1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The area is a really cool place to work. Lots of interesting shops and nice little parks to spend lunch. The company usually has quite a number of interns so you won't feel out of place at all. The workers are just great in general and everyone is very friendly and understanding!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I definitely felt respected and that my opinion on certain things was taken into account, both with linguistic issues and wider team issues. Teamwork is really essential for the Ops Teams, especially since not everyone will know the languages they're working with. So you often become the 'go-to person' for the language you've studied. I felt really valued due to this.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The great thing about the company is that a lot of the people you work with used to be interns as well, so there is a great amount of empathy there. They understand those areas which may be troublesome to get to grips with, and will make sure you understand what's required. They all have incredible patience and understand certain tasks need more time to figure out, and are very happy to give you the time you need to comprehend things.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Your schedule really varies from day to day, but I would say your task-juggling skills are very much tested each day. You do get occasional periods of down time, such as when you're waiting for confirmation on something, or for others to reply when declaring availability to help etc., but for the most part it's full speed ahead.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I feel that during the 6 months I've had really good exposure to multiple tasks; from quality assurance to recruitment to project management. To start with, a lot of your responsibility is in the more menial tasks, just so you can perfect your skills in these, then you get more responsibility further into the internship.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The internship is really great for developing your communication skills, and your email etiquette. There are times when you have to remain absolutely professional in the face of angry clients/linguists so it helps build up your tolerance and composure. Project management is an excellent transferable skill which will help you in your personal development as well as your professional development, and which appears in many different industries - so it's key. I've also learned skills in negotiation when recruiting new linguists, and have really developed my eye for detail when carrying out quality checks of translations.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Relaxed, people try to keep things fun and light.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I feel that overall the internship was set up well. Duties are organised pretty well (unloading the dishwasher in the morning, going to the post office). There wasn't a strict structure, so I basically learned things when the opportunity to do so was there. This is mainly because you learn new things based on whether there are current projects which require that skill. I would have a monthly review session with my mentor which was helpful to see areas to improve and voice my opinion on certain things or voice my interest in learning new skills. Unfortunately there was one month where things were very busy, so there wasn't a review for that month. I don't think this affected my progress too much, as you usually get feedback as you go anyway.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I think a lot of training was pretty much done as you went along. They have their own training website with modules on things like basic Excel formulas etc. which was really well done. Videos were also made for the sites we use which is good for referencing back when needed. I was taught quite a few very specific, often complicated, skills (very good explanations!), though often training was dependent on project manager availability, and whether there was a project to use as a template. I did feel like their priority was to focus on finishing their tasks, but I think they did their best to fit training in. The health and safety training was quite late however, and there were a few in the company who had worked for over a year there who hadn't received this training either. Health and safety/fire safety is usually fairly straightforward however.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There seem to be opportunities arising quite often within the company.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Interns all get on well, weekly pub nights, they even do drinks in the office once/twice a month. There was talk of a team event, which they should definitely implement! I did find it difficult to engage sometimes since a lot of the current interns are in the downstairs office, and I was upstairs, so there does tend to be a tiny bit of a upstairs/downstairs clique type thing. Also you tend to get groups forming depending on which language(s) you speak. Spanish speakers tend to hang out with Spanish speakers etc. Good thing is you can learn new languages pretty quickly! Would recommend spending lunch downstairs in the social area when you can and chat as much as possible - though in summer it's much nicer to head out.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived about 50 mins by train; 40 mins by bike. Could easily spend up to £50 a week on train travel. Pub drinks are around £4-6 each
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I can't think of any activities that I had the opportunity to get involved with outside of work.