To create and support applications which support the business
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement. I've had a fantastic year and I have learnt a lot. The working environment is excellent, the offices are comfortable and modern, the site is idyllic. There is a nice atmosphere on the site and the facilities are superb. I can honestly say this placement has redefinied what I class as work enjoyment and fulfillment.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I cannot recall a moment where I wasn't treated with the upmost respect by my colleagues. I was absolutely treated as an equal as I have seen the other students treated likewise. I'm encoruaged to be confident and fully participate in meetings. I was made to feel like my contributions were welcomed and appreciated.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
When I first started I was given some support and guidance in a hands on way but quickly that ended and I was left to manage my work as I saw fit. The level of autonomy I was given surprised me but I felt it brought the best out of me. I was trusted to progress my projetcs independently wherever possible, and if I did ask for help it was becuase I had tried my best to solve the problem myself. Having said that, the other developers were always happy to lend a hand and had a great deal of patience with me when I was struggling.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was always busy, rarely rushed. As I managed my projects independently I decided my workload, but I was held accountable for my results. This meant that to achieve those results I had to work hard and persevere when there was difficulties. I found this to be a great motivator for me - I was working hard not for the sake of it but rather to progress my projects towards a valuable end goal.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility on my placement. I was the owner of an important web application that was essential to a part of the business. I was the first contact when the system needed changes or had a bug to fix. I would action these items personally and lead meetings with the clients. This was demonstrated as well by making two work trips to Barcelona to visit the clients for the application. These trips felt important and worth while.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The work on my placement turned out to be a differtent skill to the one I was studying. The placement involves primarily programming which we dont do much of on my degree course. However, I now understand the importance of programming in so many jobs. These skills will definielty help me in my career. I would say in fact that they will define my career, and I wouldn't be able to have the career I will have without them.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There is an excellent atmosphere in the office. The team that I worked in achieve a healthy balance of being friendly and approachable but also highly professional. There is a feeling that people want me to be here rather than being forced. You rarely hear people complain about their work but often hear people enthuse about their projects.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was well organised. From the moment I applied there was regular contact and I was never waiting long to hear back. There is a familirisation day a few months before I started which I thought was agreat idea and really helped me settle. Once I did start the process was easy as my laptop was alrady set up. We also had an individual meeting with everyone in the department which I thought was a great way to get to know everyone.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There wasn't many training courses as such, my development was often self-led. I was given access to a website called Pluralsight which is an excellent resouce for technology training. In terms of my personal development the company provides me with plenty of opportunity to learn on the job, arranging and leading meetings and giving presentations. In terms of investment in me the two work trips to Barcelona were a pretty major investment.
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?
I would love to work for this company. They truly value and invest in their employees and the site is fabulous. There aren't any jobs available at the moment but they've asked me to keep a look out and I certainly will. A lot of current employees are former interns so it shows its possible.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was. There was a group chat where plans were made. I attended some of them early on but Im quite a bit older than the other students so my lifes a bit different. I was invited though and when I did go I felt welcome. There is a lot of students here so it should be good for socialising.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I continued to live at home withe my partner and our son. Derby isn't particularly expensive or cheap I wouldn't say. Some of the other students found houses together and there is a lot of reasobaly priced student accomodation in Derby. The finances should be reasonably easy to manage if you're careful.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Derby has a decent night life. I quite like it as it's not too big and not too small. There are plenty of bars and resturants to choose from as well a few nigthclubs. Students should find plenty to do whilst they're here. I've lived in Derby all my life so I've been everywhere before.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There is a sports and social club, they provide most of the opportunities. There's plenty of them and a good range of type. They are subsidised as well and become very reasonably priced. I was also part of a group that went running. So we would run around the local countryside at lunch and there was also runs arranged in the evening some times.