1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement as PSA Group, so much so that I extended my contract by a further 3 months over summer.
Although some months, in particular 'peak periods' (March and September), could be somewhat stressful, I loved my team and we worked through the busier times effectively together.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
For me, one of the best part of my placement was my colleagues. I instantly felt welcomed and that my efforts were appreciated. I feel lucky to have met so many wonderful and inspirational people at PSA Group.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was fully supported throughout my journey as a placement student by my supervisor and manager. Their guidance and direction not only helped me in my ability to perform within the team but also has assisted in developing my transferable skills, such as presenting, excel and interpersonal relations.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The department I was placed in was very fast-paced and busy by nature, hence I quickly became aware of how much I was expected to complete on a daily basis and therefore I was able to manage my workload well. Personally, I like to be busy and prefer to be challenged, so this department suited me very well.
Peak periods and month end were busier and sometimes could be quite stressful, however our efforts as a team never went unnoticed by other areas of the business. My team and I all won 'Bronze Awards' as a thank you for our hard work and dedication, which was a lovely gesture and real achievement.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given an appropriate amount of responsibility, that increased throughout my placement.
Towards the end of my 15 months, I was working towards my final objective and was encouraged to oversee the implementation of my recommendations to improve communication between our stakeholders. I felt that this was a step up in the responsibility I was initially given and it allowed me to be more assertive and network with other departments.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My time at PSA Group allowed me to put the theory into practice that I had learnt from my first two years at university. Now I am able to utilise the skills I have developed from my placement year into my studies.
Thus far, I have found that my time management and ability to prioritise tasks have improved significantly. There are also skills I have developed that will assist me beyond my studies, such as how to work effectively in a team and also how to communicate with colleagues/people of a higher position than me in a professional manner.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The culture at PSA is fantastic, most people are very friendly, which sets the tone for a great working environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I found that the placement was set up very well, with a solid induction and workshops throughout the year. My only criticism would be that the timing of some of these workshops were poor, such as during month end and peak periods. Nonetheless, the structure was explained at the beginning and was followed during the year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
PSA are great at developing you as a person. I feel so much more confident in presenting as a result of workshops.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
PSA Group can provide you with a provisional offer for the Graduate Scheme before you leave to return to university. I hope to return next year, as I thoroughly enjoyed my time and can see myself progressing within the company.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
My placement intake all got on well and would sit with other Apprentices and Graduates for coffees/lunch. However, there was a lack of socialising outside of work, something I would like to have done more of. Nonetheless, this may just have been due to the wide span of area that we all lived.
I did socialise outside of work with other colleagues in my department and other departments and I still see some of these people outside of work!
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I did not move to Coventry, however I from going out a few times, I am aware that it isn't too expensive. There are also other areas such as Warwick and Leamington Spa that are lovely to go out for some drinks.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I didn't go out many times in Coventry, however there are a few clubs and bars, such as Slug and Lettuce.
A lot of people preferred to go out in Birmingham (a 20 minute train journey to New Street from Coventry).
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I got involved in activities with colleagues outside of work, however these were not things organised by PSA themselves.