1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed working for a worthy cause. I find that my motivations to succeed is enhanced when I can see results in a place that truly deserves it. I have enjoyed learning about the variety of roles and people at Cancer Research UK and would love to continue to work here.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
On one level, I felt extremely valued when collaborating with different teams on different projects. I think a lack of engagement from the team at times made me question the impact of my work. However, since lock down - I have found staff more responsive and supportive with my projects, which has reminded me the value of my input.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager has been really supportive. We have at least one catch-up a week to discuss my progress. She was able to offer me high support and high challenge when giving me feedback.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It felt very busy at times. With multiple projects, competing deadlines, it meant that I was able to build on my project management skills. Since lock down, my motivations have dropped slightly and I have found it more challenging retaining focus and so my days feel less busy. But after trying to mix up my routine, I am able to manage my workload better.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
There was responsibility in terms of intern fundraising. HR checked in and gave me some great feedback. My team were less involved. I think having this responsibility was great experience in terms of leadership, finance and engagement, especially for future related roles.
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 have build at Cancer Research UK are fundamental for my career growth. This internship has taught me to think intuitively, communicate effectively and stay proactive and organised. These key skills are transferable to other roles. I enjoyed using the workshops and training available on Fuse, as well as the Mentor scheme to further assist my professional profile development.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was really supportive. The hot desks and collaboration areas encouraged team work and allowed staff to mix up their routine. Staff members were really helpful and if they didn't know the answer to your questions, they would find someone or point you in the direction of someone who might be able to help This created a very positive atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My experience was slightly different. I was offered this internship at the back of another one. I was able to communicate with HR throughout the transition, who very supportive. This did mean that my start for the second time was slightly different and on-boarding was slightly delayed, which meant I didn't get my laptop with work after 3 days, which was challenging.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was multiple training and development opportunities through intern workshops and using the online platform Fuse. I signed up to multiple training workshops. The introduction to finance workshop was realy insightful. My team also included transactional analysis and role play activities in one of our team meetings to help us learn and develop as a team.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects at Cancer Research UK is very appealing. The organisation is the leading national charity, where there is so much scope and opportunity. There are a lot of employees taking secondment as well, which encourages me to explore different roles within the organisation. Given the current pandemic and OEP, finding employment here has been more challenging than I originally anticipated. During this internship, I have realised my passion for the charity sector and even though I am looking for roles in other non-profit organisations, I will still consider Cancer Research UK in the future.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene started strong within the cohort. We organised multiple social events to get to know the team and help ourselves settle into new areas/roles. Within the workload become more demanding as time went on, it was more difficult organising social time. My team is home-based so there was really no social scene there.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost of living and social activities in London are very expensive. The internship offers a reward scheme where there is discounts to various products and activities, which is useful. The View Cafe in the office building also offers a great variety of delicious and affordable food. There is also plenty of fridge/storage space and microwaves to bring lunch in and save some money.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Stratford doesn't really have a lot of nightlife activity. There are a few bars and nice areas to eat near. For example, places like Hackney Wick had some quirky bars. The Stratford station also has some really good tube links to get to other places across London, which will have more nightlife activities.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were plenty of opportunities that took place outside work for Cancer Research UK. For example, the P&P team host multiple high value events and need volunteers to support. There was also opportunities at networking and committee events in my team that took place outside office/office hours. The organisation also hosted activities such as after work yoga, which is a great idea.