1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my work placement with GE Healthcare. The working environment was so easy to fit into, the staff were all amazingly welcoming, helpful and really friendly. The workload in itself differed as time went on, I had a combination of desk work and data analysis to full-on lab work. It's helped me develop new skills and learn whilst working. Overall, it was an amazing placement!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by my colleagues. At GE Healthcare, the hierarchy between employees is rarely felt as everyone is so open and welcoming to talk to or ask for help. The work that I have completed within the year of being here does not go unrecognised and have even been awarded a voucher for my assistance. But outside of that, it's so easy to become friends with anyone and they really do treat you like family.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had a relatively small team during my placement however each team member was more than willing to go out of their way to offer me help. I never felt stupid for asking a question (and I ask a lot of questions) and was offered a lot of guidance within my projects and workload.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There was always something to be doing on a day-to-day basis. As with any workplace, there were days that were slower than others and some that were more busy. Aside from my projects, there were several training and learning opportunities, intern activities and events to take part in. It all depends on how well you can manage your workload and time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given more and more responsibility as time went on, but was given full ownership of my projects from the beginning. However, my supervisor offered an incredible amount of support as and when needed. As I grew more confident in my role and projects I was able to freely plan and execute my daily work as I saw fit, to ensure I got the results needed.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Whilst my degree is more chemistry based, this internship has been more focused on biology. That was still really helpful for me because it's allowed me to broaden my laboratory skill set and understand how the theory I study at university is used in real life. It has also helped improve my business knowledge and further develop my transferable skills (such as teamwork/leadership, etc...).
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
As my team was only very small and we have a lab-based office, it was quite fun. Everyone gets along and there's always friendly conversation to be had. If nobody is around, it becomes a nice environment to get on with some work too. As a whole site, the offices are very welcoming and generally quite laid back - and someone always brings in cake, which is a bonus!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was fairly well prepared. From my application to interview to my first day, it went really smoothly. The actual internship was again well organised and the handover from the previous interns was well thought-out. Some of the group projects we had been given as interns (such as STEM) were fairly underdeveloped and we have since put measures into place for easy access and understanding.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were several opportunities to allow for self-development. Not only were we given the opportunity to complete Green Belt & 6 Sigma training, we had the chance to shadow other staff members, partake in a beginners leadership course, dedicate a lot of time towards STEM development and so much more.
I had frequent meetings with my line manager to discuss areas of improvement, achievements or concerns. I was enabled to partake in as much work as I could to gain exposure and practice within the lab.
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?
I would love to be able to come back to work at this site again. The people are so lovely and the work culture is amazing. Coming to work every day was actually really enjoyable being at this site and it would be fantastic to come back. As the company is always growing and changing with the times, I think there will be many future prospects, from this site and others too.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were 8 interns this year, all based in different departments and everyone was really friendly. As time went on, I got to know a few a lot better and we had an amazing time going out for meals, drinks, spa nights, movie nights - we even went on holiday together!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived about a 15 minute drive from my workplace and it wasn't too expensive. Cardiff is pretty cheap when it comes to living, eating and socialising, compared to other cities. Most of the interns live in shared houses and so rent/bill payments are a lot cheaper than you'd expect.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was quite fun. There is a whole selection of bars/clubs/pubs to visit in town. When the rugby is on (and when Cardiff/Wales win) the whole town is incredibly busy and a crazy night out. There could be a bit more diversity in terms of music but other than that, it's a fun place to be.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were several charity events that run all year such as cycling and running marathons to raise money. There was the opportunity to be heavily involved in STEM, meaning we could go visit schools and conventions and help out. We were able to take part in Cheltenham Science Festival too, which was brilliant. They have their own site band too.