My placement was a great experience where I had the opportunity to understand a variety of roles. I was able to work on projects and learn a new programming language - SAS. I was able to also learn about R which is a new language within the industry. I enjoyed working with different people on projects and visiting other sites such as GSK House Stevenage and Ware. My colleagues were incredibly helpful and always happy to support.
I felt very valued by my colleagues who were always available to help me and provide feedback. At the start of my placement I had a lot of queries, they were always supportive. I received appreciation via email and feedback from my manager during and after my efforts in a project. A colleague recognised my work and put me forward for an excellence award, which SRG provided me a certificate for, it was great to see my work being recognised.
When I started working on my first study, my manager explained me all the useful documents and procedures involved. Additionally, when I started to program she went through important concepts and showed me how to shorten code. My manger happily guided me as I had not worked on studies as such before. If my manager was ever unsure other members of the management team would help me too. My manager recommended training courses as well to help my learning.
I had tasks to complete on a daily basis, I was required to multi task because each task had its own deadline and I was working on multiple projects. It was important to stay organised and manage my time efficiently. This allowed me not to miss a deadline. Overall I was quite busy, occasionally I had quieter days when I was waiting for other colleagues to review information I had sent. I was able to learn a lot by being able to work on multiple items.
Throughout my placement I was given a lot of responsibility, for instance on one of the projects I was the lead programmer. This involved me working on all the outputs and communicating any issues with the other team members. I had deadlines to meet as other members of the team needed to quality check the outputs. I also was required to create the dataset and in the end a presentation to explain the results to a panel.
The skills I have learnt I can take into a future workplace by being able to apply them quicker as in placement I was able to develop them. I will be able to work more independently, organise myself and prioritise tasks to meet deadlines. I have been able to gain interpersonal skills which will allow me to communicate with a variety of people. I have been able to adapt and learn a new programming language in under eight months, I can learn quickly and apply the knowledge in specific work areas.
The general atmosphere in the office was quite friendly. It was simple to be able to have conversations with all staff members. When I was not sure about something I was always able to turn around and find someone to help me. Generally everyone was always approachable. Colleagues and placement students would organise a pot luck lunch, where everyone would bring an item to share for lunch. This allowed us to get to know each other better.
Face to Face Trainings- 6 sessions for new programmers, these trainings helped understand the different processes in a study and what commonly used abbreviations mean
• 1:1 Sessions- Frequent meetings with my manager to discuss development and training areas. My manager went through SAS concepts as she was very knowledgeable having over 10 years’ worth of experience.
• Buddy system- Allocated a colleague that was a recent graduate, she was my point of contact if I required any additional help. She set up 1:1s weekly where we could go through any topics, I was not sure about and would mentor me.
• Colleagues (informal training)- Various times where I asked different individuals advice depending on their expertise.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
The organisation has a lot of graduate schemes that you could take part in. Throughout the year, multiple presentations were given on this to understand the different graduate schemes. An advantage placement studens have is that the application can be fast tracked as you have worked with the company. Once you have decided which programme to apply for your manager fills out a form which is passed onto the recuritment team, after which you do still have to complete an interview.
All the placement students in the department got along. We met outside of work as well, including some colleagues too. Additionally, every quarter a social was organised, I was a part of the team who assisted in planning this. We found a central location, made a booking and invited everyone from the department. It was a really nice way to know colleagues even more and bond with other placement students. At times people from different sites were also able to attend.
There were many opportunities, when I first started my placement there was a presentation delivered on all the activities that take place non work related. I became a STEM Ambassador which allowed me to inspire young people and help them understand some of the careers available in STEM. I attended a careers fair and represented the company, I answered questions students had regarding placement. I volunteered at a food bank with other colleagues and placement students.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
25th August 2020
£18,000 - £19,999