Assisting the product team with gathering insights on the product market to really understand customer needs and wants. Helping write epics, features and enablers for product enhancements. Supporting the communication with other stakeholders to understand all the elements needed to make a great product, such as defining the problem, the market, the constraints. Then, taking all this info to help best priortise the work needed to do.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed it so much. A great culture, a great team, a great office and the company is going in a great direction. Never dreaded going to work, and the amount of invaluable experiences and skills I gained is something I am grateul for as it was never something I could learn from a textbook. Being surrounded by other intern during the year was also a big plus and worth mentioning that it aided to my life changing experience.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Every single day. Never felt like there was such thing as a stupid question, which made me feel comfortable to approach anyone - a situation that is essential when you find yourself in a completely new environment. As I picked up more and more skills over time I was able to pick up more responsability, by the 6 month mark I no longer felt like an intern.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Every week I had catch up calls with my assigned mentor. As well as, catch up calls with my manager. This meant they were always in the loop with my thoughts and feelings as I progressed throughout my internship. I knew there was always someone to talk to and I knew exactly who to go to.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I'd prefer to answer "How productive were you on a daily basis?". Anyone can be 'busy', but productivity is what's important. There were always plenty of things to be a part of. Aside from BAU, there were products/innovations, as well as, charitable activities and extra learning (Talks, events, workshop sessions etc.). Hence, there was never a dull moment in the office.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
As I mentioned above, by the 6 month mark, I had a lot more responsability, it is a complex industry and so takes time to understand it. But, as time progressed my responsability grew proportionally. Therefore, by the end of the placement I no longer felt like an intern, just another valuable piece of the team.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My degree was slightly unrelated to the job role, but this was purposeful. However, what I can take into my degree is the time management, writing skills and communication skills that I have improved as a result of the placement. Now touching on the skills I have learnt beyond university, it's endless. This is because I now know how to think, how to ask better questions, how to measure what success looks like and other fundamental processes that you need in life and which I am able to bring with me in my career path. Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man a fish, he eats for life.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Great atmoshpere. There is a bistro for food, where you can take a bit of time away from work. People are friendly, welcoming and helpful. It was a place to easily communicate with your colleagues which meant you could be more effective and productive with your work. Also, free coffee!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Pretty good. This wasn't the first year this organisation has had a placement year, so it has been developed and refined accordingly. It meant that we had a lot of useful sessions and workshops to do as courtesy of the company. I am sure this will only get better and better as the internship continues.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had the opportunity in my role specifically to have certification in a methodology that the company uses in the product org. This was vital for my role and incredibly useful. I also participated in workshops of my choice in the London area, that I felt would benefit me. This, coupled with the other personal training and development the company provided for the internship was great.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am keen to work with them in the future. Due to my incredibly positive experience, I say with confidence that I would like to remain in the company in the future. Once I finish my degree, I will be applying for a job with them. So very appealing indeed.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I think it was a big factor to the success of the internship. I got a long with every single other intern. This year for the interns was a group of 28 (including myself), which meant there was plenty of things to do with people. We were always doing stuff outside of work hours which was truly great and I have made some friends for life here. Although, there won't be quite as big of a group in the following years, I am sure it would be the same kind of experience.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I am used to living in the South West, so house prices and rent are much cheaper. Moving closer to London meant that they increased. However, this was manageable. I liked the location since London central was within close distance (only a short train ride away), but you could pick and choose when you wanted to be a part of that fast, hustle and bustle environment. It's up to the individual how much they spend though. Most of us managed to get a good balance in finding a lot to do without abusing our bank accounts too much.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Technically, the nightlife wasn't in the area I worked. However, we were right in the center of a tonne of different great nightlife experiences. Close enough for us to go to London, Reading, Oxford, Brighton on several occasions. As well as, many Windsor night outs. Plenty of good places to choose from.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes. We have had so many good activities outside of work. As mentioned before, the area meant we were in reaching distance from some great cities so most evenings we were doing fun things. This included some work organised stuff too, such as alumni events in London, Christmas party and Racecourse events. There was also a social club which had some pretty good activites.