I enjoyed my work placement with Prysmian Group a lot.
The staff were extremely friendly and welcoming and it was nice that there were students in other departments that started their placement at the same time as me.
I am extremely happy that I did my placement here and I don't think I could have found anywhere better to experience my first full time job in accounting.
I felt very valued by my colleagues, they made it clear that they appreciated my efforts and contributions and I felt like they trusted me to help out with important tasks on a regular basis. I was also able to give my opinions and ideas in meetings without worry.
I was treated like a full time employee and was never expected to make cups of coffee for my colleagues unless I offered.
My manager was extremely friendly and helpful and gave me constant guidance and support throughout the length of my placement.
He maintained an environment where we acted as a team and I was extremely appreciative of this, as I genuinely felt like a valued employee. My manager gave me the opportunity to sit with him and go through more complex tasks which allowed me to have an insight into his role.
If I had any issues he would make an effort to sit down and help me resolve them and always answered any questions I had, no matter how silly or insignificant they may have been.
I had specific daily/monthly/yearly tasks to complete as part of my role, however during the beginning of my placement, I found there were a couple of times within the month that I did not have a lot to do and I would be free.
I was given the opportunity to take on more responsibility and help out others with their tasks, as well as to develop monthly processes to be more effective/efficient, or even develop some of my own in other circumstances.
I was given a lot of responsibility for my role which was beneficial to me as it gave me a valuable skills and knowledge which will help me greatly for my next full time role after I graduate from university.
I was able to help colleagues from various departments with important tasks as well as completing my own, and it allowed me to use my initiative and find ways of solving problems or queries that were unfamiliar to me. I was also responsible for vital tasks that would impact various colleagues.
I am happy that I had the opportunity to take on as much responsibility as I felt like I could handle as it made me feel like a valuable member of the team.
The skills I have developed and training I have received will help me greatly in my final year of my degree and beyond that.
I have obtained a wide range of valuable excel skills and the ability to use complex formulas, as well as experience using SAP.
I have also discovered how the theory I have learnt at university can be applied in a real life business environment, and my confidence has improved greatly.
There was a nice atmosphere in my office which meant I felt like I could approach anyone. Everyone was really friendly and willing to help you if you needed it.
It was very relaxed and the office has quite an open layout which meant that it was easy to talk to other colleagues. Everyone got along well which was nice too.
The work placement was set up very well. They have a designated member of staff who organises the placement students from each department and organises interviews, assessment days and induction days.
There was a good amount of communication from the day I was offered the job, up to the start of the placement and even near the end, and it was easy to get in touch with the person organising the placement throughout the year if we had any questions or queries.
This role has a set list of responsibilities and monthly tasks and there is a designated "handover period" which the previous students to ensure that you are ready to tackle the job on your own by the time the previous student leaves the company.
There are specific online courses that employees are required to complete at certain periods throughout the year, which contain beneficial information and training to help employees to improve their awareness of issues such as data protection and cyber security.
The "handover period" is useful as keeping the previous student on during your first month means you can go over the monthly tasks and ask questions to ensure you understand the tasks and why you are completing them.
I would love to go back to Prysmian Group after I graduate, however there are not any roles available for graduates in the Finance department at the moment.
If a role was to become available I would be interested in applying for it as I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement year.
When we started our placement, the previous students organised a night out for the old and new students at Prysmian Group which was a lot of fun.
Throughout the year, our group didn't meet up as much as previous students have, however we did sit together at lunch and go out for lunch to celebrate birthdays or to say goodbye at the end of some of their placements.
We also organised a night out for our year and our new students before we left the company.
I did not live in the area, however the cost of living wasn't completely unreasonable.
The cost of socialising wasn't cheap but I also wouldn't consider it ridiculously expensive as it depends where you socialised as to how expensive it became.
The restaurants in Eastleigh were reasonable, however the clubs in Southampton were a bit more expensive if we didn't go out on a "Student night".
There wasn't any nightlife I was aware of in Eastleigh, however the nightlife in Southampton was very good.
When we went out on a night out with the previous students at the beginning of the placement, it was a lot of fun as we went out as a big group and there are a lot of places to go in close proximity to each other in Southampton.
There wasn't really any opportunities to get involved with activities outside of work which is a shame.
Some people would go and play football, however this did not appeal to me.
It would be good if there were more activities to get involved in such as badminton outside of work.