To assist in the daily running of Employee Fleet, along with leading and supporting major projects throughout the year.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The Placement year was very insightful at PSA, showing how a large corporation operates both nationally and internationally.
I was given entrusted with some extremely important tasks from the get go - but this also occurs smaller admin tasks which are less enjoyable but still necessary.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
At times i felt extremely valued, especially when liaising with other departments, and also at times when being asked to do tasks which were not initially my responsibility.
I feel there were certainly times where i had put effort into something but it wasn't valued to the extend i had thought it should have been - i feel this is a major problem with the company in regards to rewarding employees for additional effort in work. Being rewarded with a small voucher for the work cafe is not a huge incentive to repeat the effort previously done to achieve the reward initially.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of support from one of my managers who gave me insightful projects, however they were at times too busy to delegate work of great importance to me.
Despite this, my manager entrusted me with important tasks from the get go and increased my confidence whilst working at PSA.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It varied. When doing project work, i was rather busy for a long period of time, however in between projects, my daily tasks became more ad-hoc and lacked significance - this was a little demotivating.
General daily tasks consisted of mainly admin, checking emails, answering queries, and reporting.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A lot but in small doses - my year fluctuated a lot, at times i was given a lot of responsibility, but other times responsibility wasn't particularly high. the most consistent form of responsibility was month end financial tasks which came under my remit, my manager did not feel the need to do these as i had those under control.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills developed will have a mixed impact on my final year degree studies. Time management, organisation and O365 skills will certainly be utilized as these are easily transferable - however other knowledge and commercial awareness is not particularly transferable.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office and working environment was brilliant - lovely bright layout, open plan so you engage with many other colleagues throughout the day which really helps you fit in from the start.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The Placement program wasn't organised brilliantly. The different training days were organised at poor times e.g. a training day on presenting was organised 6 months into the placement, by this point many of the placement students would have already presented, it would have been more useful to do this at the start. I will sympathize however with departmental changes in the training department, planning would have been more difficult with personnel changes.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were several training days - however these were not particularly formal training courses, instead just presentations given by a member of staff. This gave the impression that it was given just to show that some degree of training was given, rather than official training courses to enhance out knowledge and development.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The most disappointing part is the structure of the graduate scheme. As placement students we are encouraged to come back to the group after graduation, however this is not appealing when it is a 2 year fixed term program with no guarantee of a job afterwards, with also no mention of specific help and guidance in finding a job suitable for you within the group. You get the feeling you are left to fend for yourself after the 2 years, otherwise you will leave which is not financially or mentally motivating to know that your career is not confirmed after 2 years as a graduate. This makes other graduate schemes at competitive companies far more appealing - something which PSA should look into changing as retention rate of graduates after 1-2 years is not as good as it should be.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
No - there wasn't much effort to integrate the placement students after the induction 2 days in. It was placed on ourselves to socialise with other people in the company at first, something which is a bit daunting being in a new professional environment for the first time. I agree that the responsibility of integrating should be partially with us, but little support was given to assist with this.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Good - Coventry is a student city so plenty of things to do, especially being a 20 minute train journey from Birmingham City Centre.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Good - nearby cities and towns like Leamington Spa and Birmingham offer good nightlife too
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes, although i feel the involvement in this depends on how integrated you become to eventually get invited on social activities outside of work for example football with colleagues, and departmental nights out.