1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My line manager was very supportive and gave me sufficient work to complete. If I was struggling or needed more/less work, then they were accommodating and would always make time to help. The early careers team ran a good induction to prepare for the internship, and were also very supportive and organised socials.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I had my own project work to complete whilst on the internship, and this created a positive contribution to the team's work. When I wanted to do some more technical work, my team gave me a small task to complete at first, and then trusted me with further more complex tasks, which made me feel valued as I could complete them to a high standard and they thanked me for doing so.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager was open and available for support, and informed me if he was ever going to be out of office. He also ensured that whilst he was on annual leave there was someone from the team assigned to act as my manager in his place, so that I still had support while he was not in the office.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I usually had work to keep me busy, and when the work slowed down there were plenty of networking opportunities and development programmes for me to take part in. However, a lot more time than expected had to be spent completing my internship project and presentation. Hence, this sometimes become laborious and I would've liked a wider variety of work to complete. There were days when I had lots of meeting, but towards the end of the internship I often had very few and was at my desk all day.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given responsibility of various tasks, such as taking minutes for a meeting. My manager also had weekly 1:1 meetings with me, but otherwise I was left to complete the work I had been given with a lot of independence. This helped in my development as I had to learn to manage my own time and ensure the tasks I was doing were accurate and contributed to achieving my objectives.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
This is the first time I have had an office job, and I am thankful for all the support that was available. I learnt how meetings are structured, how team members report progress to managers and how teams interact with each other in order to achieve objectives. It also gave me insight into the structure of a large corporation, and the possible benefits such as working from home. I will use this knowledge and experience whilst choosing my future career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
More relaxed than I expected, with a smart-casual dress code. There are a mixture of different teams in the same open-plan office, but all colleagues are friendly and willing to help and support anyone when they need it. The general atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, but also productive and collaborative.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very well organised, with an early careers team always available to help if there were any problems with organisation or workload. The two-day induction was well structured and useful to prepare us for the office. My manager knew when I was arriving and had sufficient work for me to complete.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were many free resources available on the intranet for learning and development, but I did not have time to complete many of these. Other than this, I did not undergo any formal training, but my manager and team were always willing to explain concepts to me, particularly once I was assigned technical work.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The graduate programme is well structured and prepares you for a full time role with the organisation. There are rotations which allow experience of difference departments and roles. However, switching between programmes is difficult which could be an issue for me as I do not want to stay in the department I am currently in and this could result in me rejecting an offer to re-apply.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were a few organised socials with interns and graduates, but most social events were self-organised between interns. The night life in Edinbirgh is good and due to flexi-hours it was possible to socialise during the week as well as weekends. People in the organisation would make time for coffee and a chat during work too.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Rent was expensive but the cost of living wasn't as bad as I expected when I first arrived. There is a subsidised canteen and a tesco in the office, so this is useful for picking up a cheap lunch. Eating and drinks out could quickly become expensive, though that was to be expected in a capital city.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Good as there are numerous universities in the city so plenty of places for students to go out. The fringe festival was also on during my placement and this gave endless opportunities to see shows and go out. However, when traffic was bad and it took a long time to get home from the office as it is quite far from the city centre, this could take up much of an evening.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Most activities were self-organised by interns, but there were a couple of organised socials with graduates from the organisation.