1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Very welcoming people and a lot of help provided - hard work but lots of lovely people and rewarding work. I was given every opportunity I wanted to go and shadow people, do secondments in areas different to the one in which I was doing a placement in, and encouraged to push myself.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Colleagues immediately gave me a lot of work and showed that they were relying on me to help them with their workload. We were also invited immediately to all of the great work activities in and outside of the office, so everyone really made us feel at home and welcome.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
People are constantly on hand to help out, very encouraging and understanding that you are new. There is a lot of new software and getting used to the procedures, but everyone is very helpful and you can tell people really do want to help you. There are also external teams on hand to help at all times.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Very busy - the days can be long and jam packed with work, but the firm care a lot about your wellbeing and allow you to claim back any overtime you have done. Although our days are very full, I always have time to have a good break for lunch and a few breaks throughout the day. As long as the work is finished, you are able to work in a way that is appropriate for you.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility straight away, being client facing immediately and looking through accounts straight away that clients had sent. We were assigned a manager to help us on each job, but we were put onto clients as soon as we started, so we had great experience straight away.
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 learnt have helped me decide on my dissertation topic and given me an insight into the career I want for the future, and also fantastic guidance on how to secure a graduate role job offer. The training is also very useful for many other jobs/ studies, as you become very handy at Excel and various other software.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office is extremely welcoming and warm, and everyone is smiling and having a nice laugh for a lot of the day, but also during busy times people do really get down to work and focus on what they are doing, but we have a pool table in the office and cakes so it really is not too formal unless you are client-facing.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
This is a very well established placement programme, and we had everything set up for us from laptops to the first week of training in Reading, Oxford, Southampton and London which was great fun. They have a lot of procedures in place to welcome us, and a clear path of what our year will look like.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company has invested a lot in us already, with providing a lot of training both online and in various offices. We are also invited to all of the company outings and away training. We really are valued here as all our expenses are paid for various things and we receive the same benefits as permanent employees.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very appealing future and a clear idea on how to get there. We have been told about all of the opportunities in all different departments in different places across the world. We are giving performance reviews and exit interviews to talk about our future with the company in more details
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes! We were all very alike and organised our own things very often on weekends. In our first week the firm rented out a room in a bar in London and had an open bar which was great fun and a lovely way to meet people. There are also a lot of days out and lots of drinks held on fridays
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
This is my home area so I lived at home and paid some rent. Reading can be slightly expensive in terms of rental costs and living expenses, but socialising is relatively cheap (depending on where you go as we often went into London), and it is easy to find affordable areas.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is great here - there is a big university in Reading so a lot of nights are relatively cheap, and we are not far from London so it is easy to go out there. There are also so many people you meet in the firm who have great recommendations
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Lots of opportunities to be involved in. There are various charity events and big football matches across the whole of the UK which are great fun and often away games so you get to stay in a hotel. They encourage you to set up charity events too so that is something to do outside of work