1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at Travelport. It has been invaluable and I have learned more than I ever expected before I started. The people at Travelport and my team in particular were so welcoming and friendly, always willing to help me. I was given exposure to a lot more information and responsibility than I thought I would. What I enjoyed most was working in a team of supportive, kind, funny and all round awesome people who knew their job inside out and made my first experience of working in an office a really enjoyable one! The job role was challenging but do- able and allowed me to learn a lot more about the profession I'd like to go into. As well as this the Corporate Social Responsibility activities were a nice breather from my day to day job role.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt really valued by my team, particularly my manager who always (without fail) thanked me for any work I did and if I stayed past my contracted hours I was always thanked, which made me feel appreciated and valued. I was never treated like an "intern" or made to make tea... which I kind of expected. I was given actual responsibility and made to feel part of the company like anyone else regardless of being an intern.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
On the whole I felt supported by my managers. When the initial handover period ended she took my aside to assure me that I was fully supported and to tell me that she was always there should I need any help or have any queries. Throughout the year she always answered my questions willingly and I was never made to feel that I was an inconvenience to her.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
During the first part of my placement I felt the workload was a little overhwelming and during particular deadline heavy times of the month I felt (in the beginning) like I couldn't get everything done. But the novelty of it soon wore off as I became more familiar with how the different reports worked. Looking back I feel the workload was very well balanced and without the pandemic I feel the workload and the speed at which I could complete work as time went on would have allowed me to do extra tasks like job shadowing to enhance my experience.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I feel as an intern I was given a lot of repsonsibilty, a lot more than I expected! Certain report I had to create were being looked at by people who were far more senior than I expected to be creating reports for. Once the deputy CFO came over to ask for a particular report to take to a meeting, this level of repsonsibility was a really fantastic experience! At the same time I feel the level of responsibility was the right amount because my work was still checked and monitored enough so I felt reassured that my work was meeting the correct standards.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills and experiences I have had during my time at Travelport I will use for life. I have gained a lot more confidence in myself and my abilities and I feel better able to manage my workload to meet deadlines. I have been able to speak to so many colleagues and find out about their career that has taught me a lot about the world of work and what to expect in the workplace. Many of the skills I have developed I dont feel any university or course could have taught. I feel my experience will assist in the rest of my degree because it has given me an insight into the importance of how all the methods and theories I am learning about at uni work in the real world.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office was generally quite serious and formal, but people were generally friendly and welcoming. In my team specifically, some times of the month when the deadlines were strict the atmosphere was more formal and serious but then other times were very relaxed and informal. On a Friday, everyone would dress down in their own clothes and this meant every Friday the atmosphere was much more relaxed.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I feel the placement in general was well organised. It was obvious that a lot of effort went into the design of the programme and making sure there were all the relevant sessions in place to ensure as an intern cohort we were on track and meeting targets. We had an intern programme lead who was always available to provide support and answer any questions. The placement programme was set up to give interns a lot of valuable experiences including handing over to the next intern.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I feel that (prior to Covid) a lot of effort and time went into creating development sessions for us interns, these included sessions on team work, reading signals from colleagues on how they like to be approached, public speaking. Unfortunately the pandemic meant we weren't able t have a lot of these sessions but we would have had sessions on how to reflect on the placement year in your CV and in interviews, managing stress at work and others that would have been very valuable.
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?
Unfortunately, Travelport does not offer a graduate programme. If they did I would 100% be applying as I would love to come back to Travelport when I finish university. However, even though Travelport does not offer a graduate programme I still feel the year has been very much worth my time and if there was a position available at Travelport when I leave university I would definitely apply.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The company arranged an event in London during our first month which was really great. The social club was fantastic, usually there was a monthly event and these were all really enjoyable from Quiz nights to Murder mystery evenings to theatre trips. Even during lockdown the social club still put on events which were really good fun. Among the interns there were many social events that we arranged and there was always a meal or some other plan for each of our birthdays. There was also the Christmas Party which was a really good evening and an amazing experience, this is one of the highlights of my placement year.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home so the cost of living was very reasonable and the cost socialising was fairly average.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Depends where you go, but there are loads of different areas accessable for a night out nearby from Reading (uni bars etc) to Central London, Windsor or Uxbridge.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Plenty of opportunity, mostly put on by the social club.