customer service advisor helping with amendments and changes to existing bookings.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my time at Golfbreaks.com. After my year on placement I have become so much more confident in terms of meeting and speaking to other people and I have made new friends who I know I will stay in contact with. Golfbreaks.com really care for their staff and everyone really gets along and is really happy to help.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I really felt valued by my colleagues in my department and in other departments. The good thing about this placement is that you are in the same position as other members of your team who do the same job full time. Everyone is treated equally and carries out the same job on the team. This means lots of responsibility but equal respect as you really can get stuck in talking to real people about their breaks.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager and managers within the company are always around for help and guidance. From the start I never felt worried to ask questions and we were always encouraged to ask for help. Our managers kept in constant daily contact with us and we had regular team and individual meetings with them to talk about targets and what else we wanted to achieve so you really can set your own goals and have someone to go to if you ever need any help or support.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I really enjoyed Golfbreak.com from the quiet to the busy times. Being a travel company their are set 'travel seasons' whereby we would have the most people going away on their breaks. These times are full on and had a tendency to be stressful, but the days went quickly and the challenge was really rewarding with incentives to work really hard. Even in quieter time I was lucky enough to move over to 2 different departments in the business to experience what they do and have a better understanding of the company as a whole to get the most out of my year.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was part of the UK Customer Service team and I really enjoyed my time and this was down to the responsibility. You are treated no differently to full time staff and have the exact same workload to the full timers on your team. Quickly you are allowed to speak and communicate with clients and even larger group booking with assistance and training. I really felt like I was responsible for their breaks and it was so rewarding when someone has a great time thanks to your organisation.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I would say the main skill that has developed from my placement year is my confidence and personal development. I feel able to speak to people I do not know and stay in control of difficult situations which once would have really terrified me. Golfbreaks.com is such a social environment and I got a real understanding of the professional environment and even basic skills like time management and how to stay organised in busy travel season. All skills that will be really beneficial especially going back for my final year.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Really happy and social. Dress down Fridays and 'thirsty Thursdays' with the drinks trolley were regular occurrences. Even the busy times it didn't feel like everyone was weighted down by stress but more they thrive off the potential the clients are offering. It is a happy place to work and even when someone is down to team environment really helped.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The 2 weeks of intensive training at the start of placement was planned down to the hour. I really enjoyed my placement year as me and 17 other students all stayed at the same time, so I never felt left alone or like I didn't know what I was doing. The shadowing and training sessions were very informal and detailed and the students from the year before stayed on to help train us up which was really helpful.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I really felt like Golfbreak.com valued my work and they were keen to ensure I got everything out of my placement year that I was looking for which was really important to me. Your option was always taken into consideration and I was supported through all my university work and my future plans when going back to University.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There are a really good percentage of students who are encouraged to show interest if they would be looking to come back after their final year which many do. A lot of the current managers and even directors were once placement students which is really encouraging as they understand your position.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a really good social environment and the placement student always mix in and get on really well with the full timers. We would go to the pub and on nights out regularly and not living in Windsor was never a problem with me. I always felt included and had somewhere to stay.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Windsor is a really expensive are a in terms of accommodation and living costs. There isn't really a supermarket close buy apart from the Waitrose in town which can be very expensive. The rent was alwya pretty high with a lot of people paying 500 plus. I decided to live at home and commute to keep costs down hover parking in Windsor is also tricky.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife in Windsor is really versatile. There are a few clubs which people really enjoyed and also a selection of bars were drinks weren't too expensive and we went too most Fridays. There are 2 Wetherspoons for cheaper option and a lot of people enjoyed the variety of pubs in Windsor.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The guys ran a football team and a lot of golf in the evenings and on weekends was organised. There are also cricket matches and everyone is usually down to get together of an evening whether it be at the pub or at liquid leisure not far away. It is a really social company and they really encouraged us to get involved din the actives outside of work.