1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement year with RCI Financial Services. The open-plan layout, along with a great group of friendly colleagues, provides a great working environment in which you continually learn from your team as well as those around you. This made settling into my job a lot easier and grew my knowledge and confidence throughout the year.
The tasks within my role also varied quite a lot, from running reports for Renault and Nissan to attending regional sales meetings, which was one of the key reasons I enjoyed my job so much. It helped me learn more about the commercial strategy, as well as RCI Financial Services as a whole, making me feel like a valued member of the team.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was made to feel valued by not only my team, but by all employees that I interacted with during my placement year. The great thing about RCI Financial Services is that the views of interns are valued just as much as any other employee. This allows you to suggest your own ideas for development when working on projects, as well as giving you the opportunity to apply your initiative to solve problems.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I could not have asked for a better team. My managers involved me from day one with a variety of tasks, ensuring that I was working with them to develop my knowledge and skills set. As I gained more responsibility and took on my own tasks, my managers would always support me and provide any guidance when I needed it.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I worked in a relatively small team and the nature of the tasks involved naturally meant that I was busy, with the workload being shared out within the team. However, as someone who enjoys being involved in a variety of tasks and having numerous projects on the go, this was an aspect that I enjoyed.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The amount of responsibility I was given grew increasingly throughout the year. This allowed me to manage my own work load, and I had reports and project work that I was solely responsible for. I was also responsible for collating the information for monthly review meeting which my team held with Renault and Nissan, at which I was able to present some of the content that I had prepared.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The main skill that I developed during my placement year would be my excel skills, largely through my regular reporting. My improved excel skills are already helping me enormously in my final year at university and I am sure that they will be beneficial beyond in a graduate role.
Other key skills that I developed would be my communication, presentation and problem-solving skills.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There was a really good atmosphere within the office which was supported through the open-plan layout. Everyone is also very friendly and approachable.
The atmosphere in the office was especially good during the festive season, with HR arranging activities for all employees to get involved with, as well as there being a best decorated department competition.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
During the first few weeks of my placement I participated in a range of activities, including product training and a group task around Watford with the rest of the interns. This training was followed up later in the year with an advanced product training course.
The handover period with the previous intern was something that I thought was really good.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
RCI Financial Services arranged for an advanced product training course to take place which I think was really helpful in improving my knowledge of the products and the company as a whole.
Furthermore, in terms of my team, they really invested in my personal and professional growth. I had monthly meetings with my line manager and weekly meetings with another one of my managers. At these meetings we discussed projects that I was currently working on, as well as looking for opportunities to develop my skills further.
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?
RCI Financial Services is a great place to work.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Social events were often arranged with the other placement students and colleagues.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Living in the London commuter zone naturally meant that the cost of living was more expensive. However, RCI Financial Services organised a Facebook page for all of the interns who were starting in my year. This provided the opportunity to arrange accommodation with the other placement students, which I would certainly recommend taking advantage of as it makes the cost of living more affordable through sharing bills.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Watford is the main area for nightlife, which is about a 20 minute drive from the offices.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?