1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed working at TCB; there is a very relaxed atmosphere and a nice family vibe. They also hire a lot of placements, so it's lovely to be surrounded by students in the same boat as you. However the long hours can be disheartening, 40 hours a week is a lot to adjust to.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues treated me like a full time employee from the get go; it's nice knowing you're not at a placement where you're running errands, you're thrown into real life work straight away. There were only a few times where I really felt like I was "just a placement" but they were rare. Overall treated equally and my opinions were valued throughout.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was always given help when I asked for it; and my team would help back up my decisions when interacting with other teams. I was also given support when working on larger projects and I had somebody new to report to. Help was given throughout anything I was working on.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Busyness fluctuated. Naturally on the lead up to big events such as Christmas and Black Friday, there was a lot to do. However that soon disappeared, and the lull in work would last a while. When my daily tasks were minimal I was given side projects by my team; but I would have enjoyed some more consistency.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given the responsibility of a large task which involved internal branding for the company, which was overseen by my team. As well as a seasonal internal newsletter which required me to contact many people from every team. I also took on a few campaigns for the American site which involved the external brands we support.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My current degree is very graphics based, so I applied for a web degree in hopes to broaden my knowledge in web design as that's the future designers are facing. On my placement I learnt the basics of HTML and CSS which will give me an edge on my fellow course mates, and has given me a base to continue my learning on this area.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere is really friendly and relaxing. There is a smart/casual dress code which adds to the relaxing vibe. It's nice to not feel constricted to business clothes, and allows me to feel more comfortable and focus on what I'm doing. The office desks are open which allows for easy interaction with surrounding teams, which further helps making friends here easy; as you're not restricted to just your desk.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The application process was easy, I applied through Indeed. I had my interview and was offered the job the next day.
In terms of settling in here, all important information was provided by HR, and my line manager gave an ex-placement who now works here full time, the responsibility to be our mentor, which made settling in really easy as she had been in my position before.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The team had an account for an online teaching course which allowed me to learn the basics of HTML and CSS.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The full time job on the design team is very different compared to that of a placement, and is very focused around UX design, which is something my degree does not cover. On top of that, I wouldn't want to work 9-6, instead of the standard 9-5 you can find at many other companies.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Loads of placements are hired each year, it was amazing to be around people my age. There is a pool table and ping pong table which was regularly played on. As well as 2 socials held a year (summer and winter) which were really fun to go to. With TCB being quite a young company I found no problem with socialising.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Stafford is a relatively cheap place to socialise in. Is generally just like any other small town, it has the essentials anybody could need.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife in terms of clubs was pretty dire. But at least it has some, if you did want to go.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
They provide yoga class once a week during lunch; and a fun football team that play on Wednesday evenings.