1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my placement massively. It gave me a real insight into an office based role, and seeing the different ways a global business works day to day. I was also able to develop many skills, as I was given responsibilities such as presenting in account meetings and to customers.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by my colleagues. I worked collaboratively across the whole business, doing tasks which were important in excelling growth within the business. I was also handed massive amounts of responsibility during my time and for almost the whole year, I barely felt like I was placement student at all.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of support and guidance by my line manager throughout the year. I would meet with him 1/2 times a week to discuss my weekly tasks and progression. We would also have a bigger meeting around once a month to talk about my personal progression and skills which I would like to develop, setting targets for my personal development.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
On a daily basis I was quite busy. I was handed a lot tasks which included working with different departments and accounts. This enabled me to gain a better understanding of the whole business and FMCG industry. I was also able to ask my manager for more work if I needed it, as there was always more to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility during my placement. This included having control of accounts plans for the year, budgeting and presenting during meetings externally and internally. I was also able to lead projects within the business and attend different trade shows and events as the face of Danone.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills learnt and developed have helped me in degree already. I am able to organise my time much better, something which I learnt to do on placement. I have also been able to develop my presenting skills which has been key for my final year at university in my business degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere was fun. There was a lot of work events and everyone knew each other. The company in general is quite young, which also helped! When there were deadlines looming it did become a bit more stressful, however the environment in the office was always generally quite happy.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was very well organised. In terms of receiving the role, I received my offer in February, so it was good to have a timeline of when I started. When I did start I was able to attend introductions to the company and role. I was able to have dates in my diary of further training and development, making it seamless overall.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was a lot of personal training available which we were given. This was not only from the company but also the business park. However, you weren't invested in as much as some graduates, understandably, as we were only there for a temporary amount of time. I do feel like we were developed an adequate amount for the roles we were in, but it would have been better for my overall experience and development if were sent on some other training courses.
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?
The future employment prospects are good. I would definitely look at coming back and the graduate scheme seems like there is great progression. However, the only downside is they do not take many placements on after and you have to re-interview (although you skip the video interview/online tests) around Christmas time.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene was good among colleagues. Not only was there work events every quarter, there was a lot of graduates and placements, most of which were new to London. There were always events we organised ever few weeks with each other so the social scene was great across the company.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Being in London, the cost of living was very high. It didn't really stop me and others from socialising but you would always be looking to spend a lot more than what you would at university. A night out would be a lot more, especially as it was very central. The cost of living was also quite high as it was London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
In Chiswick there is no nightlife. There are pubs on the business parks which is great for after work drinks. The great thing about London is nowhere is too far away! So a 10 minute tube to Hammersmith, or even a 20 minute tube to Central London was always on the cards, so it compensated for the tranquillity of Chiswick.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were opportunities to get involved with outside of work. Such as charity events, and even helping out with the Danone World Cup. These events helped expand your network and give something back to the community. I feel like there could have been a few more things available but overall it was good.