1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed this internship. It was a really good working environment and the team made sure that I always had things to do and that I could learn a lot from the experience. I got involved in actual client work, and I found the work I was doing very interesting.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Much of the team were very welcoming throughout the internship. We were invited out with the team for drinks and made to feel a part of the team. They appreciated the work we did to help them out, and were happy to take as much time as necessary to make sure we understood what we were doing.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
There was a lot of support given from my line manager as well as my buddy, but also by all members of the team. We had training at the start of the internship, on excel and on more technical aspects. Whenever I asked to meet my manager for help on a task we had been set, he was happy to do so and spent a lot of time with me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were no days where I felt I was overworked or had too much going on, but there were some days where I felt I didn't have enough to do. However, the team did try to keep me as busy as possible and suggested other things to do, such as reading reports, if I didnt have any work.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I feel I was given the right level of responsibility- once tasks had been explained, I was left to myself to do them (but I could ask for help if I needed to). Given the nature of the work, I don't think any individual has a huge amount of responsibility as everything is checked by others.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I don't think this will help me in my degree studies, as this was an internship in actuarial consulting and I am studying economics. However, it was definitely useful to determine whether I enjoyed this career and also in gaining skills relevant to it and to the workplace in general.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was just right for me- everyone got on with their work but would be happy to stop and help you and were also up for a laugh. The team was young, which made it more lively, and everyone was very friendly. We went down for coffee together and often had lunch together.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The team themselves organised the internship well: they had work set out for us and had training sessions set up. The Graduate team were also well organised, with a few days of training and training every Tuesday lunctime. However, I don't think the transistion from the Graduate team training to the actual work was very smooth and no one seemed completely sure what was going on.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
They definitely did invest in us. At the start, we had three days of training organised by the firm with the rest of the interns, in soft skills and on the insurance sector in general. We also had Tuesday Lunch and Learns. Moreover, the team did a lot to help us with training sessions and also always explaining all the tasks we were doing in as much detail as we wanted and being on hand for constant help.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am only in first year, so will not be offered a job this year, but may be offered another internship for next year. We were told around 70% of interns get offered a job. Most of my team is young and there is a strong graduate programme which most of them are or were on.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There is: on our training, we stayed in Chelmsford together and most people stayed out that night. We also had drinks organised on the penultimate Friday of our internship by Aon. There were three interns in my team and we went out a few times, and other interns did the same, but mainly we went out with our team as a whole.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The office is based in London so it's pretty expensive. I lived at home so didn't have to worry about living costs, but I did spend £10 a day commuting. Socialising was also pretty expensive, but when we went out our team often paid for us and we got paid a fair amount anyway so it didn't matter.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
We were in the City, with lots of other insurance firms etc, and so there was a good nightlife with lots of pubs and bars so there was always lots to do after work. London offers pretty much everything, although it is quite expensive so that is quite a drawback of being so central.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were enough opportunities for me, as we went for drinks about every two weeks with the team as a whole. I know that other teams did more, such as rounders and football, so perhaps my team could have done more but this is not something that would have overly interested me.