1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working at the ABI and have learnt so much that will be incredibly useful for both the rest of my university course as well as in future employment. My placement sparked an interest in what potential career opportunities I would consider as the ABI really wants to help you develop as an individual. Couldn’t recommend it more!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I luckily got to work across the whole organisation in my role and everyone really valued the work I produced – you’re never treated as ‘just an intern’ as you might do elsewhere and you’re equally valued in the same way as other colleagues. I was also lucky to experience the reshaping of the values project across the organisation in 2018, and it was really encouraging to see how staff genuinely engaged with trying to improve how our values were presented.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My supervisor went above and beyond to ensure I was comfortable with my workload. As a university student you’re going through many new experiences in a first-time full time working environment, so it was really important that my supervisor and those managing me more generally respected my current capability which I found to be true at the ABI. It was really helpful to be both treated like any other colleague and not given special treatment, as well as for managers to be aware of your circumstances so you have people around you checking in and making sure you’re not struggling.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In the best way possible, I can truly say there was never a day I was bored working at the ABI. There is always something you can work on, and if not, you're encouraged to work with teams in areas you're interested for your own personal development. The workload was definitely manageable and it's really improved my time management skills that I know will be essential for my final year at university. I've also learnt how important it is to communicate with those you're working for if you feel you're too busy and unable to complete work.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a great deal of responsibility at the ABI from managing projects to leading internal meetings as well as leading on my own event. I was trusted to work hard as my colleagues knew I cared about the work I was doing. Being in the membership team it's also a massive responsibility to network and communicate with the ABI's members on a daily basis as you're representing the organisation to a range of different people.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As mentioned, I'm certain the time management skills I've learnt will help me in my final year and will hopefully improve the result I get compared to what I would've got had I not done a placement. My confidence has greatly increased, that has resulted in an improvement in my networking skills. I previously feared speaking to people I didn't know, but I can now genuinely say I think I can network with ease. I know this will help me utilise the many networking opportunities at university, allowing me to further explore my career options and I look forward to attending many more career/society events next year!
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Generally the office was friendly, helpful and really fun. It's never quiet and that really allows you to enjoy working. The office is open plan so you're always aware of big events happening in other teams and you never feel afraid to approach someone for help as they would do the same to you. To sum the atmosphere up would be collaborative - lots of interaction.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I'm glad to have been one of four other placement students so the organisation is very well equipped for university students. My supervisor was happy to work around the contact necessary from my university and my university was good at keeping in contact. My supervisor ensured we had regular catch ups to make sure the placement was going well.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The HR team and my supervisor were thoroughly invested in my development from the very beginning. My supervisor regularly encouraged me to research personal development/other relevant skills based courses that would be useful for me. HR were more than happy to explore development courses that I needed - a particular confidence course being one than thoroughly made a difference for me. Regular objective-setting meant that you're constantly encouraged to improve.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very appealing! I'd be more than happy to work for the ABI in the future. It's great to find a company that is invested in working on your development and happy to help.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Though there are only four of us, we got to interact relatively regularly socially. Social events tend to be open to all, so you're never far from catching up the other students in or outside of work. It's really important that you get that time to interact and share experiences/struggles of being a student!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As it's the city in London, it is quiet predictably expensive more generally, but there are lots of places you can explore that don't break the bank. Good places to go for lunch tend to get shared very quickly internally so you're never stuck for somewhere to go. I am lucky to have lived at home with my family whilst on placement so I can't comment too much on the cost of living, but I'm aware it's quite expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are so many bars/pubs around Tower Hill/Liverpool Street so there's absolutely no chance of you getting bored. It makes socialising with colleagues outside of work so easy when there are so many options.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The Sports and Social Committee run regular socialising events both during work hours and outside of work hours so there are many opportunities to get involved in a range of different activities from fundraising to choir practice.