1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
When I began my work placement everyone was really welcoming. I was the first intern in my department, but you wouldn't have known as the workload was manageable and challenging at times. I had the opportunity to be involved with numerous projects, which I had the opportunity to see the impact my work had on the business. If I could go back and choose a different placement/internship I wouldn't, I made so many friendships and learnt new transferable skills.
I will definitely be considering coming back once I graduate if there are vacancies.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues were amazing. They made me feel welcome from the very beginning of my placement and continued to check up on me, have a laugh, and ensure my work was as accurate throughout the year. Nobody showed or tried to show they had authority and always spoke to me as an equal, which I believe is very important.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
When I began the placement I would have regular probation meetings where I could voice concerns about my workload and could ask questions.
As I sat close to my colleagues I would always have the opportunity to ask questions about my tasks for the day and I would get a response either immediately or soon after they had finished what they were doing.
The managers were always willing to listen and help where necessary.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Throughout the year my the workload varied. My busiest months were the first 6 months and the last 3 months. The middle 3 months probably only felt quieter as I had lots of projects going on during the first 6 months at the same time as other daily duties. Although during the quieter 3 I still had lots to do and was able to challenge myself to perfect my daily workload. I was always asked if I had work to do so I was always occupied with new challenges.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had a lot of responsibility and was trusted to complete transactions on SAP which if I completed incorrectly would have negatively impact other departments and take some time to correct my mistakes. Even when I made mistakes I was taught what I did wrong and was still able to learn from them. Therefore, when I revisited the same task I was able to correctly complete my work.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I am 100% sure that I have improved my current skill base and have developed new skills. This includes time management, excel, data analysis among others. These skills are transferable and I can see myself using them at university and when I graduate.
I had many training opportunities such as excel, outlook, time management etc which I can use to further my ability during university and my future job.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone was able to have a great laugh but also work professionally. We all supported each other and would pick up work for anyone if they were busy. Work was always covered over my colleagues annual leave so we wouldn't come back to a load of work.
When it was peoples birthdays we would always decorate each other’s desks which contributed to the positive atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Being the first intern for this department it was surprising how well organized it was. I always had work to get on with and was delegated work when I was a bit quieter. All of the task and projects which were given to me were manageable and of an internship standard. If anything did not make sense support was always available.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
It is quite difficult to invest in myself especially with training. As I am in the warehouse a lot of the time the only training which I would have benefited from would be k-truck training. This is very expensive and I do not see it a worth while investment for an intern during the year. There were always viable alternatives with not having such training. Despite this I was always receiving general training opportunities which I know I benefited from.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
When I graduate I will definitely look for vacancies within Church and Dwight. The employee focus of the company is brilliant. We had lots of social events offered to us including cricket match, go-karting, Christmas party among others through the year. We had visits from our American managers which was encouraging to be recognized for the work we do in Folkestone.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
If you want to make the most of your social life with fellow interns you would need to live in Folkestone for the year. There were approximately 16 of us during 2018-2019 and we all were in a Whatsapp group to organise meeting up etc. Lots of interns would be in the same department so see each other regularly. However, I was the only intern in my department so would not have the opportunity to see fellow interns until after work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was not the most social intern but it is pretty cheap if you know where to go. Weatherspoons is the cheapest place for drinks and from what I heard living costs compared to other areas in the southeast are very reasonable. I have not heard from any intern that they struggled financially with the cost of living and socializing.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I cant really comment too much as I didn't really go out. However, from what I have heard there are a few bars to go out in Folkestone and the company do offer a lot of social events so we did not feel left out. Also most people found themselves too tired to go out at night as they had work the next day and would only go out on a Friday or Saturday evening.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As I have mentioned the company offers many additional out of work activities. This is organised my the Church and Dwight social club who look into extra events for us to do. Examples from what I had offered in my year and what I have heard previous years were offered include go-karting, Cricket, Laser tag among others.