Thoroughly enjoyed working at RCI. I was made to feel extremely welcome from the moment I started and I could not have asked for a better team to help me get settled in. The company is the perfect size as it allows you to get to know a lot of other people and not only the other interns. The atmosphere at RCI was really good - work hard and set goals but have fun and enjoy yourself!
I had a small team compared to other interns but that made no difference. My team were incredibly friendly, supportive and made my time at RCI all the more special. They don’t just see you as “the intern” but a colleague and a friend and as someone with valuable insight. Within my wider department, I enjoyed getting to know the rest of the team whether it was working on certain tasks or through team socials.
The support that I had from both my supervisor and head of department was amazing. We scheduled weekly or fortnightly catch ups, alongside team meetings to check up on our progress. From the start I was made aware of the support network that I had - even if there wasn’t a scheduled meeting my supervisor/manager would check in. Tip: don’t be afraid of asking questions as it shows engagement and they are more than happy to help.
How busy I was depended on the time of the month or certain times of the year. On a daily basis there was always something to do but if I finished this, there was loads of training to engage with. I also let my manager know if I had finished a certain task so they could delegate more work etc. On other days there was a lot to get through with deadlines but as long as you’re organised it’s fine!
The responsibility that I was given progressed during the year. At first, I had to be more confident or understand certain tasks more before being given more responsibility but as time went on, I was given a large amount of responsibility. My manager would give me a task and let me get on with it as long as I updated them on my progress. For half of the year I was leading my own meetings/ inspections which was great!
The skills I developed at RCI will definitely assist me in my studies and career. One of the most important skills that I developed was time management, planning and organisation. Before placement I thought I understood this but after having working at RCI, these skills have improved massively. I also had training on excel which will most definitely come in handy for my studies and beyond. My communication skills, written and verbal, both improved massively.
The general atmosphere was pretty fun, but I think this would have mostly depended on your department and what day it was as some people worked from home on certain days. Generally the atmosphere was really good - everybody loved to have a chat/ catch up but still worked hard and got all tasks done! The atmosphere was especially fun during the Christmas period and it made coming to work even more exciting for everyone!
I think the placement was set up pretty well! During our first month we had a handover with the previous intern as well as lots of training, opportunities to learn about other departments and sessions to get to know the other interns initially. We also had performance reviews scheduled in which was good as it allowed us to see what we needed to improve on which was helpful for our uni work or just personal profession.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
The social scene was really good with both my department and other interns. Again, this may depend on your department but we had team lunches/dinners and a team social in London which was so so fun! With the interns we would often meet up outside of work for nights out or to go to the cinema or whatever anyone wanted to do! We were quite lucky as there were a lot of other interns so guaranteed fun!
Personally, I found it to be quite expensive to go for drinks, dinners or nights out purely because we were so close to London and obviously if we did go to London it got quite expensive but there were places in Watford to socialise! Cost of living was a bit more expensive than I was used to but it wasn’t anything too bad! My rent was quite high but other interns had theirs quite cheap so it all depended!
Working in Rickmansworth was okay as it wasn’t far at all from Watford! I lived really close to Central Watford so I had loads of pubs/ restaurants etc near me which was very ideal! We were also really close to London which was great - from where I lived it was only a 15min train to London! The office in Rickmansworth was a little bit out of the way but that didn’t effect social plans much!
Placement Year (10 Months+)
16th September 2020