1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was the most enjoyable and worthwhile part of going to University.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Completely. It took some time to come to terms with how much trust and influence I was given as an intern. I was treated like a normal employee. I feel like I've been spoiled and will be lucky to find an environment and team on par.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had regular 1-to-1 meetings and my activities were tailored with my goals and interests in mind. I had help with more than just work; academic and career advice, emotional support etc. were all available.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This detail varied significantly. I could be juggling up to 4 commitments at once, along with daily meetings and presentations, or I could be scraping by on a single project. R&D seems almost seasonal (conferences/summer area particularly slow time).
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As explained in the 'valued by colleagues' section, I was given far more influence and responsibility than I expected. I presented to senior business leaders on multiple occasions, influenced the direction of projects, and helped define new processes.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
After about 2 weeks on my placement I felt as though I'd learnt more than I had in my 2 years at uni. Some of my modules are a cakewalk thanks to the work I did on placement, and I feel much wiser and passionate as a whole.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
My immediate team/s were incredibly supportive and familial, and I miss them all. I'm thankful to be able to work with them still, even if it is part-time and remotely. Sometimes there were tensions due to change, but there was always cake.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
While it ran smoothly most of the time, the pace of work was very sporadic, and sometimes felt very adhoc.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I visited France and Budapest, went to conferences, and completed Udemy training courses. I also had access to meetings and activities of interest to add depth to my learning.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Within the same team/function I would be cautious to return based on the potential for advancing my own personal development in a transferable way. Within the company as a whole, I am enticed.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes! I had more of a social life and made more friends on placement than whilst at uni.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
A lot. Moving from the North to the South was a shock in many was, but the cost and value of renting a place to live was most frustrating. Half of my salary went on rent, whilst the other half allowed me to stay afloat. Alcohol was pricey.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
In the actual area I worked it wasn't great, but it had good tube links into London.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Team/company events happened regularly: barbecues, rounders, pub visits and dinner etc. There were also gym classes available, although I didn't take part.