Worked as an analyst in a CRM team, analysing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
This internship programme is a lot of fun. It's really well put together and it was rewarding as I was given very real work from the beginning which if not done by my me would have been done by a full time analyst. There's a real community feel among the interns (40 of us split between Staines and Windsor) and living together makes it very sociable
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
In my end of placement review my line manager laid out how I had added a lot of value to the team. My main project had stakeholders across a number of teams all of whom were very interested in the work I had done. Ultimately the outcomes from my project will inform future campaigns run by the business, so I can see already the impact of my work
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was very busy a lot of the time, but made time for me most weeks to check on how I was getting on and talk holistically about the placement. I ended up having a 'mentor' of sorts who was a member of the team I could ask for help throughout the day, which was essential when I first started learning how to code in SQL
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Very busy. From talking to other interns this varied a lot by team. My project took a lot of my time, and as is often the case with data analysis there is always more analysis you can do. It was a case of prioritising and then getting as much done as I could. I had 3 projects, all following on nicely from each other meaning I did not have a single bored day until my final week when things started wrapping up.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was very aware that the pieces of work I had been tasked with completing were key for my team to deliver. Had I not been working on them, a full time analyst would have instead. I was therefore given a great deal of responsibility and had a real impact on the business.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The technical skills I have developed (SQL programming) will serve me well for the future. I have decided as a result of my time at Centrica that I want to pursue a career that involves data and analysis. My experience here will make me stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for graduate schemes, or for the grad scheme here.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It was a professional office, but such a nice environment. I got on extremely well with my team and other people sitting around me. The office is hotdesking so you end up sitting next to different people over the 10 weeks and get to see what other teams are working on. The Staines office where I was based was refurbed in the last couple years and the interior is very nice and fresh. There's loads of collaborative spaces where you can sit down and have a catch-up with people.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My internship was seamless. All my projects built up my skills at a perfect pace, so that by the time I got to my 3rd and main project I had had the necessary exposure to how campaigns were run and the introduction to coding to allow me to complete it. You can honestly tell that the company really values interns, and we were well looked after.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I learnt a lot from my internship and developed my skillset hugely. I had some introductory coding lessons from a member of my team, but a lot of it was a case of learning on the job. That bein said, I had my mentor sitting close to me who I could bug with many questions about coding. Also when she went away on holiday, another team member filled that gap, happy to pause what she was doing at any point to help me, I have been extremely grateful to both of them.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The grad scheme here is very well organised and exiting. You can tell that they value it very highly and it is well run. That being said, there are wider problems with the company at the moment. The share price is at a 21 year low and while we were here there had been a restructuring and redundancies which wasn't the most pleasant thing to be a part of as you can imagine. I think especially as a young professional, I would ultimately prefer to be at a company that is growing. That being said, my career development here would be great during the grad scheme and I do have a view to do the graduate scheme here.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As we all lived together at Royal Holloway (provided for free), there were loads of opportunities to socialise. I got on really well with my flatmates, who they purposefully put together as a mix across streams to introduce you to a variety of people. We didn't make as much use of living together as we probably should have, but still we played football a couple of times, went to the pub every Tuesday night, and had some big nights out in the last week
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Quite high. As an indicator: the local pub was £4 a pint (Amstel) but did 2 for 1 on Tuesdays and discounts on Thursdays. I ate lunch in the canteen every day, which was subsidised so it wasn't too expensive. Going in to London on the train wasn't cheap, being outside zone 6 (London travel zones) doesn't help.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I'm not big on clubbing, and as I live 30 mins away I went home each weekend. We had a lot of fun nights at the pub, and in our last week I went to Windsor with a big group for drinks. Some interns went to a club in Windsor called Atik, but I didn't hear good things about it.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was a company football team, but I didn't get involved in that. Instead a group of us at Royal Holloway played football on campus a couple of times which was a lot of fun and a good way to get to know each other a bit better. Nothing with my team though.