1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Very much so. I took on many exciting projects from my predecessor and was then able to move onto working on my own projects. I also felt that the projects I worked on were very valuable to both myself and the company and I thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of these projects. Some projects I didn't feel best matched my skill set and included some dull tasks. However this wasn't too substantial
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I mostly felt incredibly valued by colleagues, I was treated as if I had been working there many years and was a full time member of the team, especially towards the end. I ran a number of regular meetings and participated in many more which were well attended, showing I was valued. I think right at the start, it took a little time for some colleagues to see what value I could give, however once I had spoken with these more and worked with them, they valued me very highly
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of support by my mentor and manager. A mentor was assigned to me, who looks after the students in my department. He helped me to identify areas I could improve on and then helped me develop these skills. I also had bi-weekly meetings with my mentor to provide support on work if needed and to discuss my progression.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
During the first month, I was shadowing my predecessor, which kept me busy to start with. I then took his projects over which definitely kept me busy. Once I had completed these, I then took on new projects. However around this time, another intern left, meaning I took on a lot of their work too. This meant I was really busy for a period until another intern started, with many projects and colleagues from other departments getting frustratred that I couldn't complete all this work quickly. I accept this is an exceptional circumstance and once the other intern started, the workload went down and was very good amount again.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility, I was trusted to run many meetings, some with senior managers. I was also trusted to present all work I had completed to senior managers. I also worked on some projects which were regarding legal requirements. I was responsible for most projects I had completed too, once people were using these. I didn't work on any systems that would stop car production if they didn't work however.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I have developed will be very valuable to my degree, I have developed in programming languages which I haven't in my degree, but will most likely be used after my degree. I also developed many personal skills (including confidence) this year, which will be valuable in my degree and beyond. I developed presentation, communication and team working skills which are also beneficial in both my final year and after I finish university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Very nice office and very sociable. We sat with our team members which allowed for good efficiency. However we also moved around the office when needed to speak with people and everyone was very approachable. The kitchen attached to the office was a very sociable area and the majority of the office would have lunch at the same time.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
This placement was very well organised, my role in the teams were clear and a lot of my accounts and things were also set up before I arrived. This allowed for me to easily start work without too many issues starting. I was also able to leave seamlessly, with my replacement starting while I was still there, allowing for me to handover work to him, without there being a gap.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company invested a lot of time in training me and i was given plenty of support with all topics I worked on. I didn't however recieve any formal training due to the costing of this, I would like to have recieved some. However, there was also a lot of help from my mentor to help me develop presentation skills.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I will be applying to the company for a post-graduate role, however I believe that there may be better graduate roles at other locations. Also with the role being in Oxford, this is a very expensive place to live. I would be happy working for the company again. There is a good graduate role, which I will apply for.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There is weekly football sessions and weekly meet ups between all interns to the pub. I didn't attend these much, due to living a 1 hour drive away and this not being feasible as they took place quite late in the evening. I did hear from many other students these were good. My department went for a christmas lunch one day which was nice and there was some social events within the IT team which were good.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Oxford is a very expensive area of the country. I lived in Milton Keynes (1 hour away by car) as I lived at my family home. I still spent a considerable amount of money on petrol. Even small towns and villages within commuting distance to Oxford are very expensive to live in.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I'm not sure on the nightlife, as I have only been to some socials which were in pubs as I wouldn't be able to travel back to my house after a night out (very limited public transport between Oxford and my house in Milton Keynes). I have heard that Oxford is okay for a night out but not the best.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were many opportunities, the interns meet up once a week and there are weekly football sessions between the interns. Many of the members of the IT team are keen runners and they do runs after work most weeks. However not being into running myself I didn't attend these. There was also a summer social event organised for this year, however this is after my placement has ended.