1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed it, Gogarburn is a really good place to work, especially the technology department. Everyone is very relaxed and I never felt too stressed. I was fortunate in that the work I did tied in well to my own degree and interests.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Everyone was really nice, I took part in a lot of team meetings and discussions and had a lot of fun with good chats. A lot of the time I didn't really know what people on my team were actually up to but I had my own things to be getting on with so it didn't particularly bother me.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Had weekly 121 sessions, was a good balance of support but also being able to progress by myself and learn things as I went. I found the grads in my team especially valuable for guidance regarding more basic things about the internship.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Hugely variable. Some days I'd be overrun with tasks and meetings and others I found myself more bored. I think that's fairly standard though, many people in my team said the work ebbs and flows. I was never too stressed by the amount of work, I quite liked having lots to be getting on with. Even when it was quieter, I always had some small things to be getting on with.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
More than expected but still not a huge amount. Being in a team within a team within a team means nothing I did was a huge responsibility but I still developed some resources for my team to use and did some work on user journeys and testing that was definitely directly applicable to customers. So I was happy with the amount of responsibility I was given.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Loads! I got to use so much software/sites I'd never before heard of that I will definitely use in my final year at university. I also completed some training qualifications in IBM Watson that can go on my CV. Again, I was really fortunate in that the team I was in was directly applicable to my studies. And that's not to mention the basic 'soft skills' of working in an office environment, commuting to work and general adulting.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Really good. Very relaxed, which I think is the most important thing. No one was breathing down your neck (unlike in various bar jobs I've done) and there was a good mixture of chat and work. Just a very chill place to be, I never once felt stressed.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Could be better if I'm honest. I was fortunate in that my line manager knew I was coming and had prepared work for me, but I heard from other interns that they had no idea what they were doing or where they were meant to be. Seems to be a large disconnect between the Early Careers team and line managers.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I feel like a lot of my development came from myself and my team rather than the company as a whole but I did have a bit at the beginning with our induction days and then with our CSR challenge. But mostly I developed as the internship went along through my own work and learning.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I really liked Gogarburn and the team I was placed in, and I found the work I completed very engaging. It actually reshaped what I want to do with my career - I'm a lot more interested in technology UI/UX than I ever was beforehand. So I would definitely consider it as long as I was within a sector that interests me.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
All the interns ate lunch together every single day and they were out in Edinburgh just about every single night. I usually couldn't join in as I commute from another town but I was able to make a few events. The Grad Council also held some decent events which I went to. So overall, very good socially.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I don't live there but as far as I'm aware Edinburgh is extortionate compared to my town, especially during the Fringe. The interns from London would say otherwise, but if you're in Scotland, Edinburgh is by far the most expensive place, both for rent and socialising. This is made even worse during the Fringe.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Decent but again, I couldn't really go out. I'm also studying in Glasgow so Edinburgh is rubbish in comparison anyway.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Within the intern group, there were people going out every night and every weekend. I also had a team night out.