The placement provided a good, extensive overview of the company processes and structures, and it was very helpful in showing what the industry looks like and functions. The tasks themselves were mostly admin based and basic, but you are obviously just an intern and you are there to learn, which you do end up doing very much. The company atmosphere is great and informal compared to other corporate companies, which was helpful to settle in well.
It does depend on how much effort you put in, but I felt that there was a general atmosphere of "You're an intern, why are you talking to me" from some people which makes you feel quite uncomfortable. It obviously varies from person to person, and some people were absolutely lovely, welcoming and endlessly helpful. As an intern, they did throw me many tasks that they simply didn't want to do, which you have to do without any choice - but that's expected, and you do end up learning a lot. But all in all, you do feel expendable, and slightly undervalued by the team.
My managers were some of the most helpful people I've worked with - I received a lot of guidance from 2 out of my 3 managers, while the other one was more critical, focusing more on negatives rather than positives. It does feel deflating when you give your 100% to a project to be picked apart without any appreciation for the effort you've put in. It mostly depends on the person - some more supportive than others.
My position was focused on film markets mostly and revolved around their schedules around the year, which meant I had around 6 times during the year when I was unbelievably busy and overworked for a period of about 3 weeks, expected to work until late at night and during the weekends without any extra pay. I was advised many times to go to HR but I just thought it was part of the job - other periods during the rest of the year, I sometimes went for weeks without anything meaningful to do.
I guess it depends on the perspective, but I was not given that much meaningful responsibility in my day to day tasks for much of the year, but when it came down to the market times as mentioned above, I was responsible for everyone's individual schedules and setting meetings and dinners and drinks and I was the only one who was responsible for this, so it depended on the time of the year. Otherwise, not much.
I would say it's in the middle - so much of what I've learned, about the business, about the processes, about the structures, I will be able to use for the rest of my career, and it's been very revealing of an industry that's often quite difficult to understand, but on the other hand, the tasks that I was directly responsible for, once I learned them initially, became very repetitive and felt more like just a job to let the other members of the team not do things they didn't want to do.
The atmosphere was almost always good - the people are always laughing, chatting all the time - it was great to dip into these conversations on a particularly slow day. There is definitely an office hierarchy with the more senior members of the team, so you can't just be the same with everyone, but even the high ranking people are very nice and approachable, which is a big help when you're at the bottom of the chain.
This was probably one of the worst parts of the internship - I had my interview process at the end of the year and had radio silence for 5 months before they let me know I had progressed to the next stage completely out of the blue. I was luckily free at the time, but it was a complete mess. Even during the year, I didn't feel that the Early Careers team was really organised with the internship progress.
You are expendable - the internship only runs for a year, and they will feel nothing towards replacing you with the next person to come in and fill the position. In the end, it's more about the tasks that the intern is expected to fill that's the most important part rather than the person itself. I guess it's reflective of the corporate culture and you can't really complain because you are just an intern after all, but it does suck knowing this.
I loved the social aspect of the internship - there were around 75 of us which meant you could be doing so much with them during the week. We had daily lunches together in groups, and went out on nights out frequently during the week, especially on Fridays. Honestly it felt like being back in first year of uni, and generally speaking everyone is so nice so it was a great family atmosphere between the interns.
There were loads of bars and pubs around, and Jerusalem was our regular spot for all the interns on our nights out and drinks at the end of the day. It's really been one of the best parts of the internship, just hanging out with your friends basically, and I presume this would be the case every year depending on the kind of people that join. But considering everyone is pretty young, they'll all be pretty sociable and outgoing.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
28th July 2020