I enjoyed my placement very much, it offered me a variety of challenges and tasks, helped me develop a lot of technical skills. The environment is very friendly and very welcoming, with an eagerness to help and an encouragement to ask questions, ask for help when we're stuck. It offered many great perks, like paid lunch, chocolate fridge and plenty of social events. Everyone I've interacted with and I've met were friendly to me and nice.
During the placement there were a lot of social events that helped me meet with other colleagues, a lot of them who I've later worked with. This helped me become familiar with them even before I started being part of the team officially. I truly felt like part of the team by the end of the placement, and I have no hesitation in reaching out to team members to ask for help whenever I'm stuck.
I was given a lot of support. Despite being a placement student, I was offered the same training like the graduate students, spending weeks in training to be at the same level as them. Even after I started working on tasks, I was constantly offered support and guidance whenever I would reach out. It wasn't support just given by my supervisors but also my team members and other colleagues whenever I would need their expertise.
It all depended on the team and the workload, there were days when it was so busy it would pass in a blink of an eye, other days when it would be more tedious. Still, there was never a big lull in my schedule, even if the presented tasks would be done, there was always areas I could help, just needed to ask for more tasks. Overall, pretty well balanced, other than the occasional lulls.
I believe I was given a good amount of responsibility, that grew overtime. In the beginning I was given tasks that were still important but less difficult, and that would slowly grow as I would become more proficient in certain areas. By the end I would have certain areas I would be very comfortable dealing with and was often responsible for tasks specific to those areas when possible. I was treated like all the other software engineers.
Working as part of a team was a vital skill that will definitely help me in my studies and beyond. Understanding existent code and working on it is also very important in future jobs, as well as developing code following certain coding standards. Working after a schedule is something that will also be very useful in the future, not just at university but beyond, especially with the last year being the most difficult. Another important skill I gained is being able to express myself clearly when it comes to certain technical aspects.
It was a very friendly atmosphere. It wasn't uncommon to reach out and tap whoever you want to talk to or draw their attention instead of messaging them. There were also cakes for every birthday, where we would all gather to socialise for a few minutes and enjoy some cake. When the weather was also very nice, we would eat lunch outside. Even when the atmosphere was quiet, it wasn't stifling, rather just people focusing on their own tasks.
Despite being a student placement, I was placed in the same training graduates were given. It was a training based on the most common technologies used by the company, with difficulty that would gradually increase over the week. Even after the training was done there always seemed to be chances to learn, with learning lunches whenever a new technology or feature would appear and even smaller 'deep dives' whenever we would encounter a new area of the system we haven't encountered before.
Working from home
There were a lot of colleagues that mentioned they were placement students beforehand. Many of the placement students that finished just as I started also came back at the end of my placement. There are a lot of colleagues that talk fondly of their time as placement and clearly enjoyed it well to want to return. It definitely helps build this friendly and welcoming environment that makes you want to return, especially since you've already created a space for yourself in the team over the year.
Depends what you're looking for, hard to find furnished places but the prices are alright, nothing too extreme. And with where the firm is placed, there are plenty of smaller towns you could live in. I lived in Crawley, but I know colleagues that lived in Brighton or Horsham and did the daily commute. Crawley has a mall and it's not that far from London or the airport, and the tickets aren't crazy expensive either.
Definitely. There were Friday pub visits with the company, there were many social events during training to help us integrate within the team and meet other colleagues, and also a Christmas party organised by the company. Social events were always with two specific things, one being some kind of catering like a pizza truck or paella, and the other being an event like a treasure hunt or a mystery. Even when we had to all work from home the Friday pubs were maintained, only virtually this time.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Computer and Systems Engineering, Computer Science