1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my work placement overall. The main factors that contributed to this were the general office environment, skills that I was able to gain and work that I undertook, colleagues, location and general social experience.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt more valued by my colleagues at the placement went on. Initially it was quite tough as I worked in a technical role and had to undergo a lot of training, meaning I was not of much use to the team. However I was able to take on more variety of work over time and became more familiar with everyone around the office.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support was nearly always available when required, especially in the first few months. The agile working (Working from home) nature of the business did make this more difficult at times as I would be one of few people in the office on certain days, although people were still contactable by email/phone. I also had few manager 1 to 1s although retrospectively I probably could have asked for more.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Over the first 6 months there was a lot of training and less workload which meant that I wasn't too busy, again due to the technical nature of the role. However, once I was adequately trained I gradually became more busy and you can basically tailor your own workload depending on how proactive you are in asking for tasks.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Again while I was training over the first few months I had very little responsibility other than a few ad hoc requests that the team felt I could handle. Once more confident I was given monthly tasks involving many other people across the company which lead to an increase in responsibility when they gave me feedback in response to work or gave me new requests.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The role is not overly relevant to my degree so I am unlikely to use any of the skills I have learned in my final year. I will definitely use the general office and life skills once I graduate and hope to get a job where the technical skills I have gained this year are transferrable.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere is very laid back, people are very approachable and will often listen to music or chat while working. This makes for easy communication and collaboration, however at times it could be quite distracting when trying to concentrate.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Initially it seemed that people were not aware I would be joining the team bar a few people. There was also no real welcome period or set training schedule to follow. I also didn't have a specific role within the team to fill. Despite this after the initial bedding in period there was more structure to my placement in place and you are largely able to tailor it depending on your abilities and attitude.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company were unable to finance external training programmes for placement students however the internal training was very good. Colleagues are also willing to invest a lot of time in you as long as you are engaged and enthusiastic.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very appealing. There are 8 different graduate schemes all containing a number of different work placements across 2 years. Graduates are then able to 'roll off' and become full time employees. Placement students are given the opportunity to apply for graduate schemes as long as their line manager approves.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were 6 placement students in our office and we all got on very well socially. We generally met up for lunch, helped each other with work at times and met up lots outside of work too. There was also lots of graduates in the office and there were fairly regular meals/drinks and a Christmas social with other colleagues across the year.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was based in Edinburgh. Living in the city centre was very costly, however there are cheaper options if you are willing to commute. This is pretty much the case in terms of socialising as well, there are lots of expensive shops and bars but also much more affordable places if you look in the right area of town making it a good mix. There are also lots of cheap/free activities in the city such as museums, walking, sightseeing etc.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are countless bars, pubs and clubs in Edinburgh, both cheap and pricey so probably something for everyone.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
You are put in contact with all the other placement students in your city at the start of the year so its pretty easy to make your own plans with them. There is also a placement student charity project which leads to fundraising activities inside and outside of work. There's an annual charity day for each team as well to get involved in. There's loads to do in the city centre where the office is based so you can do as much as you choose to.