Software development intern - as well as learning new technologies, responsibilities are similar (although smaller in extent) to those of a regular employee.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed it a lot - I found that the office environment was very friendly and inclusive, but also that the company really valued hard work. The atmosphere was very motivational and you could work well without ever feeling stressed out. The staff were also supportive and I always felt that I could ask them for advice when I needed it.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was working on real live code for the second half of the internship, and it was very satisfying to see my work being used by the clients. While the company maintains high standards of code quality, I felt that I was being encouraged to achieve more rather than being belittled for underachieving whenever I made mistakes.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
A few of the tasks on which I was working were open-ended and unstructured, but this reflects the working environment: you're often told that a bug exists and have to find it yourself without anybody holding your hand, and I think that this kind of work is good at enhancing your programming skills.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It varies - while I had a reasonable amount of work for the majority of the internship, there were also a couple of times (between tasks) where I was waiting for the next task. Overall, though, this didn't have a huge effect on my experience of the internship as a whole.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The first half of the internship was spent on learning the various skills and technologies needed, and so naturally there was little responsibility placed on us during this time. However, after this I was working on a live codebase for a real client, and having my features and fixes implemented directly into their system, which was a very rewarding experience.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
While the skills learned are not relevant for my degree, I think that they will be invaluable for my future working life. I started the placement knowing nothing about web development and came out (even after a couple of weeks) with a general knowledge of the development stack and how web applications are built.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was always positive and fun, and I always felt as if I was a part of it. Though it was relaxed, this never impeded the quality of work produced - if anything, the fact that I was calm and relaxed meant that I could better focus on my work.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The first half of the internship was incredibly well-put-together and thought-through - teaching so much in such a short timeframe is difficult, but the company did it very well. There was less rigidity to the organisation of my time when I entered a real project, though, and this sometimes lead to me running out of tasks temporarily. However, I wouldn't say that this was a huge deal.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company seemed to really care about training me well and ensuring that I was learning as efficiently as I could have been. We had multiple talks from various members of staff as well as partaking in myriad exercises (designed and built by the company itself) in order to learn. I don't see how they could have done more in this department.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
During my internship, I have gained a good grasp of how the company operates on a day-to-day basis and of what a future job with them would look like. Personally, I felt that the combination of a relaxed working environment and a persistent drive to create great products makes for a very alluring job proposal.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I was given contact details for the other interns before the internship started, which meant that we could meet up before our first day. This made it a lot easier to become accustomed to office life at the company. In addition, the other interns were all great people and I got along with them really well!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was able to sort out my own accommodation for the internship and so I can't say much about the costs of the accommodation supplied by the company. Many of the company's social events were either completely free or heavily subsidized, which made it a lot easier to enjoy them while I was working.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I don't really go out to clubs etc. so I can't comment.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Bristol is a great place to get involved with almost any kind of activity or hobby.