1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my work placement. It is a great introduction to working in industry and a marketing department. There is a lot of social aspects of the role including themed lunch times organised by the Ministry of Fun, quarterly marketing meetings which always have a social aspect to them. I have also been to really cool places such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, and although being based in Maidenhead, often get to go into London to meet with agencies. There is a lot of variety in the role, which is always exciting. However, I feel like this role is more brand management focussed than a complete marketing role, as I feel that my role involves a lot of managing agencies and work they are doing for us, whereas I think I would like to be doing the work that they are doing. There is also a heavy focus on numbers and how much product we have sold, whereas I enjoy the creative side to marketing more than the strategy. Although, when I did have the chance to be creative, I really enjoyed this. There is also a lot of processes in being a Pharmaceutical company and a lot of restrictions within marketing and advertising, which can often restrict creativity.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was treated as just another colleague rather than a placement student. Higher members of staff would often ask for advice or help and I would support them on a daily basis for requests they needed. Other members of the team also treat you like friends, rather than just a placement student. There is also specific things that only the placement students can do, which other colleagues are not taught, so you feel like you play a vital role in the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I have had 3 managers throughout my placement year. This has been challenging at times as each time the manager is new to the brand and the role, and there is a handover period in which you know more about the brand than the manager. Each manager I have had have had a different style, some more suited to me than others, but overall they are there when needed and are willing to step in when facing any challenges.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It depends whether or not we are on campaign. If we are launching a new campaign, often it is very busy and I needed to work in the evening to catch up on work, as its quite easy to spend your time in the day answering and auctioning emails that come into your inbox that day. However, I enjoyed being busy and didn't mind completing tasks. When we weren't on campaign, there was always things to do, but at times it could be a little boring, but I worked on University projects that I had to complete throughout my year in industry.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility and opportunities to own my projects from the start and lead them myself. At the start, this is quite daunting and you do feel like you are being thrown in at the deep end because you have probably never had to manage your time that efficiently before, and knowing how long things will take to complete is hard. Although, this comes with experience and by the end of my placement I felt like I was managing the projects effectively.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I think it has made realise what hard work is and I hope to take this into my final year with me and continue to work hard. I will be able to apply industry knowledge to my university projects and bring a real life perspective into my degree rather than just academic knowledge.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office is quite an old office and can get very hot and stuffy. It is quite dark and uninspiring. In terms of the people, the conversation is really good, but as we have the advantage of flexible working, it can often feel quite empty. There is a canteen and also a café on site.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The work placement was very well structured with a great 2 week handover period from the previous placement which included lots of training sessions. There were also lots of training sessions that continued throughout the rest of the year. We also have quarterly 360 feedback where we can identify strengths and weaknesses.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were always a lot of training sessions to develop your skill set further. There were health and wellbeing sessions throughout the year which helped you to manage stress, workload and energy. They also offer monthly back rub sessions at a discounted price. You can also have a Nuffield Health Assessment for free. They also provide a free gym at the local gym, Bisham Abbey Sports Centre.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
It seems like there are lots of opportunity for promotion as there is many layers within the structure. However, there is a transformation to flatten this, so can imagine it wont be as easy to get promoted in the future. what is most appealing is the flexi-time, ability to work from home, company car and the people who you are working with. I, however, don't think the role is for me, purely because I want a more focussed marketing role, and I would like to live somewhere else, and unfortunately J&J don't have an office there.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As everyone has to drive to get to the office there isn't after work drinks or anything like that. We only really get to socialise on lunch breaks, or at purpose held events, often in London, where people don't have to drive.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Expensive. My rent was high in Maidenhead due to the cross rail Elizabethan line due to come to Maidenhead in late 2019. I wasn't left with a lot of money after paying rent and bills out of my salary, although, compared to other placements the salary is a very good one.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There is one club in the centre of Maidenhead. There are a few pubs, but the town centre is 45 minute walk and 15 minute drive from the office so we didn't go out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are a lot of charity events which were held such as bingo fish and chip nights, which allowed us to socialise and raise money for a good cause. Other than that, I didn't get involved in any other activities.