I thoroughly enjoyed my placement at Schlumberger. Right from the beginning I was given far more real responsibility than I initially thought I would be given, being an intern. I was welcomed into a very diverse and supportive team who all brought something new to the table and I was able to learn from all of them.
I felt quite valued by my colleagues, and it showed especially when they could come and ask me for help with a task or when they asked for my advice on something. That to me meant that they trusted my judgement and knew that I would deliver when asked to.
My manager was always willing to give me guidance and advice wherever I needed, and I felt quite comfortable asking her for help with a task or with comments on how to approach a difficult situation. I always felt like I grew professionally after asking them for guidance. The same goes for my HR manager, although I do wish both had provided me with a bit more feedback on how I was getting along more frequently.
I was always pretty busy. If I had to put it in numbers, I'd usually get one or two days in two weeks where I wouldn't have a full day of tasks awaiting me, but I feel that's what made my placement so rewarding: I wasn't just sitting around on my phone doing nothing, or getting people coffees or photocopying stuff for others. It was a good kind of busy.
The thing about Schlumberger that I found the most remarkable was how seriously they treat their interns. They give you very real responsibility and a chance to make an impact from the moment you join the company. To them you aren't just passing by in the company, you're there to see whether you perform well and handle real industry problems well, whether you fit in the company and it's culture, and whether you enjoy it.
Although I did get a lot of real exposure and responsibility all through my placement, my degree (unlike those like accounting, law, or engineering) has few concepts or learnings you can actually put directly into real practice, so I don't think that shined through as much. However, I still feel like the skills I gained and everything I learnt was incredibly valuable for my future career.
The atmosphere in my office was very friendly and welcoming, and everyone was always happy to help. Even though not everyone in my area worked in the same team/function, they were all similar and so everyone would always have something to bring to the table. We all had lunch together every day, chatted about our day to day life and shared funny anecdotes, it was really positive.
It was fairly well organised overall. The first day I arrived I met my boss, who welcomed me very nicely and gave me a detailed list of the main responsibilities I would be given for the whole year, as well as let me know that that list would grow with temporary projects and new ideas I would have, which I was always encouraged to share. My day-to-day would always vary depending on our business needs or what projects were happening, but it was always structured and I could manage my own time.
I am aware that Schlumberger offers extensive training and development, but that is especially the case for roles in engineering, computer/software/data science, etc. Seeing as I worked in marketing communications, the training was not as explicit or as extensive as that for those roles. However, I was still guided and trained in different ways. For example, my boss signed me up for a few online LinkedIn seminars only available for business profiles which were really useful in learning how to effectively use the platform and therefore manage our profile better.
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
Future employment prospects at Schlumberger are VERY appealing. They train and develop their interns with a future Schlumberger career in mind, and so from the very first months returning to the company was always in the talks (obviously provided that I did my work at a good level, was eager to learn, and showed a positive attitude towards my role and the company).
There aren't many other placement students in my office (it was only three of us), but there are a few graduates who we got along with. However, although I feel this was simply determined by the people I met and not the company atmosphere in itself, most of them weren't too eager to meet up outside of work or socialise. I still got along with everyone well anyway.
I worked in an office in West Sussex, near Gatwick airport, but I lived in central London. A few of my colleagues who lived closer to the office always said how cheap it was to live there, but seeing as it was fairly far from London and Brighton (which are the closest big cities), there wasn't too much option in terms of social life around the area. For that reason I specifically recommend living closer to either of those cities and commuting around 30 minutes by train every day, if you do work in this office.
As I stated in my previous answer, there is close to no nightlife in the area I work in, seeing as it is close to an airport and far away from big cities. I would suppose the closest thing to nightlife would be found in East Croydon, which is a 15 minute train journey away, but even that is fairly limited and I was recommended by my colleagues not to direct my nightlife towards there.
There's a decent range of opportunities to get involved in outside of work. I am aware there is an office football team that plays against other companies, as well as arranging matches to be played amongst office colleagues. there is also a running club, which I believe is decreasing in numbers nowadays, and a theatre club, which you can join and group visits to theatre plays or musicals are arranged. Although I did not personally join any of these, the options are there.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
23rd October 2019