Overall, I enjoyed my placement at Sony. I got a lot of quality experience and the opportunity to work across teams on a pan-European, country and agency level. I also had the opportunity to travel abroad once or twice. There is also a strong intern community with numerous training days for the interns across both the Weybridge and Basingstoke offices.
I generally felt valued by my colleagues and social events and volunteering days were organised to help us all gel as a team. More recently there have been a lot of team changes so this hasn't happened as much lately, but if you put yourself forward for extra opportunities and push yourself, you soon gain respect from your colleagues rather than being seen just as the 'intern'.
I had weekly catch ups with my manager where we could go through any concerns we had and chat through the work we had on that week. Depending on your university, you also get a lot of support from them too if you are on a sandwich course - mine were great. There are also HR contacts who organised 'SPY' days where we would develop key skills such as presenting and presenting yourself on your CV and cover letter.
This is probably more the nature of PR, but sometimes I had very little to do and other times I would be so busy and have to juggle a lot. I think it really does develop your time management skills though, as I've had to prioritise in busy periods. There were projects outside of my job role and training that I could do in quieter times.
I was given a great deal of responsibility, partly because I sought out extra opportunities but partly because it was an aspect of the job. I had projects that I owned, and was also responsible for drafting and publishing all of the press releases for my business group. With risks such as leaks always a worry, I do feel that especially by the end I was a trusted member of the team and was given a good amount of responsibility.
I have massively developed soft skills such as communication, presenting, analysis and teamwork. My writing has greatly improved which will help me when I return to university, and I also got a lot of helpful feedback along the way. In general, this placement is great at giving you a good idea of the office environment and adult working life.
Sony is quite a corporate environment so the office was mostly quiet. My team were good fun though so there would occasionally be chatter etc. The intern community is really good so we would all spend lunchtimes together so there is an opportunity to be social. There is also access to a gym which was a good time to spend lunchtimes and after work time.
The placement was generally organised well, thanks to a dedicated 'SPY' team in the HR department. I had quite a few IT issues to begin with and there was a lack of organisation there but it wasn't an issue a few weeks into the job. I think to improve, greater advice could be given to help with Sony graduate opportunities, as this internship is completely separate to later opportunities.
The company gave me a number of opportunities to develop. It would have been nice if interns were allowed access to the same training sessions as permanent members of staff so that they could develop their skills further. Most of my training was done by the previous intern and I will do the same when I leave.
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
The internship isn't linked to any graduate schemes so there isn't a great chance of employment prospects with Sony - you just have to apply like everyone else. There was one intern I know that was invited back but it seems to be the exception. Probably still worth applying to the graduate scheme though as you gain a lot of relevant skills.
Yes, the interns in Weybridge and Basingstoke were all really social and numerous parties were held throughout the year and days out on the weekend. I also went out a few times with my team including a volunteering day which was particularly good. You always get a good send off so there are leaving lunches and parties you get to attend too.
Weybridge is just outside of London so it is really expensive, as you'd expect. That's the price you pay for being in a good location though. I commuted from home and spent a lot of money on petrol/trains but there is free parking on site and it is close to main roads and motorways.
The Weybridge office is close to London so we normally went on the train for any nights out. House parties were held in Weybridge which were good too. There are a few nice restaurants and bars in Weybridge but not really any clubs. The train is so short to London so it wasn't a massive issue.
There are a few social events that are advertised such as marathons and challenges but not a great deal. My team and the interns sometimes organised to do things after work but normally most people go home after the working day has finished. There were a few opportunities to travel abroad and help with events outside of my job role which was a positive.
Placement Year (10 Months+)