Be within a team using data and analytics to gain insight into customer behaviour and identify opportunities for the business to improve and adapt to the changing market.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was a great experience. This was the first time I found myself in an office environment, and it is a lot more relaxed than I anticipated. My manager had confidence in me to actually get on with my work and did not feel the need to keep checking in on me.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The people I worked around were incredibly friendly and happy to ask any questions. When I first arrived, my 'buddy' set up meetings for me with all my team members (including those in other locations like London, India, Cardiff) just to get to know everyone. The office was set out quite openly, and people from different teams would usually be sat close to each other and they all made an effort to make me feel welcome.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
We set up a weekly catch up for me to keep them informed on everything I had been doing. This involved filling out a learning log which we would discuss, and then set short-term objectives for the next week on what to improve on etc.
Along with a line manager, I had a buddy within the team who was great for all my quick questions.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The first week or so took some getting used to, figuring out what I needed to be doing. Though once I had a set of clearly defined objectives, I would be busy throughout the day cracking on with them. There was also plenty of chance to join in extra activities in place of work, such as a coding club put on by the graduates.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
It was more responsibility in the sense that I was given work to do, and they put their trust in me that I would get on with it and produce a good piece. I was not given exactly 'high-level' work, but work that made me go and learn about the team capabilities and responsibilities which was great for easing me in.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
They put an emphasis on networking, which honestly helps loads with your confidence in just going and starting conversations with people. We also had an event that involved pitching in front of a few senior members of staff, which was a great learning experience for giving presentations in the future (e.g. an lab report presentation, or just later in a career).
I did not acquire many technical skills.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It was a great atmosphere! It was an open plan office, with islands of desks with computers on with no arranged seating plan. So while you would be working around the same people, you would get a chance to speak/work next to pretty much everyone. It was a very supportive environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The induction was two days with all the interns in the same place, which was a great opportunity for networking. The rest of the first week was an introduction into the business area and specific team that you were going to be working in. Other than some minor trouble sorting out accesses to some of the systems (like an internal information sharing space, say) the integration was pretty good.
The actual programme had several pre-determined events that all interns had to partake in.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
They made an effort to make out time there as enjoyable as possible. The Early Careers team were always willing to help us if we had any questions about our internship, and the majority of the interns received a Grad Offer, so clearly they managed to see some benefit in investing in our futures.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
They offered the majority of the interns a grad scheme in their specific path for the following year. Naturally, this is pretty great seeing as it takes the pressure off in a final year of study trying to find somewhere.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
A majority of the interns got to know each other quite well, arranging nights out or trips out on the weekend. My department had a barbecue on campus seeing as it was good weather, which presented a good social opportunity.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The internship was in Edinburgh and included the first two weeks of The Fringe; naturally that meant that it got a bit more expensive to live and socialise. Totally worth it though, you get to experience a lot of different cultures, and some of the shows were amazing.
During the other weeks, it was pretty much a standard cost, like Manchester or Leeds prices.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I mean, from what I remember it was pretty good. It's not too expensive, and there are a lot of places pretty close together so you can make a bit of a crawl out of it (if that's your sort of thing).
There is quite a strong student population given that it's Edinburgh which only makes things better.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not loads of opportunities. It was more of a case of making friends within work and arranging things to do between yourselves.