Working in finance was mostly supporting report building.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The internship on the whole was quite enjoyable, though my particular placement wasn't the most interesting. There were other interns in the same stream (finance) that were in more interesting departments. Some of the work was quite repetitive at times, although the overall experience was useful for self-development and building Excel skills.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I definitely felt valued by my colleagues. Most of the staff were much older but all very friendly, welcoming and talkative. I was given the freedom to work independently, and to collaborate with my team on some projects. They let me know how my work would fit into the bigger picture.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Little contact with my actual line manager. However, the staff that I did most of the work with, I had frequent access to. Although I had the freedom to work independently, I could ask for support and guidance whenever I needed it. There was the opportunity for regular meetings to keep informed on my progress.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Slow start, as expected while I met all the team and completed the mandatory training. I also needed to brush up on some Excel skills. After this, I was kept busy enough to easily fill all my time, but no so much that I would be under pressure to complete the work.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
This varied by the task. Some tasks didn't feel like a great responsibility, other tasks I could see that if I made a mistake, there would be consequences. I was keen to make sure I got it right, even if the consequences would only be seen long after I finished the internship.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I had never worked in a professional office environment before, and the feedback I received on navigating the environment, on presenting myself etc, was invaluable. My line manager made sure to provide constructive feedback. I also became quite good with Excel - now I realise just how much the software does, I realise how useful this is.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere was quite relaxed. Everybody knew and got along with each other, there was no pressure to be working in silence. People would stop and talk to each other as they walked past each other, and would often come over just for that or to ask other staff for help with their work if they needed it.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Fairly well. I would have preferred more structured training, and perhaps some relevant pointers for self-learning before arriving on the internship so that I could have added value straight away. I did ask for this before the internship started but was told that it wouldn't be needed as they were expecting the intern to perhaps not know anything, but it would have been nice.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had access to very experienced and senior staff, the feedback was useful and constructive. We had team challenges with other interns, which were useful for building soft skills. We had access to LinkedIn Learning which is also incredibly useful with easy to understand courses on many topics, from Excel to coding to time management and more.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Quite appealing. The company values staff and doesn't expect them to sacrifice their personal life for work, which I can see would be ideal for starting a family or generally just having a life. Learning opportunities are provided, and more if requested. The company does seem to go through restructurings every few years though, inevitable leading to several redundancies each time. We had the opportunity to be referred by line managers for graduate positions.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, we all lived in the same paid-for private student accommodation building. The boys were in one flat, the girls were in another. All of them were friendly, talkative and willing to go out to bars/cinema/nights out etc. There could have perhaps been a little more mingling after work during the week - most seemed to come back from work, eat and go to their bedrooms.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Accommodation was provided, which was a massive bonus. Food wasn't particularly expensive. though taxis and some bars were more expensive than those I was used to. Our accommodation was very central though so we could get to most places we wanted on foot, without the need for public transport or taxis. Takeaways were surprisingly expensive though.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Disappointing for a city of its size, to be honest. Most were small bars/pubs rather than proper nightclubs. I guess it was good for going to watch world cup football matches, but not so much variety for big nights out. Takeaways after the night out were generally not great and expensive.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was a charity challenge for interns in each city to get involved in, and a couple of after work socials with the office/staff on my floor. There was a gym very close by. After work though, most people wouldn't feel like doing very much. The city was nice with a fair amount to do though.