I found the whole of the placement year to be very enjoyable. It provided great opportunities to gain practical work experience whilst also improving my understanding of business management and finance in a real world setting. HP offered a great platform for all of us and I wish I could do the whole year again.
The team around were always really supportive when they could be and as a group of placement students we were all very close for the entire year. Sometimes you are sat by yourself and it does feel a bit isolated however the whole office community is really positive and it feels like the work you do does really matter.
The management teams provided lots of training sessions over the first couple of months and this was coupled with on the job training by our direct manager and team. The only issue I found was that sometimes senior team members would not be in the office or reachable by phone which made getting support sometimes difficult.
Some days were busier than others. Sometimes it would be non-stop forecasting and business meetings which could take up most of the day. However other times it was more relaxed and the structure was less fixed so you could get on with what you needed to do in your own time. There were times I didn't have much to do but it was easy to speak with a manager and they would find new things for me to do.
I didn't know what to expect going in however I felt like the work I was completing was really important and this goes with the amount of responsibility we were all given as interns. We weren't just left on the sidelines but encouraged to get involved as much as possible and manage projects which we were sometimes entirely responsible for.
The general understanding of how a corporate environment operates and the practical application of business strategies and topics will really help with my final year at University. I believe HP did a really good job at helping me to learn and develop new business skills. I feel I have learned things over the past year that were not covered in my degree meaning I have more options for the future.
The office was positive. You would always see many friendly faces and everybody would be happy to have a friendly conversation. At times I was sat by myself because we were separated from a lot of the other interns and in the hot desks. So sometimes it was very quiet or you didn't know many people also on the hot desks.
The placement internship was managed well and we were always given lots of information about what to expect. There was a clear structure throughout the year from the welcoming at the very start through to different review periods. One thing was that it started just before Summer and then a lot of people on my team were on annual leave for a lot of the summer so the time when I needed the most support, there was not as much coverage as other times in the year.
There was a lot of training at the start which helped me to get to grips with the job and the company. They set expectations early on and provided me with a supportive environment that meant I never felt stupid when asking questions even if sometimes it was just me missing the obvious. The whole year was centred around skill development .
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
I would be really happy to return to HP. I don't think there will be any opportunity within the same area of the business as I've worked on for the past year as the graduates were joining in different areas however it is something I would really want to pursue if available.
At the start we all stayed in the same accommodation blocks which made the whole thing feel like starting at University again. It made making friends really easy. Reading is not the biggest city for nightlife however over the year we did have lots of fun and made some really great memories.
Living costs were a lot more expensive than I was used to from back home. Living costs such as rent and food would take out a big portion of the salary however it was a lot cheaper than other people I know who moved to London. There was plenty of affordable things to do.
Reading is not huge for nightlife, there are a few good clubs and a few bars that were good however there was not as much choice as I would have liked. Places were a lot busier during term time when there were a lot of students around the city and during holiday periods it did get a lot quieter.
Our team was quite small and spread out so we didn't go out for out of work activities as much as I know some of the others got to. However with the other placement interns we had lots to do outside of work from social activities like trampolining or the cinema to volunteering. Over the year we did a lot of fundraising which gave us lots of opportunities to do different things for charity.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Administration/Secretarial, Business Management, Customer Service, Financial Management, Logistics and Operations, Sales
11th September 2019
£18,000 - £19,999