Assisting project executives with their work on the interpreting team - allocating bookings, dealing with cancellations and queries, setting up telephone interpreting etc.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the internship as I learnt a lot and the company as a whole is very welcoming and friendly. I was completely thrown into the deep-end with little to no training which meant that I had to learn on the job. This made me learn faster however the internship definitely lacked training, hence I spent a lot of my time interrupting full-time members of the team to ask questions. I also noticed that the type of work within the industry can be very repetitive and includes a lot of admin hence it became difficult to stay focused towards the end of my internship.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I didn't feel very valued by my colleagues in terms of work. I took on a lot of responsibility as an intern, particularly towards the beginning of my internship and it wasn't acknowledged unless I specifically told someone what I had achieved. I felt valued as a person by my team and we all get on quite well however in terms of work this wasn't really addressed much.
People from other teams appeared to be more open in terms of how much they valued what I was doing for the team I was in.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was always told that if I ever needed any help I could ask, and when I did it was always explained thoroughly. However, as mentioned before, this wasn't provided formally, it was always on the job which could be quite stressful (especially if a client is waiting on the line) and it made me feel like I was pestering at times. I think providing interns with proper training throughout the internship would be beneficial to both interns and other members of the team.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Most days I was busy to the point that it was overwhelming. I essentially took on a full-time role at the beginning. However, when this role became completely taken over, my days became less busy. Sometimes this was then underwhelming. It felt quite difficult to get a happy balance. It also depended on how busy our phone lines were and whether it was end of the month.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility. I had pretty much the same tasks to complete as a Project Executive. However, of course my salary was that of an intern. This was positive because I learnt more than I expected but also negative as it was hard not to feel slightly exploited by both the team and the company.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
As I didn't receive any official training, the skills I developed through working on a day-to-day basis will assist me in that I am confident to answer queries over the phone in a professional manner, I can liaise with clients via email and deal with complaints and I am able to balance my work and remain organised. These skills will assist in future client-facing and admin roles.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Very quiet. No one really gets up and walks around. Each person is glued to their desk and it feels like it's not in your right to go over and chat to someone if you need to step away from your screen. As a sociable person with a lot of energy, I didn't really like this atmosphere. Of course, it's nice to have a calm environment when you're working and you need to concentrate however it would be nice to feel that you can also walk around or take a break outside if you need to, without feeling like you're the only one.
Towards the end of my internship, our team started to have more of a laugh towards the end of the day however I often felt that was initiated by me being more open to it and starting up conversation.
At lunch time it could get a little bit more lively, but often people would be complaining about work which made for a very negative atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It wasn't very well organised at all. In the space of the 6 months, 3 members of the team left. Many members of the team also had very long periods of annual leave, which often left the team being run pretty much solely by interns which felt very daunting and stressful for us. It also felt very unfair and as if we were being slightly exploited.
I was just expected to take over the work of a colleague who left, I didn't have a choice. Then I was moved from desk to desk without choosing to due to new interns joining the team (instead of full time members as I believe it should have been). The work I was doing also had to be changed half way through and I just had to, again, learn as I went along.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Not at all. As mentioned before, I didn't have any training sessions on anything. On my first day and in the days following it was briefly explained to me how things worked and that was it. I had an update meeting maybe twice throughout the internship but it wasn't training and often I had to ask about something that should have been explained through completing a training session.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
There were no perks with
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Not appealing. Not many interns appear to want to stay on, and many of the full time members complain about the company. I do not wish to stay working with this company. I do not see any progression in this type of career, for myself personally.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Not really. We had to create it ourselves, and we only arranged one or two meet-ups towards the end of my time at the company.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Very high, it was located in London Bridge on Bermondsey Street where there are a lot of independent cafes and restaurants. So at lunch there was limited choice if you wanted to buy something rather than take something from home. I assume it would also be expensive to live in the area however I didn't reside there.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I never really went out in the area but it was quite lively in London Bridge - mainly for after work drinks rather than big nights out. We didn't go out much as a team or as a company. If there was anything social occurring it was quite exclusive and wasn't open to everyone.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There weren't many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work. No one in the company set anything up. The only event I went to was the Christmas Party - that was fun though! The company did lack a social team, that would have livened things up a bit.