1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
As expected the initial period was a bit slow, however I did expect things to pick up a bit after a month or so and I was a bit disappointed when this was not the case. Overall, even though things have got more interesting, engaging and enjoyable over the last month or two, I'd say I haven't enjoyed the placement as a whole (even though colleagues have been great).
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Fairly well as a whole - everyone in my department is great and a lot more easy-going than I had anticipated, with the office being a positive environment to work; lots of laughs and jokes while remaining professional made it easy to get along with people from the get go. Ideally would've liked to have more opportunities to work with individuals.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Not very much; I would have if I asked for it but I prefer working things out myself to help me learn. Colleagues were always available for help so if needed I usually would seek guidance from them rather than management.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Not busy at all! This is the worse thing about the placement in my opinion but I know my situation is fairly unique; This was a very last-minute and rushed placement appointment (job opening to interviewing to starting date was approximately 3 weeks, with start date in October. When other interns, they had interviews in the first 5 months of the year and mostly started in July.) and because of this I feel the workload/projects I was given hadn't been thought out well enough. During interview stage, I was told my 2 projects I would be doing over the year - I finished these both after about 4 months and since then I've been doing the boring, repetitive Excel jobs (yes I have asked for more work and I have been given micro projects that appear to be a bit of a made-up piece of work to keep me busy and would only take a week max to do).
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Approximately what you might expect as an intern on a placement - You are ultimately part of a team and you have the same right to speak out as everyone else and I certainly felt I was able to do this when necessary. In terms of responsibly though, personally I've had a little less than I expected (but I know other interns who have had more so there's probably a good average level across all interns).
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
For degree studies and beyond I've definitely developed teamwork skills, communication and organisation. I've also gained the invaluable knowledge of experience working in a true professional working environment. Disappointingly I haven't really developed any technical skills via use with equipment or software so far
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Amazing - far better than I could have expected. Everyone very kind, and a few comedians helped the day from dragging by at times. Also lots of funny sarcasm.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Poorly - last minute job opening and rushed application process. This was reflected during the placement with badly planned projects as aforementioned. Also, it was nearly 6 months before my uniform/workwear was given to me (unsure if this was down to forgotten to order or just generally slow service, but my housemate who arrived a month after me received his same workwear after just a month - a full 3-4 months before me)
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Barely at all - lots of budget cuts in the department so even permanent colleagues were removed from German class, for example. I wasn't expecting to be trained though as I am not permanent.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
As a permanent employee I know I would have long term working and goals to work towards so I would always have something to be working on, so assuming this is the case I would consider future employment yes.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes very good. Weekly socials at different venues was great for meeting new people. Also almost all interns lived within a mile or so of the plant so it was common to visit each other or go for meals on weekend and evenings too.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Very expensive; Oxford is relatively comparable to London. I did choose to live in a nicer house very close to the plant which meant rent was more expensive than a lot of others - i payed £680pcm incl. bills & utilities but there were plenty of rooms between £450+, obviously not as nice and without bills usually. Socialising in Oxford is also as expected really, average pint price around £4.50ish, but again plenty of places less and more expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Plenty of great pubs nearby. Top location for a casual night.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?