1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
As well as being well-structured and informative, I would say that one of the main strengths of working at Ghyston is the emphasis that is placed on ensuring that the office is a place you want to be - between the well-stocked 'chill-out' area (with both food and games) and the VERY frequent company social events, I would say the internship was very enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
We were well-valued by our colleagues - from the outset, we were included in all aspects of company business and discussion like any other employee. The company is tightly-knit enough that it is hard to feel like an outsider, as it is small enough that there everybody knows and bonds with each other.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I felt I was supported very well - throughout the well-organised training process, there were 2 software devs (between the 6 of us) who were on hand to help us with any problems. Throughout the rest of the internship, anyone and everyone was more than happy to help with any coding problems we faced, regardless of if they were working on the same stuff as us.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In general, the work we had occupied us very well - initially, we had an open-ended team-based project with a project manager, who helped to ensure we knew what we needed to do and were organised about it, so our time was very full. Towards the end, at times it felt I had somewhat run out of tasks to do, but this may have been more an unfortunate result of my previous task overrunning hence not having enough time to do any other particularly time-consuming work at the end.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The first month of the internship worked as more of a 'training month', in which the focus was on us learning the technologies and applying them to develop our skills. Whilst it was then aimed that we would each get the chance to work on client projects, I ended up spending nearly all my time on an internal project, followed by a few minor client taks - this was still a great learning experience, though I felt it could have been managed slightly better.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I felt very satisfied with the skills I picked up - being trained up in the full-stack of web dev, I feel much more confident with how my dev skills will fit into the professional world. However, at times it could feel like my work rarely deviated from working at my desk, and I would have appreciated the chance to potentially build upon skills other than purely coding (e.g. design, working with clients, etc.)
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Very positive - as mentioned before, there is a huge emphasis at Ghyston on creating a positive and fun work environment. As such, everyone would get on, and it seemed that almost every day there was a fun twist on the days goings-on (e.g. tea and cake for fortnightly meetings, 4 o'clock beers, lunch and learn (with pizza!)).
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very well-organised - I hugely appreciated that there was a well thought-out and well-supported training plan, with a well-sized training project in weeks 3 and 4. This was followed by the interns being split into different client-project teams, which began with a good amount of work relatively well planned-out, though towards the end it seemed that my team was struggling to find tasks for me.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The internship was as much a learning experience for us as it was a chance to train potential new recruits for the company - as such, I felt that we were trained up in a way that would prepare us well for working both at the company, and elsewhere in the industry.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Ghyston is clearly a company that truly cares about and values its employees. The people there really understand and respect a work-life balance, and allow you the freedom and responsibility to manage this yourself - as such, it is definitely the kind of work environment in which I feel anyone would want to work in in the future.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Indeed - as mentioned, the social scene was a clear emphasis on working at the company. Equally, there was a comparatively sizeable group of interns (6 of us in a ~35 person company) who bonded well, and a relatively young workforce. As such, it was very easy to get along with and chat to everyone at the company (that said, this was usually within company-based social events).
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Relatively good - Bristol is a relatively expensive city, though of course it is nothing compared to London. Rent can be fairly cheap if you find the right place, as can drinking and eating out, and there is almost always something fun and free to do or see every weekend.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Bristol has a great nightlife - it has a good balance of student-y and more local pubs and clubs, as well as several great venues for an eclectic mixture of live music from near and far.
Add to this Motion, ranked 17th best club in the world, and 6 Wetherspoons within a 1-mile radius of the office, it's easy to say that Ghyston has one of the best-placed offices in the UK for a night out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
100% - there was a considerable amount of money assigned purely to be used for out-of-work activities, which we were encouraged to suggest and organise, to ensure that we had ample opportunity to get involved with a variety of activities outside of the work environment. As well as this, the city itself provides a range of venues offering cultural, physical and creative activities to get involved in.