1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far with GE Healthcare. It was exactly what I needed to bolster my career prospects. I am a science based graduate with a passion for commercial and so this commercial operations internship based in a life sciences company has allowed me to apply my knowledge skills from university whilst learning new ones that I can develop in my future career.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt extremely valued by my colleagues. This was not only felt by my immediate team in Cardiff but also the wider teams based globally and the other departments within Genomics & Diagnostics. I think what is also really positive within GE Healthcare is that there is an opportunity to acknowledge when you feel someone has went above and beyond by issuing an impact award. I think this really helped with the sense of being valued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was very supported throughout my time at GE Healthcare. I had a designated intern supervisor who 'looked after' us all and helped us to organise various added value training and visits such as project management courses, lean six sigma training and STEM. Furthermore, I felt supported and developed by my direct manager who really helped me tailor the intern experience.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It did vary slightly across weeks with end of quarter weeks being a little more hectic, but generally I was never without something useful to do. I think that the fact all the tasks were useful was also really important in getting the most out of this year and adding to that feeling of being valued.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I think a lot of responsibility was given to me. Whilst this can be a little daunting, I didn't feel like I was unprepared or unsupported. I think that this is an important aspect of an internship year as it really pushes you out of your comfort zone and helps you to feel valued. It is also a great development opportunity which is what this year is all about.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As I completed my placement post degree I cannot comment on how it added value to my studies, I do however feel that it complemented my previous studies very well. Beyond, I have been offered a permanent position with GE Healthcare so I would say that the skills I developed and training I received were incredibly valuable in the application process.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office atmosphere was a good balance between fun and professional. The Christmas meal was definitely a highlight and everyone was always really friendly and happy to help if they could. I was also in an office with 2 other departments so the cross collaboration was really interesting and beneficial for networking.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Really well set up. We were quite a small group (8 interns) but it worked really well also this made it a lot easier for the site to offer us opportunities to develop outwith just our day-to-day roles. We had the opportunity to visit several other sites both in healthcare and the wider GE, we had training on lean six sigma, project management, STEM. We were also able to host a number of charity events including a sports day and homelesss collection all adding value to our experience overall.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I felt that we were very invested in. GE has a tool called brilliant you which offers a number of free courses that you can access during your free time. In addition to this we were able to help out at local schools via our STEM initiative which we received full training on, organised charity events, provided with lean six sigma training and project management training.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am really excited to continue my journey with the company after my placement. I am moving into a slightly different role but within the same department. I think it will be a really good development opportunity and I am excited to be able to continue working with the wider team.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes. As we were a relatively small group it was easy to organise full team events etc. As is natural you do spend a little more time with some than others but I have made some really good freinds from my time here at GE Healthcare and I hope to keep in touch. There are also team nights out when there are visitors which are really fun and a great chance to network.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
If you live within the student area of Cardiff including bills and rent is about £400-500. In terms of socialising as with any city some places are more expensive than others but the cinema is really cheap and there are plenty of deals and happy hours every day in the city.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Cardiff is really lively pretty much all week, there is always something going on either clubs, at the motor point arena, sports at the principality and networking events. I don't think you would ever find yourself short of something to do at the weekend or a night during the week.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
It was a little variable, but they were always very happy to help us develop opportunities outside of work. There is a band onsite and also a netball team and a lot of keen football players. However it is worth noting that the GE aviation site is close by and they are always keen to network. I also feel like if you really wanted to start something up you would have the support.