1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the how relaxed the work environment was, the dress code is smart/casual and it was nice not having to think about what to wear each day and just be comfortable as you are sat down most of the day so this was really nice. The company hires a lot of placements so it was nice being with other new people who are all going through the same experience as you and who you can share your time with throughout the year. The hours however are quite long, 9-6 was tough to get used to and I would have preferred shorter hours.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very much on the same level as others in my team, I wasn't treated like a newbie but a valued member of the team. I was encouraged to speak up and contribute in meetings and was listened to just as much as the full timers which made me feel very welcomed and made me feel like I was really bringing useful points into the team. It was nice to feel valued and not like someone just doing errands or the work no one else wanted to do. We were treated very equally throughout the year.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
We had a 1-1 with our manager every other week where we could bring up any problems or concerns as well as just discussing how our work was going and if we did need any help/ advice with anything. I found these very useful. I felt I could go to my manager if I ever did need to talk about anything which was very comforting
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
We went through several stages of different amount of work loads, sometimes we had lots of tasks to do and other times we had finished all the tasks needed for that week and so worked on bigger projects to fill our time until more work came in. The busyness depended mainly on the time of year and what was coming up, for example leading up to Black Friday was a lot busier than after Christmas because of the amount of preparation we had to do beforehand.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
We were given a lot of responsibility throughout the year, working on tasks making campaigns for all 4 sites including the UK site, US, China and Russian sites. We were also responsible for bigger projects such as an internal newsletter which myself and the other placement on the team ran and organised which was very successful. Other projects included helping revamp the reception of the Stafford Office and the meeting rooms which was very fulfilling to see being done whilst we were there. It was quite daunting at first being thrown into the deep end with this much responsibility but that feeling soon faded and it was exciting managing
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Being in a full time working environment will has definitely prepared me for life after University and I now know what to expect which is comforting as I don't think I will be as nervous when the time comes to get a job in the future. I have developed my Photoshop skills whilst on my placement which will certainly help me a lot in my final year of University. I have also become a lot more confident and this is mainly due to contributing and speaking up in meetings in front of my team.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
As mentioned earlier the atmosphere here is very relaxed. Everybody gets along which means the atmosphere is fun and family-like.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I found the process very organised and smooth running. I had applied in November and was told by the HR recruitment lady at the time that they were very busy and I would'nt hear back from them until the new year. I got a call in January and had the interview the next day, and the day after that I got the job!
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had access to an online training course where we could learn HTML and CSS.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
In terms of working here in the future I am looking at finding a more graphic design centred job, the full-time roles within the team are different in which it's more UX-centered and that's not something I want to do.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social side of the placement was really good, most of the placements in my office would sit together at lunch and play table tennis and have a laugh. We also met up a few times to go out in Stafford, a bunch of us were all really good friends which was such a nice feeling as I would have hated a placement where I was alone/ not had a social life. At the start of our placement we were also added to a Facebook chat with all of the placements in which was good as we could see who we were going to be working with and could talk to them before starting.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I rented a house in Stafford with 3 other placements, the rent was done by room and mine was £500 a month including bills which was hard to say bye to after getting your pay check! However it was a new build and we had had recommendations from previous placements about the landlord/ it was newly furnished and we couldn't find anything else which is why we went with this place. The cost of living depended mainly on where you shopped, one of us in the house had a car so we drove to Aldi everyweek so weekly shops were a lot cheaper than if we would have walked to Tescos (which was a 5 min walk from our house). We also paid for a gym membership so it really depends on where you are living and shopping!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There is a nightclub in Stafford that we would go to a few times a year which was only good if you were drunk but it did the job.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I know there was a work football team as my housemate played football every Wednesday after work. The company also runs a Yoga session twice a week at lunch times.