1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Atos is an amazing company for variety in the work you do and the people you meet. I was given a lot of independence to find my own working style and seek out new opportunities for career development. The people at Atos that are in positions to assist with this are very friendly and as long as they are not too busy then they will always give you the time to ask any questions you may have.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My account was a particularly busy account that presented a lot of challenges given the amount of change that was going on. With that I think that the work I did contributed towards this and the management team made me feel valued as though I were a permanent member of the team rather than just an intern. I think that this was a better approach and allowed us to pick up work almost immediately, which meant I got the full experience of work life over the year.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager would regularly conduct reviews with me, outlining targets for my personal development and I would constantly receive feedback on the quality of my work. With this always in mind it set personal targets for me to achieve and meant that rather than just being completely focussed on work, I could develop my skills and adjust based on the feedback I received. I am really grateful for this.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Given the challenges that my account was facing, it was often a busy day in terms of workload. This was the case pretty much from the outset and compared to friends at similar roles I know that my time was being fully utilised by Atos. There were occasions where we would (not explicitly but just from managing workload perspective) be expected to work late but this made me feel as though I were a valued and integral member of the team.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had a lot of responsibility from early on in the year. I was dropped into work from the first week and with the support of my line manager I was able to pick up the business processes and the way of working from very early on. This allowed me to develop my skills and working styles where others were busy picking up processes. This allowed me to make full use of the year.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The learning on-the-job approach that I had received at my time at Atos gave me a real understanding of what to expect in life beyond graduation. I have been given the opportunity to develop and mature my skills - I expect that they will serve me well as I begin to start my career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Atos is a very remote-based organisation and encourages employees to work from home - although this may seem like a benefit it can become problematic when building relationships with members of your team. The office itself is very modern and vibrant. There are not set departments so it is often sociable amongst the Grads and Interns when you get a moment to have a chat.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I am not sure that this work placement was as well established as it could have been. I think that a number of aspects could have been improved. The first issue was the training residential. This was based in Telford which meant not only was it a problem to get to but also out of the hours of the training there was not a lot to do - in many respects this felt like a school residential trip. Secondly, I don't think enough energy was devoted to interns, particularly in comparison to the graduates so this often felt like we didn't have the chance to explore all of the opportunities. Also the wage disparity between Grads and Interns was overwhelming. With the grads receiving £10,000 more than interns, it often felt like we were being cheated a bit particularly where I am certain that the quality and quantity of my work matched and often surpassed many grads.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Unfortunately, Atos don't seem to invest a great amount of time to its interns so unless you seek out opportunities on your own time then you can come unstuck. Everyone that supported me in exploring different fields was fantastic help and my line manager made use of her wide network of contacts to support that but from a central Atos perspective it often felt like the opportunities were not available to us.
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?
I am very grateful for my time at Atos but I would be reluctant to commit to them on a graduate scheme unless they were able to offer more in terms of personal development. The role I had was challenging and the team I worked with were wonderfully supportive but I worry that Atos is not a suitable match for me.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
In the London offices, the social scene amongst the Grads and Interns is incredible. With regular events, the Grads and Interns seem very well integrated rather than divided. The Grads that were on the scheme were very supportive at the start of the scheme and everyone seemed to make an effort to encourage people to come to social events etc..
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The Intern wage did not facilitate a major social, particularly in London. With rent coming to almost half my wage, I was almost completely dependent on parents subsidising me and student loan to have any opportunity to socialise. Fortunately I was in a position to do this but I would have felt very sorry for individuals who did not have that option available.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Living in Central London was a dream! The nightlife was always vibrant so I had opportunity to explore and meet new people. There a lot of different types of bars from cocktails to niche clubs with different themes. I would 10/10 recommend living here if you want to get the full London experience.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Even for people who don't have that get up and go outside of work would find it impossible in London to immerse yourself in the wide variety of culture and history that the city has to offer. Over the course of my placement year there was not a weekend that I was not out at some tourist attraction or bar or something new entirely. The grads and interns at work had set up a football team also so it meant that monday nights were a good chance for a kick about.