1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The placement started off well with team bonding and an induction week with the other interns. In the first few weeks I was given work and objectives but I completed these quickly. I did ask for more work and was given some but it wasn't enough. I was quite bored during my placement and didn't really feel like part of the team. I didn't really use my degree at all. I know other interns had different experiences but for the last half felt quite pointless. The best part of the placement was the social side with the other interns.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My manager gave me good feedback and my buddy was really helpful and also gave me a lot of feedback. In general my part of the office was really quiet and no one really talked to me. I didn't feel part of the team, I think other interns had different experiences but for me it wasn't great.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a buddy who helped me with my objectives. I was given help whenever I asked for it. My buddy set up meetings with other people in my department if he thought that they could help me. I saw my line manager every now and then and we had occasional meetings.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was not busy at all. I often had days when I was just passing time. I asked for more work but I don't think I was given enough, they kept saying they would give me general tasks to fill the time but I only got about 3 of these (each took less than a day to complete). The small amount of work I was given towards the end was boring.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had the responsibility of managing my own time but none of the projects I had seemed to be that important so they didn't really give me deadlines. For some of the projects no one really checked up on them and sometimes I would submit some work I had done and be told that they would get back to me with the next step and then they never would. So I was responsible for myself but none of the tasks I was given were important so I didn't feel a great sense of responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I didn't really use much of the stuff I had learnt at University in the job. Mostly I just filled in spread sheets and did a few flow charts. I did have two objectives that helped improve my understanding and I think I will use those at University. I definitely feel like they could offer more training or courses.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The people in my office were friendly and I felt I could ask anyone for help but no one really talked to me. I think it was because of where I sat and because my team were busy so they didn't really have time to chat. It made the placement quite boring but I did go and see the other interns quite a lot.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The timings of the induction week could have been refined so that we were always doing something and not just waiting. The IT took a long time to set up. The early careers team were quite good at organising meetings and giving us information. The team bonding was well organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We got sent on a Matlab training course.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I wouldn't want to return in case I was in the same situation again. I don't want to be put in a team that doesn't give me enough work and then I end up bored. The company also seems quite resistant to allowing you to change department and they have got rid of rotational placements on the grad scheme.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a really good social scene, we did something every weekend. We went on nights out, went to the cinema, had meals out etc. The first week something is organised for every day so you get to know each other really quickly. The best thing about the placement was the other interns. I would recommend living with other interns if you can.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Barrow is really cheap, especially compared to London. The taxis are super cheap, there were no entry fees for clubs and the cinema is less than a fiver. My rent was about £90 a week and there is an Aldi so you can definitely live on a budget if you need to.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Barrow is quite quiet but there are a few small clubs. The music is never very good and there aren't that many young people but if you go with a good group of people you'll have a good night. If you like pubs there are plenty of pubs to go to.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were quite a few different activities organised by different people in the company. There were meals out, go karting and football organised by different departments. I didn't go to all of them but the interns who did really enjoyed them. There could be a bigger variety of activities on offer.