I worked within Air Commerce, so providing data insights to airlines regarding the products/solutions that we provide them.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I had a really great time over the course of my placement year. It was really valuable to learn about the wide range of career options in the travel industry, as well as to gain an in-depth understanding and appreciation of my job role and its implications within the rest of the company.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Very soon after I started the internship, I felt fully integrated into my team and I soon 'forgot' I was an intern. I was treated with respect and was fully supported throughout the process, both by my direct manager and my other colleagues. I was occasionally frustrated at the lack of communication over email from those outside my team after asking for feedback or advice, but my manager was always happy to get involved to ensure that I did receive necessary feedback.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
As mentioned above, my manager was always happy to support me, whether that be something within my job spec or something else. I never felt as though I was unable to ask for help and received support and guidance as and when I needed it.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
As with any job, there were points at which I had almost nothing to do and other days when I felt that I had (almost) too much on. Having said that, there were usually other things outside of my job role to focus on, such as our Corporate Social Responsibility fundraising scheme so it was rare that I would be sat twiddling my thumbs.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a similar level of work and responsibility to my colleagues in my team, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
While my placement may not have had a huge impact on my degree studies (most of my degree is theory based and not immediately applicable to a workplace situation), I feel so much more prepared now to go out into the working world, likely in a similar role, than I was when I started this internship. I now know what I want to do when I graduate and I can't really ask for much more than that.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was fine. There were always a lot of people around in my area and I sat right next to my team which was ideal. There were ongoing renovations for much of my internship so unfortunately there wasn't much in the way of 'non-work' spaces. I do think that this won't be an issue in future - the renovations are almost complete and should hopefully iron out the few issues I had with the office space.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Clearly a lot of time and effort has been put into ensuring that the placement year was enjoyable and valuable for the interns. The internship was split into 3 main sections; my job role, CSR fundraising, and personal development. We also had many talks and Q&A's with the Senior Leadership Team and other managers within the company. These sorts of opportunities were presented to us throughout the whole year. No complaints at all in this sense.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had Personal Development sessions every few weeks and for the most part they were pretty valuable, particularly the workshops on presentation skills. I personally disliked the emphasis they seemed to want to put on things like personality tests at the start of the year, but I'm sure someone else could find these sorts of things valuable. However, they were always very receptive to our feedback and tailored our sessions accordingly.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Due to the nature of the travel industry, Travelport's goals and structure is always changing. I noticed that a lot of emphasis was being placed on innovation and I think this is vital for any international company. I think Travelport will keep up with the industry at large (at least in the immediate future) and I think as a result it'll be a really worthwhile and valuable place to work.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene was pretty good, particularly with the other placement students. The company organised for us to go for drinks in the first week which I really enjoyed and found it to be a great icebreaker. The Travelport Social Club is pretty great too, 2 quid a month and you get half price on their events. Would have liked to see a few more events though.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I didn't leave my university town (Reading) so not a problem for me, but the area is pretty pricey compared to what most people were used to. Slough isn't great for socialising so Windsor and London were the best bets. Unfortunately they're basically the most expensive places in the UK so can be a bit of a drain on your wallet.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife was pretty nonexistent in Slough but there are always good options in Reading, London (both good for clubbing) or Windsor (really great for drinks but found the clubs to be a bit empty for the most part).
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Apart from the Travelport Social Club that I mentioned above, I played football fairly regularly with some guys from work - they rent out a 7-a-side pitch on Tuesdays for an hour. I had a really great time playing with them. Other than that we were pretty much left to our own devices but that was never a big problem.