1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Great experience and journey; I feel that I have learnt an incredible amount of the year at HPE and can only recommend taking the opportunity to seek a placement here. I genuinely believe that I learnt more during my placement than another year at University would have allowed me to.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
HPE does NOT follow the typical internship stigma. As an intern, you are involved in day-to-day management activities and work deliverables are closely linked to the overall team's performance. Whilst the majority of the roles are of supportive nature, colleagues and management treat interns as equals and encourage collaboration and learning.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
As part of the internship programme, every new intern is assigned a mentor to guide, advise and shape the placement opportunity into a valuable experience and learning for the student. Managers are very focused to develop the interns and regularly engage and encourage the student to step out of their comfort zone
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In the beginning of the internship, tasks and deliverables may seem very small, but soon responsibilities will start to pick up. It is important to closely monitor workloads and discuss issues or challenges with the assigned mentor. Development and learning is the top priority and workload should never get in the way of a new learning opportunity. Management is flexible and supports the student's interests
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
At HPE you are part of a team; you play an important role in delivering the team's targets and strategic direction. In the early stages of the internship, you will be doing less complex tasks but soon be given the opportunity to explore new avenues and challenges. Overall, responsibility is linked to progression and development and if the student is willing to invest time and effort then the intern will be granted more responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
During my internship I completed a LEAN yellow-belt course and completed a Kaizen including an extensive LEAN green-belt course. Further, I had the chance to take a fundamental PMP course. As a HPE employee, you have access to a variety of training courses through (premium) Lynda.com (LinkedIn) or AcceleratingU (internal training course platform).
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
A great atmosphere. Colleagues are very engaged in developing and mentoring students and are always happy to take the time to explore or explain different business processes. However, at the moment, the organization is undergoing significant change and moods are all over the place. Many, previously very supportive colleagues, are tied up in major transformation projects and less accessible.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The Erskine internship program is very well organized and provides a basic structure that enables exposure, networking and a good understanding of the wider business. The management team is engaged in providing an insight into the wider business units. The internship programme contains specific training/development milestones that boost the student's CV.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Interns have the freedom to complete a variety of training courses (within reason) and have the opportunity to complete both a LEAN yellow-belt (online) and green-belt (face-to-face) course. Further, employees have access to premium Lynda.com courses and AcceleratingU (internal training network) courses: both provide access to a wide range of professional training courses
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
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?
Erskine is fairly derelict with limited public transport links. Bus/train travels from Glasgow to the HPE campus in Erskine are very limited and unreliable and access to a car is more or less required (public transport do-able, but painful). The travel expenses/public transport links from the city are quite substantial and should be taken into account when seeking a placement.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Charitable events and engagement (CSR) is a big part of the internship programme. As well as organizing and facilitating regular fund-raising events, interns are also given the opportunity to use one working day a month for volunteering outside of work. Further, regular opportunities are communicated through internal networks (for example, women's network)