1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year. The work I was doing suited my work style and personality, and I was able to fit in with the team.
As I was not the first placement student in this role, my responsibilities and tasks were well established, and after learning the basics I was able to do lots of independent work.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My team was friendly, and filled with people similar to myself. I fit into the team easily and we all had professional relationships with each other.
I felt I received appropriate recognition for tasks that I took imitative on. I never felt underappreciated in my work and I generally enjoyed going into work each day.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager and other members of my team were fully supportive throughout. I felt comfortable asking for help on any task I was doing, however I also enjoyed trying to figure out a solution by myself first.
Any guidance I needed was available to me, however I had to initiate it to get help. Because of this I was able to get on with tasks that I felt comfortable doing.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
As I was working in finance, the amount of work changed depending on where we were in relation to month end. For two weeks I was very busy, but able to get on with my work. And for the other two weeks it was more relaxed, allowing time to catch up on less urgent tasks. This really suited me, because as soon as I was getting tired of being busy, it was quiet and vice versa.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I took on a relatively large amount of responsibility during my placement. The option to take on more responsibility was there, and I decided to take it on.
The initial amount of responsibility was quite small, but after taking more on it was nice to know that mt team had my back if I was struggling.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
This placement year made me realise that I do not like my degree, and it has little use or relevance to what I would like to do, despite being a management degree.
The skills I learnt including how to act professional, and self discipline will help with my studies in final year in terms of work ethic.
Beyond my degree the specific skills I learnt relating to my area of work will definitely be useful, as I would like to pursue this as a career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was relaxed yet professional.
In my department there is more independent work rather than group work and so it was a quiet environment. I felt I was still able to talk to my colleagues when needed though.
Everyone is generally friendly and there is the usual office chit-chat each morning.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Within my team, the structure of the placement was good. As I joined I had a few months to get settled, then when we were setting budget the work became more intense. For the final few months it was more relaxed, but this gave me time to prepare for handing over to the next intern, and work on some projects. As I was the fourth student in this role it was well established and my manager knew what sort of tasks I could do.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I did not receive a lot of personal training and development. Despite having a grad scheme, it was unrelated to the job I was doing and therefore there was not the opportunity to fast track onto the scheme.
We had a couple of days as a team where we did some soft skills training, but I am not sure how useful it was.
There were training seminars available from HR, however there was not a lot that I felt was relevant, so did not do any.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The distance from home is too far for me personally.
Sony will invest in its employees by doing things such as paying for accountancy training and qualification and offers good benefits for perm employees. This is very appealing however not enough to convince me to come back.
I am also unsure on job security here, and would not like to commit. More young people are less loyal to businesses as they are less loyal to their young employees, and I expect I will try a few jobs before I find the company I want to work for.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I shared a house with a few other placement students, and we would have parties occasionally.
There was only about 15 who got involved in the social scene, and we ended up doing something every few weeks. A lot of people went home over weekends and I didn't have that option, so it wasn't so fun.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Living was cheap for the South. I could get by on the salary I was given with some leftover money to spend/ save.
Socializing was apparently cheap, but I thought it was expensive. There is not a lot to do in Basingstoke so we socialized by playing video games etc. which doesn't cost.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Very poor. There is one nightclub which isn't very good. Reading is just up the road and the train to London is about 45 minutes, but we ended up having house parties over going out. If you like partying I guess you could go to these places but I didn't feel it was worth it.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There is a sports and social club that is £1 a month and showed movies in the cinema on a regular basis. They also provided discounts on activities in Basingstoke such as local stand up comedy shows and afternoon tea.
The boys had a football team if you're into that kind of thing, and there is also a running club I think, which I had no interest in.