I thoroughly enjoyed Placement Year. The work was largely varied and enjoyable, colleagues were friendly and welcoming, adding up to an overall positive experience. The team made me feel at ease very early on, in an environment which I was somewhat alien to previously and quite apprehensive about joining and this positive experience continued throughout the year.
All of the colleagues that I worked with in the department made a special effort to make me values within the team. Ranging from initially taking the time to introduce me to the department, to providing feedback and thanks throughout the completion of tasks, at every point in my Placement I felt valued.
I worked with a range of managers on varying cases and each time they made sure that I was supervised properly and could ask for guidance should I require it. Throughout the year, I had two line managers, who went out of the way to make sure that I was happy in the role and that any queries I may have had were resolve as promptly as possible.
The extent to which I was busy very much reflected that of the wider team. For the vast majority of the time I was very busy and often in demand from multiple managers to lend my assistance. However, inevitably there were some quieter times for the department where I would also be slightly light on work.
The level of responsibility changed throughout the year. At the beginning, my responsibility, was fairly minimal which is to be expected for a student who doesn't come from an accountancy background. As the year progressed though, managers began to trust my work and I was given discrete roles to produce myself that directly impacted on the running of the department and also cases.
I gained a great deal of computing skills which will be very useful for the remainder of my degree. Moreover, the necessary prioritising of tasks and time management skills will stand me in good stead for my final year. Beyond my studies, the exposure to an office environment and the skills fostered through that will greatly help me in my future professional endeavours.
The atmosphere was very welcoming and friendly. The mood in the office would inevitably vary depending on the workload and the immediacy of deadlines, however, at all points the team remained approachable but professional. People seemed to be a genuine interest in each other's lives outside of the office rather than simply being confined to the office chat.
The Placement was very well organised by the department, who have a history of taking on a Placement student each year. The line managers that I was assigned were very knowledgeable about the tasks that I would be expected to complete and at each point made it abundantly clear and were available for any points of clarification.
The company had a set structure of appraisals and meetings to ensure that the Placement student develops appropriately and is given the appropriate feedback to allow them to do so. With regards to actual training, my first few weeks consisted mainly of colleagues describing cases or demonstrating how to complete certain tasks so I felt well-equipped to complete the work I was given once I began working on actual cases.
The prospects of working for the employer are very good. Towards the end of my Placement, the subject of securing a full time position was mentioned and every provision necessary was made to facilitate interviews etc. to allow this to happen. My managers were extremely helpful in this and made the whole thing very seamless.
Within my department, and office, I was the only Placement student. However, the social scene amongst colleagues was still very good with regular drinks, either on an ad-hoc basis or organised by the department. In the summer, the department also had an intern join and I was given the role of helping him get settled in and so I attended the social events set up for the interns also. Department wide, we had many events including the Christmas Party, mini golf and an Away Day which were really enjoyable.
Being a London based role, the costs were inevitably on the high side. I relocating down to London, into a house share, for the year also and so this meant the rent was a big financial strain on me. Having said that, I still managed to enjoy myself without being too constrained by finances.
The city of London office location meant that there was an abundance of bars and pubs around. The bars were often on the slightly pricier end of the scale but that is inevitable given the location. I would mainly stick to bars rather than clubs so I didn't really experience any close to the office.
The department were very friendly and hence there were opportunities to go out with colleagues outside of the office. However, as a department we were a little bit cut off from the main office, having been moved over the road into a new building so the sports teams etc. over the road were not really used by the team. That being said, I dare say if you had a particular to join said teams you could have done.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
9th October 2018