Working with top customers to solve hard problems using emerging technologies. In my case mainly machine learning.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I do not think my placement was necessarily representative of most, but if opportunities are available in future to be a Software Engineer in Microsoft CSE I would suggest taking them.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Colleagues treated me like one of their own - a crucial factor in my growth and success in my 14 months with the company.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Absolute support, attitude was trustworthy and they were happy to take risks on me so long as I made good of it.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Ultimately I never felt like I was being worked to a certain level. Working hours were completely flexible and performance judged by bi-weekly conversation with line manager.
It was hard, constant work, but that was self-imposed and paid off. Others take it easier, but might not have as much impact.
You have a year before you're gone, so make sure you are not forgotten.
There are annual lulls that you will need to plan for, so take the advice of your colleagues.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As much responsibility as I wanted, so as much as my colleagues. I was a peer to the software engineers senior and junior while with the company and worked to make sure I could perform at that level.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I could not attempt what I am doing this year at university without the skills and experience my placement equipped me with. Take full advantage and you will learn more than you ever did at university - sadly that should be more surprising than it is.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Remote working means if you like a buzzing office environment, this isn't for you. But when you do get together, the people are wonderful.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Ultimately this is down to your manager. Voice your concerns to them or the internship organisers if you have any issues.
10% of the opportunities you can take advantage of will be laid out for you. You need to look and work for the rest, and there is so much potential in a company like this.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Took 6 online courses certifying my understanding and ability to work on deep learning projects, which I am in my final year of university. Hundreds of pounds worth of training and development all covered by the company.
Also being treated as another Software Engineer meant travelling the world working with top customers and even leading projects.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I'm interviewing with my old team and things are looking good. I'm excited about what I could achieve given all the connections and reputation I now have if I were to receive a full-time offer.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Sure but wasn't of interest to me. Folks seemed to have fun.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Reading is expensive for what it is, but accessibility to London is great.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I hear it's good but don't personally care about it. Plenty of decent places to eat which is more my thing.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Loads to do. Employee clubs, and generally social atmosphere.