1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I genuinely enjoyed the placement at Illumina, made some good friends and the learning curve was exponential, largely due to the amount of responsibility placed on me.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Working with the rest of the team at Illumina was great - they would take time to provide help where needed and were also happy to put faith in me to complete my own tasks. I was given both monthly responsibilities and projects of my own to complete - this work was then used and relied upon.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was very helpful at supporting my future career path, whether that be inside or outside of Illumina. Other managers made themselves friendly, approachable and took time to assist with any problems. I found that they would answer any questions I had and senior management would make time for me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Towards the beginning of the placement I struggled to find things to do - however once I was capable at taking on bigger tasks, I found that I was constantly kept busy with a list of things to do, which I loved! After an amount of time, I did not need to ask for work at all.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The responsibility and exposure given on this placement were second to none. My manager trusted me with many tasks or projects that I doubt I would have ownership of elsewhere.
The responsibility would be the best thing I can take away from the placement, with hopefully my work there making a positive impact on the company.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I sat within the tax team, however my overall knowledge of accounting grew enormously over the year, which I hope to apply to my studies in my final year at University. Most of this was learnt on the job, while some technical subject-specific training was limited. This could have been better during the on-boarding.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Illumina organise regular team days to promote the kind of team atmosphere that encourages every person to interact with each other. Every person in the office knows each other by name and is happy to talk. Culture seems to be something that is very important to Illumina, and this is obvious with the people they hire.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement I was on was the first of its kind, so did not follow any kind of set pattern. A lot of the work I did was not planned for me to complete - however I knew about this after the assessment centre, and didn't mind as this meant a flexible role.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Illumina were fantastic at providing good support when I asked for it, however the on-boarding into the technical aspects of the role could have been better, as there was not much official training and a lot of the content was self-taught. HR did a good job keeping in touch throughout the year and taking feedback for future internships.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Illumina were fantastic at providing good support when I asked for it, however the on-boarding into the technical aspects of the role could have been better. HR did a good job keeping in touch throughout the year and taking feedback for future internships. Illumina have given me a verbal offer of a graduate role.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I had little interaction with any other placement students as they were working in different departments to myself. My direct colleagues in the tax team and people sat around me were great.
The placement student in my department was not at University and began before me and had transferred to an employee while I was at Illumina.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Illumina's HQ is based in Cambridge, which is a very expensive place to live and socialise.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I joined a couple of sports clubs during my year with Illumina, and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is also a fantastic gym on-site.