1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall, it was a good experience. At times it could be successful and at others it was a bit boring or not enjoyable. The team were really nice and very easily to get along with, the scope of work was varied so at times, I had exposure to a lot of things. It could have been a bit more exciting but overall, a good year.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt valued by my team because a lot of the work I did went towards important presentations and used to improve the team and I was trusted. At the same time, when I left, half of my work was stopped (due to the team being busy), but that didn't make me feel like that work was valued.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a very hands on management style by my mentor, my manager and the rest of the team. Whenever I had an issue or was worried or needed some more help and guidance on my work, my mentor and the team would always be willing to help me and not be annoyed.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It really depended day on day. In my role, a lot of the work would be ad hoc work and so some days I was busy all day, some I was busy half the day and some I was free most of the day. Some tasks often had deadlines towards the beginning of the month so I was busier then.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As stated in the 'valued' question above, I was given a nice amount of responsibility. I had important tasks which were put onto my shoulders and was trusted to carry them out successfully and was trusted to be able to 'fix' any issues that arose as a result of the initial work
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learnt a lot of softer skills during my placement - teamwork, communication, presenting, reporting, data analysis among others. These skills will stick with me for the remainder of my studies and for the rest of my life. There was a lack of actual training courses but we had links to Udemy and other training websites.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The experience experienced in the office was a good one. The atmosphere was there and there was always people up for a laugh and a joke but would be serious when it needed to be. The teams worked with each other a lot so there were a lot of personal jokes. There was an office move towards the end of the year but the experience is the same as the previous office.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
At the beginning, the placement set up was very organized. I remember receiving the email asking for a video interview only a few weeks after applying and then an invitation to the interview a week later. All in all, the offer was sent to me before Christmas. The contract took a long time to arrive though which was a big concerning.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
To be honest, there wasn't really much training we received. We had a 2 week course at the beginning ran by the previous placements which brought us up to date on the software and principles that are used within IT. There wasn't much training outside but we were offered Udemy and other training courses and websites online.
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?
The employment prospects are very up in the air. There are graduate jobs available but there are a very very small amount, only 4 or so are accepted within IT each year. It will all depend year on year so it is hard to comment now about the future prospects of the company.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a good social scene among the other IT placements, we often went out on nights out or went out for a drink. We also always met up during lunch and during the day and socialized. There wasn't much within the team outside of work but during the day, there were always laughs.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in Sunderland so it was a very cheap area to live. My rent included bills and was very cheap, cheap supermarkets like Lidl were close by and I was right in the center of the town. Travelling was quite pricey and if you were to park, it would also cost.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
In Sunderland, there were a few bars and pubs which were often quite cheap and you could have a good night out and end with a decent takeaway. Newcastle is the same but on a bigger scale, loads of clubs and bars to choose from. Some can be pricey on certain nights but all in all, a very good nightlife in the North East.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Not really. There was a football 5 a side game which was ran weekly on a Tuesday but apart from that, organized activities were little to none. A HR event was organized at the end of the year which was a great experience but overall, there were not many events to get involved in.