1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was a great experience, and it taught me a lot. My placement definitely exceeded my expectations. I got to participate in many projects and collaborate with a lot of different functions. Danone is an amazing company to learn and develop your skills, as well as meeting interesting and brilliant people.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
It is probably the one point that I really liked during my internship. My colleagues were very supportive and helped me achieve a lot during my 6 months placement. They trusted me to support on their daily missions, but also gave me responsibilities to developp my own projects. I felt very integrated but also very valued and independant which I very much appreciated.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My managers were amazing, and very supportive. They took time to get to know me, get me integrated and they taught me many skills that will be very useful for me in the future. I had weekly meetings with each manager to discuss ongoing projects, but also to make sure I was feeling good and supported.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The one thing that I struggled with is the amount of work. I was very committed to deliver on all projects, so much so that I soon ended up with a ton of projects to support as well as projects to lead on. As an intern it was sometimes a bit much. However, it was also a choice as I always pushed to help as much as I could so I could learn and gain a lot of experience.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I felt very autonomous throughout my placement. At first, my main tasks were to support directly my managers, but as soon as I felt comfortable with the basics and once I developped the required skills, I started to manage my own projects. Most of my interactions with my managers was to report and approve my projects, but I really felt like I could do things more and more on my own.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I developed during my internship were very useful in my studies. I have gained concrete knowledge in some softwares and methods, as well as developed soft skills that are still handy to me to this day. Some trainings were more challenging than others, but overall they introduced me to new skills and new ways of thinking. Doing this internship and learning these skills confirmed my intention in following this career path and further developing my experiences in the field.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office is a massive open space allowing for cooperation and exchanges between all employees and functions. The atmosphere was quite good, and all my colleagues were lovely and very great to work with. However, I have noticed that a few individuals in my team were feeling overworked and stressed, which was not really the case in other teams.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There was no intern in my position prior to my arrival, so there weren't a lot of elements or documents ready for me. My managers were however very supportive and organized a few trainings and inductions to get me started which was very helpful. It took me a while to gather all the info I needed, and it might have been easier with a handover but given the situation, it was still ok.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Danone was really amazing in helping me develop my skills and gain more and more responsibilities. I also participated in trainings to designed to teach me how to work within the company and depending on my own expectations. I really liked the fact that there is a lot of efforts to make sure all employees are feeling great in their job.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
After this placement, I would love to go back to work for Danone. I am particularly interested in their graduate programs, and I am hoping I will continue my career with them. If I get a job there, I would however be careful about work-life balance in order to avoid the stress that some people in my team experienced.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I had very good relationships with my managers and the team overall, but we did not do much together outside of work. I was not aware of the other placements when I first arrived. They had all started a few month before me, and I didn't get to go to inductions with them which was a little disappointing for me.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Leaving in London was quite expensive. I first stayed in a hostel for a few months before finally moving to a flatshare. I was lucky that my salary covered exactly my monthly costs of living. Socialising is also expensive as most restaurants or bars are also expensive, but quite good. The office is located about 25min from the city center so it was easy to go from work to the city.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There were a few bars around the office, great for afterworks. But the best places to go out were in the city center of London.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was not much time to get involved in activities outside of work as I was leaving the office late most of the times. Many of my colleagues would go to the gym next to the office, however the subscription was quite expensive and so I couldn't really afford it.