Summer Scheme Student for four weeks
The scheme was very well put together with many varied activities spread across the four week period. Activities such as the city tours and the departmental overviews were extremely useful, informative and a great addition to the placement. However, at times the activities were quite intense, such as the lunch with the fee-earners.
Some members of staff did much more to ensure this during the time, but I think this probably just comes down to peoples' personalities, their personal workload and what team you are put in. I found many members of my team really welcoming and keen to involve me on projects, yet other members of the team were quite ignorant and not bothered about your existence or the contribution you could make.
Being assigned a mentor and a key contact (usually the director of your team), you would assume you get a lot of support and guidance during the insight. However this really depends on the personal qualities of these people and how much they are willing to give. I feel these people are not held accountable for their duties and can get away with giving very little support or guidance to their placement student.
The programme gave a real insight into the real estate sector and every day occupations in this sector. It will be very helpful going forward. On the job experience is always useful for future studies and attending meetings allowed me to gain a good understanding of how communication occurs between various parties in the real estate sector.
Many activities were planned throughout the placement which were largely all very useful. Everything ran really smoothly and everyone was always in the right place at the right time. The activities were spread evenly with a good amount of attendees to make sure you got enough personal understanding but also time to mingle with other people on the scheme.
The atmosphere was good, it largely felt like you were working as part of the business. At times it was intense with the HR team making you feel like you were in a constant ongoing interview for a job the whole time rather than letting you enjoy the scheme and gain an insight into the sector.
There was no formal personal training or development as part of my experience. Members of my team showed me sector-specific skills to learn, but I was mainly doing low-level, research type of jobs for other colleagues. The scheme included departmental talks where we were able to learn more about other areas of the business but no skills were developed during this.
Having a month in the company, with most of the time spent working in a team alongside them on their day-to-day duties was the best way to help you understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or the firm. It was useful to spend time with many different people in the team from graduates to directors, to see how their roles differed.
I got a good understanding of the company culture over the month I got to spend with Savills. I think it is fair to say they have a very work-focussed culture, with working hours of 8:45 to 5:45 everyday, with most workers exceeding these daily hours and working until about 7pm. They also have a strong focus on social events.
The content of the day was very valuable in helping me decide on my future career path as it gave me a very detailed insight in what my life and career would look like if I decided to go into this sector and route in the specific part of the business I gained experience in.
I was paid adequately for the experience and was happy with the rate I received. I am aware that many work experience placements are voluntary, thus do not involve payment, so I was really grateful for this opportunity and to be paid for the work. It is a very fair rate that cannot be complained about.
There were many opportunities for networking and meeting other people on the summer scheme. There were two specific night events with alcohol and nibbles provided where you were able to get to know other members of the summer scheme. Unfortunately, there were a lot less opportunities to network with people who actually work full time at Savills. We were supposed to have an event where we could speak to graduates working at Savills at the moment, however only one graduate turned up for about 15 minutes so this was quite disappointing. We could have done with more opportunities to talk to people working in Savills.
These were well organised, like the other events across the summer scheme. We could have perhaps done with some food provisions at some of the drinking events after work as on two occasions we were finishing at about 6pm and then going for drinks. Many of us won't have got home until about half 8-9 on these nights so would have been good to have some more food put on for us.
We were told about various things that are put on slideshows and repeated as general examples of what people do outside of work. We never actually got to speak to any of the employees that had been involved in these activities to hear about these experiences which would have been nice.
I definitely would recommend this insight to a friend if they were really passionate about this line of work and were determined to go into this field, with an aspiration to work at Savills. If not, they may find this insight really intense and may feel overwhelmed by it all.