1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Even before I started I knew that this would be a dream job for me. With that being said, going into my placement, my expectations were exceeded.
The excitement of going to work every day has not changed at all, the company and my colleagues have been nothing short of amazing, and I am very happy with the choice I have made.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
So far in my placement, I have been part of two teams (both within the same division) and I instantly felt a connection with all of my colleagues!
As soon as I started my internship people have been very supportive of my growth as a professional, I have been involved in projects that they were actively working on and have been considered as part of the team from day one. After I finished my rotation in the first team, I left with some key knowledge that was highly appreciated by both, my current and past teams. Moreover, my point of view was sought at times and I felt like my voice definitely was heard in meetings.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The management at Hotels.com (Expedia affiliate) has been great regarding support. Other than weekly feedback sessions to discuss my progress and any issues or questions I had, I also had support on a day-to-day basis to assist me in my tasks or any questions I have regarding the company, workflow or projects.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My daily tasks varied from week to week, depending on what projects I undertook/what I was working on.
Generally, my day was pretty balanced and I was satisfied with it, I had enough time for breaks and occasional lunches out of the office, all while being kept busy during the rest of the day. My calendar was laid out in advance with invites to meetings and other events that I had to attend so it was easy to do my work around that. Overall, work never felt dull, I was never bored, and I had enough time to take a breather and relax after focusing on my work for too long.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As soon as I started I was given responsibility and access to most of the tools/services that other full-time employees had access to. I have never felt that I was cast aside or that I was not important enough, and this was reflected also in the work that I did.
Ranging from project to project, I had enough responsibilities to make me feel like I was having an impact. At the same time, as is expected, as an intern I was not tasked with extremely sensitive projects.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Going into my placement I did not know what I want to do after university, or even during my final year.
After one month, the work that I had done and skills that I was starting to develop had already made me re-evaluate what I want to do in the future (regarding specialisation) and regarding my impending dissertation.
One of the things that I am extremely happy about is that I managed to develop certain industry-related skills that would have otherwise been very difficult to develop by self-studying or on my own. That coupled with the advice and feedback I have received from management has had a huge impact on my career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I worked in the tech department, in the "platform" division. The atmosphere was very fun, also very relaxed. Everyone was friendly, and the work itself was generally not stressful.
There is a fine balance in the company. The general culture is quite laid-back and brings about a hint of a start-up, which is very enjoyable in such a big company with so many moving parts. A very fun (yet hard working) place to be in!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company definitely invests time and effort into the interns. You are always encouraged to bring your questions forward and ask as much (and as many silly questions) as you want. I would say that from day-one people were extremely supportive and have offered resources to develop my industry-related skills, such as books, tutorials, articles and even whiteboarding sessions to prove concepts.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
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?
The fellow placement students and colleagues were always sociable and very much into socialising.
With the other interns, we had several social events during the summer, we have also came forward with the initiative of a ping pong summer tournament (to make use of the office ping pong tables).
With my fellow colleagues, we regularly had lunch together or went to socialise after work (and at work during coffee breaks).
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London is definitely not cheap and as an employee you have to be mindful of that.
With that being said, the area the office is in is very nice, there are many great restaurants, bars and cafes around to cater for everybody's tastes. As such, the prices range quite a lot, but there are enough places to get cheap lunch, and also quite a lot of places where you can treat yourself to a more expensive meal.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Angel (the area I was based in) has loads of bars and pubs. In the greater area, there are a lot of music venues (such as in Highbury&Islington), and even more live music venues and bars in the wider area (such as Old Street/Shoreditch). There is always something to do.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are social and volunteering events organised by the company for its employees, if you're looking for something to do outside of work, it is as easy as inquiring in the office.
If you prefer doing something unrelated to the company, there are a lot of opportunities for meet-ups and other events in London.