The last 12 months have been incredible. At no point did I feel like an "intern" and I was given real work and a lot of responsibility. At times I was given the opportunity to lead projects, this was something I had never imagined to be a part of my internship.
I felt valued by all of my colleagues. They all have an inclusive and kind attitude. I built rich connections with those who are of different roles and we were able to have a shared understanding of eachother's pain points and day-to-day stresses, this enabled us to better co-create.
Due to the nature of my role and the business structure, I was fortunate enough to have two leaders support me throughout my year. One who was a technical owner of an application and another who was my design lead/line manager. This gave me a strong wealth of support and access to feedback.
Throughout the entire year I have had plenty of work to keep me occupied. At the start, the environment was more pressured because there was just me and one other person of the same role meaning that I took on a lot more earlier than I had expected. This was not a negative, it just meant at times I was very busy or had to work a little later. Once recruitment of another employee took place the level of busy reduced.
The moment I joined I was the sole designer on the team as the previous designer moved onto another project. I was then given all-new projects by my leadership that I got to design from the ground up. My decisions were trusted and I was well supported if there were any mistakes made.
Not only have I been able to better my skills within my discipline, I have gained a ton of new skills that make me a more well rounded employee. I have developed my presentation skills, stakeholder engagement and have worked in agile - a methodology I had never worked with.
The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable. Employees are given the trust to manage their own workload. There are regular team outings, free fruit and snacks.
I never felt like I was looking for work or didn't know what to do next. My placement had a clear structure and my next steps were always advised by my leadership team.
There is an extensive online resource that enables you to participate in all kinds of training. The training can be role related or something that helps develop your soft skills. Many of the courses result in a badge that is recognised externally and can be posted on your LinkedIn account.
Working from home
There is a social scene that is available for all interns to be a part of. I had a very strong and large team that was made up of a mix of all ages. This meant I didn't really get involved in the intern socials but still had an incredible time socialising outside of work.
Living in London is not cheap. Working in Zone 1 makes things harder because a lof the after work socials are in the local area where things are more expensive. However, it is certainly do-able. Costs can be cut by living further out, cooking meals in advance and buying less luxuries. As long as you budget before moving to London there should be no issue.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
14th July 2019