1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Loved the placement. Given a huge amount of responsibility. Managers very approachable. Always had something to do and the work given to me was always useful to the business. Never once was I given "filler" work to pass time. Never once felt like an intern, treated just like everyone else, this is something I feel is quite important.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Treated exactly like any other employee and given real work almost straight away. Routinely had feedback from colleagues acknowledging work. They would always come to me for questions, and for any quires that I could help with.
We also played a lot of sport during lunch times which I got to take part in.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Management at the company is really great. All managers are very approachable and make sure you are well looked after.
Given plenty of time to explore and learn our own interests whenever we want. If there was a course I wanted to buy, it was always reimbursed no questions asked.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Work load could vary, but there was always something to do. Even if there wasn't something to do. Due to the nature of the job, I would learn some new skills/research that would benefit me on the job.
I would have some work that I would do every week. Then dependent on how many projects I have would determine my work load the rest of the week.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A huge amount. I did many projects by myself which involved different stakeholders all around the business. This was also given quite soon as well.
Myself and another intern came up with a whole project ourselves which we bought to our managers and they approved and left us to do. This I think is a perfect example of management and the responsibility given to us.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I can't quite believe how much I have learnt this year. I learnt completely new skills and developed many existing.
I had a three day training course that was directly relevant to the work that I did.
The skills learnt although many not directly relevant to my course will no doubt prove useful as they are transferable. I have learnt python during my year, tableau and time series forecasting to name a few.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
As everyone in the company was so friendly it provided a great atmosphere. Illumina provides many events for employees to have fun.
Also, Illumina has just moved into a new building so the facilities and work environment is great. With the winter garden being a particular highlight as it provides an area for employees to have lunch together.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Organisation of the placement was really good. Every month we would have an intern event where we would do something fun/beneficial for developing skills. An example of an event was when we helped a charity for a day.
It was clear who we could go to if we had any questions about the placement as well. We were told all the information that is necessary before starting as well which was helpful.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had purchased courses of Udemy which were reimbursed. DataCamp as well, this one will be really useful while I'm back at university. A three day course on @Risk software as well.
Illumina certainly makes sure that you have the training and skills you need/want to help you get the most out of the year.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Would certainly like to work for the company again. It's was a really fun year, learnt so much and all the extras that came with the company. Including gym, holiday and healthcare is great to have.
The work given is exciting and was always pushing my current skill set, so was always learning.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene amongst the interns was good, we met up every week at the beginning and at least a couple of times a month by the end of the year. We would often have lunch together as well.
Social scene with colleagues was pretty good, Illumina provided lots of opportunities to get to know each other.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cambridge is expensive, cost of living is certainly on the upper end. Although I live here so I was lucky in the fact that I didn't need to worry about renting. I know it was difficult for some of the interns and costly. Otherwise everything else is probably fairly similar to other places.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife in Cambridge is okay. Don't expect it to be on the level of bigger cities. Also it will be expensive to get in clubs and to drink.
There are some great pubs in Cambridge, so it's worth exploring them and seeing what's around. Prices will be pretty similar in all of them.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Being in Granta Park, there were loads of tournaments. Volley ball, football, rounders and touch rugby. Also, we had our own squash league at the gym which was great fun, and a great way to meet others around the company.
The gym has classes throughout the week so there is always something to do there that is active.