1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I knew it was the right decision to apply for a job at Prysmian Group from the very first day. Literally everyone in the office was really supportive and coming to work was a pleasure. I never felt overwhelmed or confused about what I had to do and was given a lot of opportunities.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
During my time at Prysmian, there were only five people in our team. We had weekly meetings where we discussed any problems, current situation on the market and actions to be taken. My colleagues always made sure that I was keeping up with the work and listened to what I had to say. I always felt I was a valued member of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was closely working with my supervisors who answered every question I had and were always there to help me. Although our manager was an extremely busy person, he was always there when I asked for help, feedback or advice. I can honestly say that they were the best people I have ever worked with.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I had a set of tasks I had to complete on a daily or weekly basis which took a few hours every day. The workload depended on a lot of factors and although there were some very busy days during peak times, I do not remember being unable to complete my work on time. On the other hand, there were also a few days in a month I had very little to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
There was a lot of responsibility in this role as I was the first point of contact for all contractors. I had to answer their queries, resolve any issues and process purchase orders. I was allowed to submit quotations for up to £50,000 worth of our products. Anything above that number required a signature from one of the supervisors or managers.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
It has been 4 weeks into my final year at university and I have already noticed the difference. I have become a lot more confident, started to ask questions and make arguments in lectures and seminar classes. I further develop my Excel skills, learnt how to use SAP and incredibly enhanced my employability.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It was a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere, there was no pressure in any aspect. Most of the employees have worked there for many years and knew each other very well. I really liked it that even the manager made coffee for everyone almost every day and all people were treared equally.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There was a lot of support from the first day of placement and not much responsibility in the first week. The handover period and training provided by the previous student was two weeks which was more than enough. The company communicated well with my university and organised meetings whenever needed. My manager supported me in completing my portfolio work. At the end of the placement I trained the new student.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was taken through all the tasks I had to complete and given the training necessary to become more independent at work. However, I have to say that the only thing the firm invested in me was my supervisors' and manager's time, who were great at teaching and explaining things. I wish there was more training and opportunities for development provided by the company although I do understand it would have to come from more senior managers. My team did everything possible to make sure that I learn a lot and enjoy my placement.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is a 3-year graduate scheme that involves 2 years abroad, for example in Brazil, Australia, Singapore and Italy, however this depends on the roles available. After the scheme, you are guaranteed a manager position. From what I have heard and seen, people were offered decent salaries and company cars. The company likes to bring their placement students back after they graduate, however, in the case of the Wrexham office it might be very difficult at the moment as there are only a few people in the team.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a daily quiz during lunch breaks and football matches every Wednesday after work. One person was particularly engaged in the social scene and made sure that we all enjoyed our time while on placement. Annual trips to the Chester races, Christmas dinners and nights out were also organised.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I rented a 2 bedroom flat in the town centre with my partner which cost £580 per month. Everything was within a walking distance. Double bedrooms cost between £70 and £90 per week. Meals and drinks were quite cheap in Wrexham, however, Chester was more expensive. Return ticket to Chester cost around £5.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Wrexham was a little bit quiet with only a few night clubs in town centre. Atik, the biggest night club in North Wales, is located in Wrexham. Chester, on the other hand, was truly amazing. A lot of great places, full of people, an awesome atmosphere and options for everyone.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Snowdonia National Park is around 1-2 hours drive from Wrexham. There is a free bus on weekends that goes to Barmouth by the sea and takes around 3 hours. Liverpool and Manchester are about an hour away and Chester 20 minutes away by train. There are plenty of options for everyone in those places.