and communities such as board games for finding things to do in the evenings.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Being in London meant everything is quite expensive as you might expect. However, a lot of events were evening events such as mini golf and drinks in a pub, and fairly often too. Cost of living for my flat was £200 a week but I also go to university in London so may not be comparable to interns who moved into London just for the summer.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The City of London has a few good spots which we were taken to for events. Otherwise the whole of London is yours to explore during the placement, with great transport connections from wherever you are living you can be sure to find something that suits everyone, whether the traditional nightlife clubs or meeting up outside of work.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Bloomberg has a programme called BOB - Best Of Bloomberg. This is a philanthropic effort to get employees to donate hours of their time to help with charity work such as helping at Hyde Park with the Royal Parks (which was a specific event held for interns) and cleaning the canals. Bloomberg also matches the hours you put in with a monetary donation. There are also lots of communities who go out for activities such as 5 a side and cycling.