I had an absolutely fantastic time on my placement year. I was given a lot of responsibility and I was also provided with numerous opportunities to develop my skillset. My team were extremely supportive and friendly. The work was varied, challenging and exciting. I was also able to do some International traveling which was fun. Now looking back, I can see a major improvement in my personal and professional development since starting my placement.
Although I was an "intern", I was never really treated like one as I often felt like a permanent member of staff (this was a very positive thing). My colleagues, regardless of whether or not they were in my team, would always treat me like a valuable and valid member. The culture at Computacenter is very people-orientated and this definitely shows across the organisation.
My managers, supervisors and team members were all very supportive from the beginning to the end. If I had any questions or needed someone to double-check my work, they would always be happy to help me out. I also had regular catch up meetings with my line manager to ensure that I was getting the most out of my placement.
I was relatively busy on most days however, this was dependent on the specific projects I was working on at the time. Sometimes, I would have a smaller workload which meant I had to take my initiative and start other tasks or ask to help others. Generally, it was busy which made it enjoyable and prevented boredom. Since I had a little bit of free time, it meant I could use that time to attend workshops and training sessions outside of my daily role - which was highly beneficial.
From week one, I was given a huge amount of responsibility. I was in charge of driving the Diversity and Inclusion initiative at Computacenter alongside another placement student. I was actively involved in formulating whole-company communications plans, writing and editing company content e.g. emails (being sent out to 15,000 employees), press releases, news stories and social media posts. I was awarded with a Silver Excellence in Action award, a prestigious company award that is approved by a board of senior management and comes with a £70 voucher. I was given a high amount of responsibility but this was all very rewarding.
My role enabled me to enhance a number of my skills such as, attention to detail and time management. I believe this will be highly beneficial for when I return to university as this will assist me with producing accurate work and ensuring it is completed on time. I also attended various training sessions and workshops e.g. presentation skills and cultural awareness which has helped with my personal development.
I was based in the head office in Hatfield and the atmosphere was amazing! All my colleagues were very friendly and we all got along extremely well. We would all socialise and have a laugh together regardless of whether people were in my direct or indirect team. I also spent the year sitting next to another placement student which made it even more enjoyable. My colleagues truly felt like family and the office banter really contributed to my fantastic experience.
Overall, the placement was organised pretty well. Even during the interview, I was asked what I wanted from the placement and I mentioned my interest in external marketing, This meant that before I started, they had planned different projects that I could be involved in. However saying this, all of my work wasn't planned out beforehand which was actually a good thing. This meant that I had flexibility to do a rotation of my choice and shape my placement as I went along, rather than following a rigid structure.
The company definitely invests in your development, whether you are an intern or permanent member of staff. The FreshMinds community is a platform that enables the future talent of the company to come together and develop. This provided me with the chance to attend training sessions for personal effectiveness. Not only are there opportunities to develop extra skills outside your daily role but there is also training that is directly related e.g. Microsoft Excel or SharePoint training.
Working from home
Computacenter is a great company that I have thoroughly enjoyed working for, therefore, would love to return to. There are a few different graduate schemes but these won't necessarily appeal to everyone. Currently, there is no graduate marketing role but this doesn't mean that there won't be one in the future.
I lived in Hatfield with 3 other placement students and this was a lot of fun. We would often do things after work and we also organised off-site lunches with the other placement students. Since there were 19 of us with some based in London, Hatfield or even Milton Keynes, it meant that it was difficult to meet up when everyone was free which was understandable. I have made some fantastic friends this year and we have plans to meet up even after placement.
The cost of living and socialising was relatively cheap since I lived in Hatfield which is the outskirts of London. This meant that me and the other placement students often walked to work in the summer months and the rent was pretty average for the area. There is a wetherspoons nearby along with an Aldi which is cheap.
The nightlife is pretty decent as there is a student's union at Hertfordshire University. St Albans is only 10 minutes away and they have quite a few bars and clubs. Hatfield is also very close to London so you could easily access trains and go out which is what we often did.
Yes - there were quite a few charity events throughout the year, either after work or on the weekends. There are also opportunities to do volunteer work as part of the schools outreach programme. This means you can visit the local schools and talk about employability to increase the interest in STEM subjects.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
East of England