1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I absolutely loved my year as a Finance Assistant at VWG. The year provided me with invaluable knowledge & skills which I can use in my future career. Every day was challenging and I have developed so much as a result of the year. If i could go back and do it all again I would!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My role gave me real responsibility and I was performing business critical tasks regularly, particularly at month end so it definitely wasn't a case of just being given things to do for the sake of it. I felt very valued and supported by everyone in the department and know my work was appreciated.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had a brilliant manager throughout my placement year who set me clear goals & objectives to achieve and supported me in achieving both these & any personal goals I had. My manager was very supportive and I really valued her during my time with the organisation. We had regular formal catch ups but I could always go and speak to her whenever I needed to and we also had informal conversations during work.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was always busy and had things to do particularly during month end when it was the most intense. During the end of the month it was quieter but I always managed to find something to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given so much responsibility during my placement to manage tasks & processes and the opportunity to modify these if I wished.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have developed so many new personal & professional skills which will assist me in my future career and I definitely feel a lot better placed to secure a good graduate job after this year. There are many opportunities to attend various training courses and workshops to improve your skill set which is truly invaluable.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was generally good & I liked the team I worked with. The seating arrangements didn't always make this ideal at the start of the placement however and I did feel a bit isolated but this improved when I was able to sit nearer the rest of the team.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very organised and structured. Outside of the departmental role there is also an undergraduate group project which is an excellent way of learning about other aspects of the business & working with people you usually wouldn't have chance to.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
VWG invests a lot in its undergraduates and sends you on compulsory training courses such as excel & presentation skills which are very useful. You are also able to request to attend different courses you are interested in so there is a lot of free reign to take control of your own personal development! The L&D department are excellent.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is the opportunity to apply for the graduate scheme & if successful you are progressed straight to the assessment centre stage.
However the scheme is very generalist so isn't the best if you have clear aims of where you want to be. It is a shame they don't offer entry level finance jobs or a scheme in this department.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes a lot of placement students lived together and there are opportunities to socialise outside of work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Milton Keynes is quite expensive to live in & the cost of food & drink out is on the pricey side in comparison to traditional university cities.
It is also quite spread out with different communities across the city none of which are easily accessible so you have to drive everywhere or get taxis to the centre.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Milton Keynes nightlife isn't great. There are lots of bars and restaurants which is nice but not any real nightclubs to go to.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The company had a few sports/social groups that you could get involved with. There was also a committee providing subsidised activities in the local area such as cheap ice hockey tickets.