1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed working as part of Vrbo - Expedia. I learnt so much over the year, from being able to work in a team to a host of different technologies that I will be able to re-use again in my future career. The culture at Expedia is wonderful and very encouraging for interns/graduates/juniors.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My team were extremely welcoming to me as an intern. From the get-go, I was able to contribute to the team's goals and learn hands on. As I learned more, I was able to have a bigger impact on my team and I felt extremely well integrated by the time it came to leave.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My supervisor during my placement was amazing at supporting me throughout the year. He helped me get accustomed to the work process by working closely with me at the beginning. He and all the other team members were incredibly patient during my learning processes and were always eager to help me and explain difficult concepts.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The amount of work I was taking on was proportionate to which stage of the placement I was at. I never felt like I was overwhelmed at work and during any slower periods of work, there was always the chance to review other work or do my own individual research.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was definitely treated as a fully-fledged team member. I took on as much work as my other colleagues. There was no technology or application environment that my team used that I was not allowed to interact with. This meant I felt like a very valued member of the team.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The ability to work in a team in the agile environment will definitely assist me in any job I obtain as a Software Engineer. I developed a wide knowledge of many technologies used across the industry, and was able to refine my coding style, which I hope will help me in my final year studies, especially my project.
I also gained so much confidence in my abilities from my placement that I am assured that I have picked the right career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atomsphere was very open and friendly in the office. The company had many events such as holiday parties and weekly events such as quiz and cakes that allowed different teams to socialise.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The start of the placement seemed a little underplanned, as we had no training sessions before we started our work. It seemed difficult sometimes for the organisers to manage the interns from all the different brands especially since we were at a different location to the rest of them, however once an intern planning group was set up this flowed a lot easier.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was some opportunity within the company to improve skills, both those related to technology and more "soft" skills.
For example, I was able to attend a short robotics course that taught us to program Arduinos for a few weeks. All the interns were also given a workshop on presentation skills, which I found extremely useful.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is a high chance that if you perform well during the internship, you will be asked back to a graduate role once you have finished university. As there are multiple brands within Expedia Group, there is the prospect of being able to move to different teams across brands with different roles and new challenges.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
It was slightly more difficult for the other intern at Vrbo and I to socialise with the other placement students, however there were still quite a few socials that were a great way to get to know them.
Within the brand, there was a fairly good social scene, my team would regularly go for pub lunches together and sometimes get drinks after work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
London isn't a cheap place to live, but I was able to find a flatmate who had advertised on SpareRoom fairly easily and the rent was manageable. You can definitely socialise on a budget in London if you don't always stick to the centre.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Victoria itself has some good bars and pubs but is quite expensive. The centre of London is always expensive for drinks so that's not really a surprise!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
In my experience, while there are some activities that go on outside work, it's usually as a result of meeting and organising things with your colleagues.