1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I very much enjoyed working for Mentor Graphics. The internship allowed me to explore a side of engineering that I like and wish to continue studying at University. Throughout the placement I have been recognised and rewarded for my work. I was treated like any other employee and thoroughly enjoyed working with the people in the office.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
From the start of my placement I was treated like any other employee at Mentor. My contributions to the team had equal weight to those made by full time employees. Colleagues were keen to hear my suggestions and I have seen those being implemented. I was recognised for my work on multiple occasions and felt my work was valued by my colleagues.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Throughout my placement I have continuously been supported by my supervisor. Every month I had a support session that allowed me to express any issues that I may have had. The session also allowed me to receive feedback on my work. At anytime I was able to get help from fellow colleagues and I was never left feeling lost for people to ask guidance from.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were quiet and busy periods due to the nature of the SCRUM work process. During quiet periods I asked for work from other teams. It is up to the intern to find extra work. However, when I have asked for work, work is always found. This helped me broaden my knowledge in other areas of the company. Conversely there are times where I had a lot of work to complete.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a fair amount of responsibility. Being the main QA engineer within the team my work was valued. I was responsible for maintaining libraries of information and tests. I was also responsible for training future interns for a seamless handover.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I worked on an area of engineering that I am interested in and wish to pursue at University. The internship allowed me to apply the engineering principles I learnt to real cases and build up a list of examples to refer back to in the future. Additionally I developed my team work skills - learnt the SCRUM process and saw the benefits of using it.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office atmosphere was good and relaxed. I felt I could ask for help whenever I needed. It was generally quiet most of the time which I found a good environment to work in. Every week the office would go out for a meal which helped me develop better relationships with people.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Late notice was given for one work trip but once on the trip it was well organised. I was given more notice for following work trips. The SCRUM process the team followed for planning strategies meant that I knew roughly how much work I had. Work was broken up into three week periods.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
As part of the internship I completed a personality test and training course - DiSC. The course was interesting and insightful. I was able to identify my strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. I still use some of the skills I learnt in the workplace today.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Many of the people that work in the office are previous interns. Therefore there is a chance for future employment.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I have made good friends out of the placement and hope to continue seeing them!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The office is based near London and therefore housing and socialising is more expensive than normal. I am from the area and lived at home so the cost of living near London did not effect me much.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Kingston has good nightlife. There are also local pubs near the office.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?