1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall, I enjoyed my placement as I have learned a lot and I was able to experience how it feels to work in an office environment. The job was repetitive at times but I was able to get involved in extra activities like the Wellness Team. The major issue was the fact that my department was understaffed and it caused a lot of frustration among the team.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The team was extremely supportive and they always answered any of my questions. As a department, we hold events like Secret Santa or Christmas Fuddle. We also meet after work few times, for example, for Christmas Market. My department has hosted a placement student for few years now so they know how to work with them.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
On paper I only had one manager, however, the team leader supported me during my placement as well. They were trying to meet with me every Friday afternoon and even though it didn't always work out I still appreciate it and I know they both cared about my development. They both tried to give me interesting projects and made sure I don't have any personal problems, for example, with housing.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was really busy in the mornings and less busy in the afternoons. Throughout my placement, I can think of only one or two weeks when I didn't have anything else to do outside of my daily tasks. I liked the fact that every day I had something to do. The negative was the fact that sometimes when I wanted to get involved in a project or an event I still had to do my daily tasks that were repetitive and time-consuming.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Having responsibility was my favorite thing about this placement. I was running reports that were used in the daily meetigs of my department and later the management ones. I was also involved in a project that changed the way the department evaluates the orders which saved a significant amount of time and money for the company.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Throughout the year I took part in a few training session organised by the internship program. I also learned a lot from my projects and daily tasks. As I'm a business student, all those skills were relevant to my degree. However, I felt like I wasn't given as much training as other interns at my site.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I liked the atmosphere in the office as people were welcoming and friendly. There were always cakes in the office (birthdays, charity events, holidays etc). The only negative was the fact that it could get really busy and the department didn't have enough people. That meant that people were stressed and frustrated at times.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship program was organised really well with the induction at the beginning and the milestone presentation at the end. There was also a few training session throughout the year. Beside my line manager, I also had an intern manager however there was a change in the middle of my placement which made it a bit chaotic.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Throughout the year there were few training sessions for all UK interns with subjects like presentation skills, project management or communication skills. There were also online resources available (however they were not that good). My manager and team leader cared deeply about my development and they always tried to push me out of my comfort zone.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The company offers grad schemes but we only received a short presentation about it. They don't offer the same positions each year so it's hard to say if I apply. The benefit is that Eaton offers rotational programs that allow working abroad. However, the application process is held late in the academic year and they only announce the results in summer after graduation.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
At my site, there were 3 other placement students and I lived with 2 of them. All 4 of us were friends and we spent a lot of time with each other after work. We also were friends with students from other sites. This made a placement way more enjoyable!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As my site was located in an industrial area, with the other interns we decided to live in Nottingham. Our rent with bills was less than £300 per person which made it really affordable. The only downside was that we had to drive around 45 minutes to work every day. There wasn't that much to do around the place we worked (just a few pubs) so we mostly socialised in Nottingham.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There wasn't really any nightlife in the area as it's an industrial park. We went to pubs a few times after work but nothing more than that. The closest town is Mansfield which is also not that great for going out. As we lived in Nottingham, we spent most of our free time there.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There wasn't really any opportunities organised by the company but a few people working there organised things themselves. There was a weekly running club but I wasn't interested in joining. There was also a Wellness Club, Birthday Club and Dinner club which I was a part of. There supposed to be a Christmas party however it got canceled at the end.