1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall, I have really enjoyed my time at the company. My team were friendly, I had a fair amount of work to complete and there was plenty of support available if you ever had any issues (graduate buddy, line manager, graduate/placement manager). I do though think it can really depend on the role your placed in, as every placement is very different.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt extremely valued by my colleagues. As you're placed in a 'real' role, the work you complete is important, and people value the work you do. I was often called upon to support in other teams, as people had recognised my work ethic from other projects.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
There were plenty of people available to support:
- Graduate buddy
- Line manager
- BUSC (local support from your wider team)
- Graduate / placement manager
- Other interns
Everyone had a different role for supporting, I found my line manager was great for my day-to-day queries, support with workload etc. My BUSC really helped my focus on my career / progression goals and targets, while the other interns are a great network to have for those "stupid questions".
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My workload really varied throughout my placement. Sometimes I felt I had a lot of work, other times I felt a little bored. However, as long as you are communicating with your manager regularly, they should be able to help you manage this, i.e. line-up more projects for you during quieter periods, and support you when if you feel you have too much work going on.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I think I was given enough responsibility as an IP. I never felt like my managers / coworkers were checking my work unnecessarily, which showed that they trusted me.
There were some projects which I managed solely, however was always able to go back to check with my manager if I felt I wasn't comfortable making the more critical decisions.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I was able to develop a number of technical skills, such as using industry-recognised IT software, as well as soft skills, such as problem solving and presenting.
We did have one session of classroom-based training which was focused on developing our communication skills etc, however most of the training / skill development was on-the-job.
I think the skills learnt will support in securing a graduate role, as I can show that I have had previous experience in a similar working environment.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I really enjoyed working within my team and office. There was a mixture of ages, and everyone was a laugh to be around. People were hardworking and it was great to work with individuals with lots of experience, but at the same time no-one was afraid to have a laugh.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There was a formal induction process at the begging, and there is a structure to the programme, however it wasn't perfect.
When I first started, it took a while to really get started. There were a number of IT issues (no computer access) and there was a loack of work, however once he first month is over... everything does start to pick up and fall into place.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I don't think the company invested a lot into our training and development.. but at the same time I don't think it was necessary. As we were only at the company for 12 months, I wanted to get as much on-the-job experience as possible, rather than being out of the office working of soft-skills, so I wasn't disappointed by the training opportunities.
I am aware that the graduates and apprentices have very generous study leave packages etc compared to other companies, as well as training and development opportunities.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
If you receive a 5/5 rating from your manager during your placement, you are offered an opportunity to fast track straight through to the graduate assessment centre.
I believe other interns at the company (non-finance) can sometimes be offered a role, however the finance scheme is run by a separate team.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As IPs we are grouped with the graduates, and there are opportunities to get involved in social activities, i.e. Yorkshire Peaks challenge. I would advise keeping in contact with other IPs and grads, as many of these are organised outside of work.
There were a few work-organised events, such as Christmas lunches and the graduate induction week.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was based in Preston, which is generally pretty cheap for living / socialising. Preston train station is also on a major line which gets you quickly to most cities (Birmingham, London, Manchester).
There's plenty to do around Preston too, i.e. Manchester, Liverpool, Trafford Centre, Blackpool / Southport, Lake District.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Didn't really go out during my placement, however there were clubs in town, and being a student-city there were a few different places to go.
Preston is also close enough to other major cities such as Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.
The places of work are just outside of Preston, however most of us lived in the city which makes it easier to go out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were lots of opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work, including work-organised sports clubs.
The graduates often organised social events, such as the Yorkshire Peaks challenge, which everyone was welcome to attend.
As IPs were also met up most weeks to go out for meals and day-trips to the beach.