Just before starting my placement I was apprehensive about whether I would enjoy the work I that the role entailed, get on with my colleagues etc. Especially as it was for an entire year. However, everyone was so welcoming and I settled in very quickly; becoming a valuable member of the department from the off. The work I carried out was varied which allowed me to interact with a range of people. It also enabled me to quickly gain a rounded understanding of the work that the company carried out.
I was given a lot of responsibilities which demonstrated my colleagues' trust in my capabilities. I was also given the opportunity to work indepdnetly. My colleagues were great at listening to my comments taking what I say on board
A lot of the time I was left to work independently however my colleagues were always keen to answer questions which was really rewarding and indicated how passionate they were about their role and the business they are part of. It also meant that I was able to obtain a clearer picture of particular processes and tasks. My manager was fantastic. Despite being very busy she would always make time for me answering any questions/queries. She also did her best to get me involved with tasks/projects that allowed me to advance the technical skills that I had expressed interest in developing.
My daily workload could vary quite dramatically. Some days there wasn't a great deal for me to get on with but in these cases I was always encouraged to complete training courses in order to develop technical skills further. On other days my workload was much higher but it was always manageable and it was clear that my manager and my colleagues were there if the workload became unmanageable.
I was given a lot of responsibility! I would frequently interact with internal and external customers and approx. eight months into my placement I organised and ran a training session for customers by myself. I was often given the opportunity to improve processes where I was given a lot of free rein. These improvements involved a lot of consultation with customers and colleagues and my ideas and opninions wer alwasy greatly valued.
I have developed a number of technical skills, some of which I hope to utilise during the final year of my degree. The placement has also provided ample opporunities for me to further develop my soft skills, I have had the pleasure of working with a wide varierty of people in a professional setting.
Everyone was very friendly which was very nice! All employees were very respectful of each other, taking into consideration that everyone likes to work in slightly different ways. The office itself was very spacious with good lighting and good quality chairs and desks for maxiamum comfortability. People often had conversations with colleagues in their immediate vicinity but there were also breakout areas and a very large canteen where you could go to eat and socialise which meant that there were no major distractions at your desk.
The placement was very wel organised. Every month a workplan was released, for the placement students, by our manager which contained the tasks/ projects we would be involved with for the following month. It also contained the expected effort which allowed me to gauge how effectively I was working. I had bi-weekly 1 to 1s with my manager where we could catch up on how I was progressing.
There was a great deal of flexibility to tailor my work so that I could develop the skills I had expressed interest in. Within my department there were focus groups for specialist software/tools such as python, R and SQL. The respective focus groups would meet once a quarter, at these meetings several people would present the work they have been doing using the tool/software. This was a great oppotunity to see the capabilities of the tools, it also created a community of users so if I had any issues I knew who I could go to to seek help.
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Many of the employees in the department I was in are previous placement students which demonstrates the willingness of the department to retain people they have already invested in and see as talented. There is a lot of opporunity to move to different areas within the company, many of my colleagues that I have worked with have seized opportunities to move to different departments/areas.
There was an Early Careers forum every two weeks which gave all the placement students and graduates the opporunity to meet and hear from employees from different areas of the business. Many social events were organised by the head of the Early Careers scheme as well as among the Early Careers students themselves.
In my opinion the cost of living was average. There were a range of supermarkets nearby to cater for all budgtets and the pubs were reasonably priced which was good! I was living away from home which meant I was renting, luckily I was fortunate enough to gorup with some other placement students and rent a student property near work which ensured the rent was not too expensive.
The nightlife was good, there were plenty of options to cater for everyones taste. There are a number of bars and clubs in the two main areas closest to the office. The only issue was public transport wasn't great between the two main areas for nightlife and as different people lived in different areas it added complications
I got involved in the tennis and basketball club through the sports and social club which both happened outside of work hours. It was a great opportunity to meet new people that I wouldn't normally interact with in the office. tennis and basketball are activities that I enjoy but haven't played for a long time so it was great to get involved with those.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Business Intelligence, Computer Science, Mathematics/Statistics, Science/Research