1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I worked in two roles during my placement which gave me the opportunity to explore different aspect of the business. I enjoyed the level of responsibility I was given as well as the fact that my inputs and opinions were valued. I also enjoyed the breadth of learning and development opportunities on offer.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by my colleagues. During my time in GVO, the team underwent a number of challenges. During each of these problems I felt that I was given valuable tasks to complete in order to assist in solving them. I even went as far as being voted runner up in our team's "People's Choice Awards" in recognition of my contributions to the team!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was available to support me when I needed him, however he had a very busy role. This did not affect me as the rest of my team, including his manager, stepped in to guide and assist me whenever I needed help. Everybody was open to being asked questions and helped me to understand any tasks that were set for me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I had varying levels of workload throughout my placement. My day to day tasks were limited and I worked on a more ad hoc basis, which I enjoyed. The varying workload allowed me to maintain a good work life balance and as such I was happy and willing to put in some extra time when necessary.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I feel that I was given a lot of responsibility. My line manager and the head of our team trusted me with important tasks and communication. I enjoyed the fact that they trusted my abilities as it encouraged me to work even harder not to disappoint them! It was definitely challenging and daunting at times but it made me feel even more proud of myself every time that I exceeded my own expectations
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Having to work independently to make sure i completed tasks on time has improved my time management abilities at university. I am now able to easily wake up early, spend the day doing uni work and get everything complete in good time. I also greatly improved my excel capabilities, a skill that I have no doubt will prove invaluable to me once I re-enter into the working world.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everybody was extremely friendly and welcoming. Not a week went by without someone bringing in cake, sweets or chocolate to share with everyone else. It was not uncommon to hear laughter, chatting and jokes throughout the day. I went through a family bereavement during my placement and had to take some time off. I felt supported throughout the entire time I was away and was welcomed back warmly when I returned.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Overall the placement was set up very well. We were the pioneering cohort to do group projects outside of our day-to-day roles. I thoroughly enjoyed this as it allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and work with people that I didn't normally interact with. I would have liked to see a more structured rotation/shadowing program during my placement in order to get a taste of other areas of the business.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
From day one I felt that VWG was committed to giving us the best training and development opportunities. This was by far one of my favourite things about working there. We had a number of compulsory training courses for undergraduates ranging from Profitability to Excel to Self Awareness. Aside from these there were also compulsory quarterly company-wide online training courses as well as a wide variety of courses to sign on to if one wished to do so.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
As an international student, I was unfortunately unable to apply for the graduate scheme as VWG currently does not sponsor Tier 2 visas for grads.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I think socialising and living in Milton Keynes was fairly reasonable, especially when compared to the cost of living in places in and around London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are only 2 nightclubs in Milton Keynes, Pink Punters and Pop World, which may be disappointing if you enjoy clubbing. However there are many nice bars and restaurants in and around Milton Keynes. The town is only 34 - 37 minutes away from London on the fast train so "London life" is easily accessible.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are a number of sports teams and social events organised throughout the year. There are also team away days and socials which are fun