1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
From the outset, i thoroughly enjoyed my placement. FDM were very welcoming and made it very easy to integrate into the company.
Socially, they always kept me involved, whether that be going for a drink after work or to their local 6-a-side tournament.
I think the main reason I enjoyed my Placement is that they made me work hard and so it was rewarding when my work paid off.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was able to get along with everyone at FDM very easily and so they trusted my opinion and judgement. When you did something well or even not so well, they were honest with you and were willing to help you improve. Especially within the last few months, it was noticeable were Account Managers knew they could rely upon me to get certain tasks done, particularly at short notice
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager and supervisor were almost always available to ask for help and always happy to do so. On occasions where they were busy or not available, i was able to easily speak with anyone in the office as many were approachable and willing to assist no matter the issue.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was always very busy. The sales department like many, is results focused and demanding. Having said that, I enjoyed what I was working on and who I was working with. They also rewarded my hard work through commission for placing IT contractors. At many points, i was really juggling my work about trying to meet different targets and so making sure colleagues were updated on progress was essential
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
After a few weeks of settling in, i was given some business as usual reporting to be responsible for each week along with ensuring the CVs of London consultants were up to scratch and available to the Account Managers. I was solely responsible for recruiting IT contractors to London based clients and some others nationally. With one of these clients in particular, i was entrusted to look after the Account whilst a colleague was on holiday because I had an in-depth knowledge of the the work consultants were carrying out onsite
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
FDM provided me with training in advanced excel skills and basic VBA and SQL coding skiills. They also fave me access to Pluralsight online resources to learn other tools should i wish to. Since leaving FDM, i used pluralsight to learn Python and have recently started on my final year project, similar to that of a dissertation. I have been learning command line tools to conduct molecular simulations within a UNIX/LINUX hybrid environment.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It is a great atmosphere at FDM in London. Apart from Managers, the average age must have been around 26 and so it was so easy to talk with and get along with my colleagues, particularly within other departments. They made the work enjoyable and were always willing to socialise after work every week
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I was the very first placement student to join the sales department at FDM. Because of this, the majority of the account manager did not understand my role and so were giving me work that I shouldnt have been doing but was never told not to do. However after a month or so, and having had a meeting with my supervisor and manager, we were able to streamline my workload and provide more consistancy such as being assigned regular business as usual reporting tasks.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
When I first joined the company, they enrolled me in part of their training academy to learn professional skills, excel and SQL in preparation for my role, I believe this made my job much easier and so be a led me to pick up tasks quickly. They then gave me access to online learning materials such as pluralsight that enabled to to learn coding tools I hoped to use in my final year at university.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Although I have not been offered a garunteed job upon completing university, I believe I would have built up a good enough relationship with my direct manager, other mangers and colleague and developed a strong understand of the sales department and FDMs business model that I should be able to reach out to them when I finish at university
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Although we never held any specific events just for those on placement in London, we always interacted socially after work with other colleagues. I believe as placement students we all got on really well with each other and so were able to build strong rapport with them across the departments and the UK
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
In general, London is an expensive area to love in for a student, however I lived at home for the duration of my placement. This did help me save significantly for going back to university. I did have to spend quite a bit for my season ticket loan to commute.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
London is an amazing place to be working. In the London Bridge area, there is a range of pubs and bars in both More London and Borough market areas along with easy access to places on the other side of the river. During the summer, there were a series of pop up bars along the river side that were fantastic to go to. The only downside is that a pint can be relatively expensive.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
FDM has an ex-forces programme and so helps current and former military personell in any way possible. Every year employee are given the opportunity to complete a 30km walk over 4 peaks in the Lake District for a military charity.
Some of the employees are also involved in a local 6 a side football tournament which I was regularly asked to participate in.
Lastly, there were intra-company completions being held regularly, such as a staff bowling league