1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I’m really enjoying my internship so far - from the moment I walked in, everyone has been helpful and lovely about everything, from the workload and opportunities to get involved in many things within my team and across the charity, to the logistics such as settling in and sorting out any tech issues.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was given real responsibilities which I really value as it is very important to be able to gain experience for the next step in my career journey. They praise me when I do well but also give me feedback so I can improve. They do regular catch ups with me to make sure I’m doing okay not just in terms of work but also generally.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I’m a special case in which I sit between 2 teams within a directorate. While this could have potential issues of miscommunication between the 2 teams, they are both trying very hard to make sure that I am okay with everything. My line manager is the nicest and is very organised.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The workload comes in waves - there are days when I’m trying to busy myself and in the days after that the workload can get a little overwhelming. However, they did make sure that I was feeling okay with my workload. They tell me that I can say no to some things if I don’t have the capacity to do more.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given real and big responsibilities - I am responsible for running an internal campaign which involves various communications strategies. This involves learning and improving on my project management skills and also my writing skills as I am also responsible for producing some social media posts. I’m always liaising with different people across the charity.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel that even though I’m less than a month into my internship, I’m already learning a lot during my time at Cancer Research UK. I’m learning the logistics of working in an office, from booking meetings to handling emails and attending Skype meetings. I am gaining project management skills by being in charge of my own project and I am also exercising something I like to do - writing.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Cancer Research UK has recently moved to their Stratford office and the office is very modern and I love how everything is set out. The arrangement is very open-plan which allows a very collaborative environment. Everyone smiles at you when you walk past them and you can start a conversation with anyone.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My internship is a special case in which I am taking over from someone who initially had the role but left halfway through the internship to take on a permanent role within the charity. This means that there were delays with HR and some tech issues - however, they made sure that I settled in well and that any issues were resolved as soon as possible.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There are training sessions for interns that we are free to attend to. This includes interview skills, project management and career development. They were very useful and insightful as they often made me reflect not only on my career journey but also my personal development. I feel supported as they said they would also help us as much as they can in terms of applying internally.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The charity is currently going through a restructure so I am not sure exactly how this is going to work out in terms of getting permanent employment within the organisation. Personally, I want to try getting a permanent position after my internship because I feel strongly about working for this charity in particular, especially now that I know it is a great charity to work for.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There are many things that the interns do together such as fundraising activities as well as having lunches together. Although my fellow interns at the charity have been there for longer than I have, they made sure that I felt included in a lot of things and they are all very approachable.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Back the Angel office, things were a little overpriced in the area as it is zone 1. I’m not sure about the Stratford area yet as I have only been in the office for a week but hopefully things are more affordable! Transport would be the same for me as my journey still goes through zone 1.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes - the charity is very encouraging of getting involved in things outside of work. This may be something as simple as joining a Working Group to pursue an interest in something that would be beneficial to work, but they also encourage you to volunteer in the events the hold.