1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Working as an intern at Expedia is an amazing experience. There is a perfect balance of hard work as you learn from professionals of a successful and large organisation and having a fun time - because the people there are truly incredible. The HR team also did an amazing job at organising social events for interns!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The teams at Expedia are one of its key assets. There is a very special atmosphere between team members and colleagues are very supportive of each other. For example, I often received positive or constructive feedback to my work which allowed me to identify my strengths and weaknesses and was always asked for my opinion.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was very supportive and guided me throughout my whole internship. We had weekly one-to-one meetings to keep track of my work and ensure that I was meeting my objectives. He also made sure that I was assigned to projects that really interested me and aligned with my career goals.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Overall I would say there is quite a good balance but the workload varies greatly from day to day. When a deadline approaches, such as a presentation, the workload gets more intense, while on some days there may be less to do. Fortunately, Expedia really supports personal development meaning that freer days can be dedicated to personal projects.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was awarded great responsibility during my placement. I analysed my first test on the second week of my internship and presented the analysis to stakeholders the following week. From there, I was in charge of analysing and presenting about two tests per week. The line between intern and analyst is very blurry - people don't really make the difference.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
In under 3 months, I developed new skills by learning how to use new softwares such as Omniture and IBM Watson. These are very valuable addition to my skill set. I've also perfectionned my knowledge of database language SQL which I had never applied to such large and complex databases.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office is very relaxed. The offices look very fun and bold, there are several areas to relax and unwind or to have fun with your colleagues, such as table football and ping pong. Also, there is no pressure on dress-code - you often see Directors going around in jeans and t-shirt!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The overall internship was very well organised. There were many trainings to ensure everyone was on the same page with softwares and programming languages. There were also social events and activities organised by the HR team every one or two weeks. These spanned from a visit to the Sky Garden to a ping pong night!
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Expedia really values personal training and development. As part of the internship programme, I took part in many trainings. In addition, 2 working days per quarter were dedicated solely to personal development in my team and I had the opportunity to learn how to code in HTML during our team's Hackathon.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects within the organisation are very appealing as new jobs are opened every week. Employees can subscribe to a "jobs just in" bulletin helping and guiding them in new employment prospects. Having already accepted a job offer elsewhere, I won't be looking to work for Expedia anytime soon but I will definitely come back in the long run as it an incredible place to work in!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene amongst fellow placement students was amazing. Thanks to the many social events organised, we had the opportunity to get to know or speak to nearly everyone in the programme.
Also, the atmosphere between teams was awesome. Colleagues were all very fun and inclusive.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living and socialising in the area of Angel and Islignton is quite high as it is near Central London. Fortunately, Expedia has discounts in several nearby bars and pubs. It also has offers for gyms in the area. But there are nice park arounds were the cost of socialising is zero!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in the area of Angel and Islignton is very animated. There are lots of cinemas, pubs, bars and restaurants that are open until late. In addition, the office is located very close to the hectic nightlife of Central London and to the hip neighbourhoods like Hackney and Shoreditch.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were many activities and social events outside of work organised for the whole group, for the individual brands but also for work placement and interns only! One of the most impactful and most rewarding activity was working with charities to improve the aspect, quality and usability of their website.