1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed certain aspects of my placement however I felt the work environment was incredibly high pressured with a short-term attitude. The work I was doing was high level however it felt inefficient and a lack of understanding of data by colleagues meant similar tasks were being asked to carry out frequently.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued not only by my team but by colleagues in various departments who benefited from my work. I was consulted for my opinion on how to approach a project and listened to my feedback. Everyone in the company was very friendly and willing to help, it was comforting to know I had people to turn to when I needed help.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The management and my supervisors meant well and did their best to offer advice and support whenever I asked. However, the nature of the company structure and the sheer amount of work demanded reduced the amount of quality time I was able to work with my manager. Weekly meetings only occurred fortnightly at best.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Extremely busy! I was glad that I had a lot of work to do in order to improve my development and ensure I wasn't bored. I always felt I could take time for breaks and for lunch and knew I had time to complete my work. Lots of tasks were daily so I had a clear structure to my day.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was working on projects that affected many aspects of the organisation and my reports were sent to all levels of management in different departments on a daily basis. As I progressed on the placement I was given more responsibility as my knowledge and experience increased. I was given assistance when I needed it.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel my skills on Microsoft Office, especially Microsoft Excel are very strong. I am able to use these skills when analysing data for uni projects and presentations. My teamwork skills and working in an office environment have made me more tolerant of others working methods and developed the ability to collaborate.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
High pressured and very stressful at times. A lack of long term approach led to similar tasks being completed regularly and inefficiently. Colleagues were very friendly however the managers seem under constant unnecessary stress meaning they don't have time to review work and give advice.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The application process was very professional and easy to understand. I was set up with all the systems very quickly into my placement and felt I was supported throughout the year with any placement-based queries.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Other than a few training sessions in the first week of the placement there were very few opportunities to develop. As a placement student I expected more training to develop my skills however everyone seemed to busy to put on any development schemes. I was never provided with a development plan at the beginning of placement.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Not very appealing. The work environment does not feel very forward-looking, using outdated systems and the graduate scheme does not feel like the graduate student has much control about where they take their career. It is not a company or a scheme I would consider applying to after university.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Many placement students in different departments so on a daily basis you are communicating and working with other placement students. Everyone is in the same situation and you have a support system outside of work to help with any issues you may have.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Relatively expensive however being at the end of a London Underground line it was cheaper than being in Central London. Salary more than compensates for living and enjoying your evenings and weekends.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Very easy to travel to Watford or Central London with many options for a night out and activities on the weekend.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes there were opportunities in sport, social and charity to get involved with. Irrespective of being on a placement your contribution was valued. Opportunities you wanted to pursue could be supported by your manager and HR.