1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement year on the whole. I was given freedom to tackle tasks how I wanted to and was also given the opportunity to travel and work with other departments. At some times in the year it could be quite quiet which is an issue as when you are an intern you workload is often determined by other people.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
On the whole i felt my work and my input were valued by my colleagues. However this can of course change from person to person so I had to teach myself to not be concerned if certain people didn't initially appear to value my work as a large amount of the time they just didn't know how to show their appreciation.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given support when needed however it was only when I specifically requested assistance rather than through specific training programs. A large amount of my training came from on the job development where I had to teach myself processes. Where training was legally required for compliance reasons this was always done promptly and on time.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My workload increased as the placement proceeded in time. My workload fluctuated with the demands of my team around me so there was no real way of predicting how busy I would be. I was given a mix of individually led projects as well as helping out other departments with their work when I was in a quiet spell.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a good amount of responsibility whilst on my placement by my manager. He was very good at assessing each task individually to see if he felt I could take the lead on it. I didn't have any times where I felt I was being underestimated in my capabilities.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I wouldn't say the skills I have learned will necessarily benefit me in my degree studies but in terms of seeking employment after I have graduated they have been invaluable. My excel proficiency has increased exponentially as well as my ability to fit into the culture of a new workplace.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was average, there was a good mix of people however I was not near any other interns for most of the year I worked there. This wasn't the end of the world as I really got on with my departmental team however at times it could feel a bit isolating.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I found the placement to be very well organised as I was mostly there to help reduce the repetitive workload for my line manager and the team. It was very clear from early on what my role and responsibilities were which allowed me to focus on my work from the off.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I didn't find that there was much investment in the interns at General Electric Healthcare as there is a lack of post university careers there. Therefore it is very likely we would only be there for one year thus meaning there was no real need to invest in us anymore than the job required.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
If there was an opportunity for future employment at my placement organisation GE Healthcare then I would be very willing to embark on it. I thoroughly enjoyed working in the pharmaceutical sector and felt invested in the products we were offering and the customers we were serving. I also liked the location of the office.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes there was a very good social scene amongst us fellow placement students. There was a good mix of people from different backgrounds, locations and universities. We also had a dedicated group of placement students who were in charge of organising social and work events for placement students at the company.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The area that GE Healthcare is based is relatively expensive compared to the location of other placement organisations. Many people found themselves having to pay up to half their take home salary in rent and bills. Most social events took place in the local area after work at the end of the week which can also be seen as quite expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was good due to its close proximity to London and other large towns nearby. Although this made it accessible, it could also lead to an expensive night when taking into account travel costs and costs of entry. Due to the cost it meant nights out were often infrequent.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were plenty of opportunities to get involved in the local community and extra responsibilities at work. For example I was a STEM ambassador, which allowed me to work in local schools for STEM events as well as any other events they needed help with e.g career days or post-16 evenings.