1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The length of the project makes it difficult to issue a 3 month item of work that has a tangible output, so some of the tasks were quite boring. Others were more enjoyable. There was certainly an amount of jobs that were given to the interns because no one else wanted to do it.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Again the length of the placement makes this difficult. The team were very welcoming, and by the end of the placement I was playing football with some of them. As someone to do tasks that no one else wanted to do, I felt valued. I did create an important piece of work that did directly affect the team so I’m that respect I felt valued as I was effectively the resident expert.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given support when I asked for it and left alone when I was managing fine on my own. There is a degree of expectation for you to be competent however, you are also welcomed to ask any and every question you have. Management were sometimes a bit slow to get back and occasiaonally individuals in manangment would say things that didn’t necessarily match up with what others had said.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The work varied. The nature of a summer placement is that everyone is on holiday in the summer so you may have to wait several weeks to get in contact with someone and move stuff forward if work relies on them. Other tasks can also take varying amount of time. As I said previously 3 months of work is difficult to do on this kind of placement.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given the responsibility of my own learning. If I want to learn more I ask for more work or work from other teams and everyone is happy to facilitate that. You certainly feel at times that you are in charge of your own placement. In the sense of responsibility meaning whether my work is crucial, I only felt this occasionally.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I think the main thing I took away was how to get on with people and approach new people in an office environment. This can be a daunting task however you sometimes are forced to do this to attain certain bits of information necessary to complete your job. I think this is heavily transferable.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It varied. Both summers I have sat next to engineers who didn’t particularly enjoy the work and basically were there for the money. That being said, there was a high level of moral in the team most days and you could often joke and have a laugh which made the whole experience more enjoyable. Overall it is friendly, and you find that people are happy to talk to you.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placements are well structured generally. However sometimes the managers can be a bit busy and forget about you. However you know where you are going to be in advance, you know who your contacts are, you know where everything you might need is, and you are taken through all unfamiliar processes necessary to complete the placement.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was little training beyond what you learn yourself from working in your team. Essentially the company provides the platform for you to gain experience. The process of developing yourself is very much up to you and how much you are willing to put in. The more you put in, the more you get back. I would say although the company don’t directly invest a lot in training on internships, this method is quite character building in its own way.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Whilst I think it is an interesting company to work for, the projects are so long that sometimes it can seem like you aren’t really contributing. I have a job offer but I am still considering my options. Furthermore, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life staring at a computer screen. I have always been hands on and so would like a job that provides this.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Depends. Yes there was a social scene, there was football, pub quizzes, nights out, we all knew each other. However, some got on with others better, some were somewhat introverted. I have completed my second placement now and the social scene on my first was 10 stars, this year I would say it was 5 so I’m giving an average. It just depends on personalities. Overall however, there is plenty of social opportunities.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Literally chip as chips. £100 a week for rent bills included, there various budget shops. Reasonably priced bars (cheapest pint was less than £2). A restaurant did a brilliant 3 course Sunday lunch for £12.95. It’s a brilliant place to live if you want to save some money on top of socialising.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There is a karaoke bar that I am not afraid to say I enjoyed on more than one occasion. Several of the clubs are just pubs that transform into clubs. Some of the clubs are pretty run down. Some of the pubs are really nice, there’s a Wetherspoons so that’s all you really need. I’m more of a pub than club kind of person. But overall, if you want to have a good night out, the opportunity is there.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were several activities such as football, badminton, squash, hill climbing, and gyming organised by the interns. We had weekly cinema trips, pay day meals, baking afternoons, movie marathons, and Chinese buffet lunches. There was always more than one person up for doing something if you were bored. We were never bored.