1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My placement experience was exactly what I expected. I have a fantastic understanding of the business and the finance function. I have been given many opportunities to further my knowledge and progress. I leave with a very good understanding of Johnson & Johnson and a good understanding of what working in a large corporation is like. I also have gained a great understanding of the graduate roles available and the kind of career prospects I can expect within the company.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I feel fully integrated and comfortable within my team, I have made friends for life during my time on placement with a range of people in the organisation. I had real, value added work throughout my time at the organisation and I never felt like a spare part or 'just an intern', I really feel like my team could not have done without mine or my successor's input.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of guidance from my manager, we had a 1:1 every other week. I was sat opposite my manager for the duration of my placement so I felt comfortable that I could ask them questions whenever I needed to. The culture is very open so you feel you can ask anyone for help or questions.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was busy almost all day everyday. There were some periods, like month and year end, that were very busy which is to be expected within finance. I could also work from home when I needed to and could flex my hours by 1 or 2 hours if I had something I needed to leave work early for. I was given projects and opportunities for more work throughout the year so I never felt like I was without work.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility during my placement, I feel like my work was highly valued throughout my wider team and the organisation. I was able to see the effect of my work straight away and how it fits within the organisation and its strategy.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel like I have gained valuable knowledge about working within the finance function, I believe this is highly transferable to other organisations. I was also able to see how what I have learnt at University fits in to the real business world, I think this will help significantly in my final year at University. I also think my placement has helped a lot with my confidence, I feel I am able to present better and also write professionally which should help with further applications. I also gained a lot of career advice and help in terms of CV writing and assessment centre preparation which can be used when applying for any company.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was very open and also contained people from a range of backgrounds and cultures. There were a range of social events available during the year which were fun and meant you could meet new people; there was a 'Fun Friday' event every month which usually involved going for drinks with colleagues after work. There were also meetings held in various different offices which helped to meet people from across the organisation.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I was given a fantastic induction to my placement and a great handover with my predecessor. The only thing I would have enjoyed being more seamless was the system access, this took a while and was very hard to navigate.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was given a lot of opportunity to develop my training and was always invited to extra activities like all of the other analysts. I was also given 1:1 training with my manager on general accounting which was something we set up separately. There is a culture of training and development within J&J. You are also given 5 paid volunteering days a year and are encouraged to attend the organised volunteering days with your team.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Upon completing a finance placement with J&J, you are fast tracked to the assessment day for their graduate scheme (FLDP Scheme)
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was not any social opportunities that were already set up for us by the organisation, we had to set up socials between ourselves. I would have liked some more 'formal' social events set up for us within the first couple of months, particularly with placement students at different offices.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost of living in the area is very high. The advantage is the offices are very close to London so it is easy to get there after work for an evening or for a day at the weekend. The offices are in very remote locations so cars are almost a necessity, this makes social events in the area straight from work a bit difficult.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Reading is the closest city, Reading night life is ok. There is no night life in the towns surrounding the office so travelling to Reading is really the only option. If you are living near the office it isn't easy to get to Reading or home after a night out. I ended up staying over with the placement students living in Reading whenever we went out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I was able to go to my University's placement fair.