Evaluate Pilot Programmes and get feedback from Charities involved and write up a Report for the Trustees.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I was placed in Halifax Foundation - I thoroughly enjoyed it, the team were very welcoming and supportive. The manager took time to get to know me and worked me at a level she felt I could mange. She made me feel valued and I gained many skills whilst in placement here.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Colleagues treated me as part of the team, they were helpful, supportive and asked my opinion regularly. I was involved in team meetings and also in team decsions and discussions.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My managers words were 'my door is always open'. She was very approachable, kind and helpful. Guidance was limited, I appreciate this was to try to get the best out of me. She explained she knew i could get on with things, so she gave me limited guidance but was available to support at any time. I would have approached her with ease if required.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
At times under slight pressure, however it was always manageable. I think because i am a mature student I benefitted from having experience of prioritising things and adapting to office needs.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I feel I was given full responsibility to get on with my tasks.Ii was allowed to go and visit charities unacompanied which allowed me to feel valued and respected to represent the Foundation. I felt trusted and part of the team and fitted in well.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I am studying for Social Work - at first I had no idea how Lloyds would give me transferable skills, however, being with the Foundation has given me knowledge and ability to learn about charitable organisations throughout the province. This knowledge of what is available and what they do will be invaluable in working with service users. I also relearned Excel skills and will find this useful for studying and managing case loads in future jobs. I also learned the skills of Grant Officers and enjoy the job, so who knows if I will work in Social Work or Grants Officer with the Foundation in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office atmosphere was a mixture of professional working environment with a supportive team, alongside jokes and general chit chat. Each day everyone would ask how things were with each other and because it was a small team, their knowledge of each others personal lives was obvious. Advice, support and empathy were avialable professionally and personally.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My work load was well organised and planned. It was adapted to ensure I was able to complete a full project and have a piece of work to show at the end of my placement. The Foundation were informed about having to find new premises which my manager felt affected her ability to support me - I did not feel this. I felt fully included and involved in all areas of work. Work was always avaialble as I do not like to get bored, I had a main project to focus on but also given other tasks thorughout my term to break the monotony of same things each day. I thoroughly enjoyed all the work I did
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Staff and management went out of their way to ensure i worked at a level where i was pushed but not pressurised. My manager quickly realised my potential, matched it with my experience and did all she could to get the best out of me.
My manager also went out of her way to arrange a half day for other scholars in the area to come to our offices to learn more about the Foundation and meet one of the charities who have benefited from them. I feel she goes above and beyond what is expected of her.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I had applied for the Scholarship initially for the financial support. Now i fully understand the whole experience and the absolute value of the placement. I attended the induction event in London, and learned so much more is avialable under the graduate route, that LLoyds is not just about sitting in a bank!
My manager has said that she would gladly offer me a post if it was avialable. A year ago I would never have contemplated working for a banking group, now It is most definitely something I would consider.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The fellow scholars were not sociable nor supportive or welcoming. This may be because I was working in a different building form the other team members, however, when we did meet up for the charity challenge, the atmosphere was hostile and other meetings were arranged separately. I do not feel this was personal to me as others in the same 'team' were also excluded. 5 members who worked on the same floor worked well together and arranged an outing for just them. Perhaps more could be done to ensure Scholars join together and respect each other to build a team atmosphere.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was living nearby my placement so the only extra costs I incurred was for travel to and from work. Working in Belfast City Centre can be expensive to buy lunches, drinks etc, however I overcome this by making lunch and bringing it into work. Kitchen facilities and a microwave were avialble also to help encourage bringing your own lunch in.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife in Belfast is varied and exciting, there is something for everyone. On placement I did not participate or have the opportunity to partake in the nightlife. Again i feel this is due to living nearby my placement and not having a change in my environment or routine. Someone who does not live nearby may be more interested in this.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Again because I was placed nearby to my home and I have friends and family closeby I was not involved in any activiites outside of work.
For the charity challenge we were out of work and did a bag pack/collection in the Tesco Metro centre In Belfast, 4 of the team of 9 participate in this event and enjoyed it.