1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I massively enjoyed the internship. I first came in with an imposter syndrome, fearing that I might not fit or be too much behind compared to everyone else. However, everyone, from fellow interns to senior colleagues, were super helpful, welcoming and patient. Asking anyone for help gets you a very long way.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Every colleague was incredibly friendly and welcoming from day 1. I was never treated as the 'intern'. I cannot stress how much more confident I became in my technical abilities just by having them always answering my questions and valuing my contributions to the team. I could not be more grateful.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My direct manager and his director were super supportive from day 1. They were very interesting and well-rounded individual in terms of their technical and non-technical experience. That helped them guide me through all sorts of problems, technical or not. Moreover, the fact that they were willing to take time out of their daily tasks to help with whatever questions I had meant a lot to me.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Fairly busy. Not stressed busy, and not completely free. There was a perfect balance. Even if there were days where I wouldn't have as much to do, I would immediately get some work to do from my manager or other team members. If not, there were plenty of things to learn about that I could use this time for.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was responsible on delivering a POC that, if realised, will later be used by thousands of other colleagues. I was very excited to work on that from the get-go, just for the opportunity that it will be used by others. This, more than anything else, provided me with the biggest sense of fulfilment.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The main change is with how I approach problems. One thing that definitely changed is my sense of entitlement to knowledge. What I mean by that is to not be scared to pursue information that might seem esoteric for those who're not experts in it. Instead of leaving it for the 'specialists', I can read more about it and start to break it down.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Super friendly and relaxed. There's a ping-pong table for whenever I needed a break; also a Fussball table!
The canteen had a wonderful view from the top, so you can just have your breakfast or lunch with a wonderful view of Sussex. There were also quiet a few restaurants in the area if I liked to eat outside.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement goals were clear, although flexible, from the beginning. I knew what I wanted to deliver and if I ever wanted it, I could aways go beyond my set project. This mixture of clear goals with flexibility allowed me to be creative when thinking of solutions to problems and provided me with a relaxed and a challenging experience overall.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Plenty. From ensuring we were doing okay outside/inside work from the weekly catchups to my managers looking after my technical development with more frequent feedback sessions, the company have definitely invested heavily in myself and others.
At an external work event, I managed to get injured playing in the park, the company paid for my transportation to and from the hospital, even though they didn't have to at all.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very appealing and competitive. The company is looking to expand more in various cities and locations, so there seems to be plenty of opportunities available for the future at very competitive salaries, which is very exciting. Apart from expansion plans, the company is looking to invest heavily in its tech base, which opens the door for more opportunities.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?