I loved my placement year and gained so much in a professional capacity as well as personal. I took on a number of tasks and headed up a number of projects which I was given total autonomy over and yet provided the support when I needed it. The best thing about my year was the people I got to meet and work with, it was a small team but that gave me the opportunity to make a big impact.
I always felt valued by my team and recognised for the effort I put into my work. When working in a small to medium sized company you are not treated like a placement student you become part of a family. I was always encouraged to share my ideas and opinions without any judgement. This helped to grow my confidence in leaps and bounds and my approach to my work and studies changed completely.
When you work in a flat hierarchal organisation this means you report to some really senior people. My manager was a director and so I learnt so much from just sitting next to him everyday and learning what it takes to reach that level. My manager was really approachable and I was very close to other senior members in my team so always felt I had someone to go to. Throughout my placement we discussed my career goals and ambitions and he would tailor tasks and projects that I could get involved with that would align with those.
I was always busy! And no day was the same, which I loved as it was never boring! The undergraduate recruitment project kept me busy with hiring the next cohort of placement students which was a 6 month project. I took on a number of tasks alongside my day to day work which always kept me busy. It made the time I spent with Egress fly by!
I was given so much responsibility at Egress! I was given ownership of a number of projects - in particular the Undergraduate Recruitment Scheme. I was recruiting for placements in almost every department of the business which increased my knowledge hugely of the tech industry and how everyone plays a part. I headed up every stage of the project from CV screening, phone interviews and organising and running the recruitment event. On the whole it was so rewarding as I then got to see all of those placement students join the business. I had a number of other responsibilities - I really enjoy the data analytics side of HR so my manager would give me a number of reports and tracking measures that I was given free range in producing. I also got involved in the joiner/leaver process and benefits and charity events.
I cant even list every skill I have gained as I would run out of room! I grew in so much confidence throughout my year which I didn't realise the importance of when going back to university and entering the job market. I was exposed to every area of HR that made me realise what areas of HR interest me most. I developed my dissertation theme off the back of my placement and readily available people to interview for my primary research. My approach to my studies completely changed and my attitude towards work. I felt like I really matured and that showed in the work I produced at university. The knowledge you gain from a placement at Egress meant that when I went back to a classroom setting I could relate everything in theory to practice and deliver work that was top standard.
The culture at Egress is work hard, play hard! And the general vibe of the office is pretty chilled. The majority of the employees at egress are between 20-30 so it a very fun place to work. Both the London and Sheffield offices are open plan and the dress code is casual. The kitchen has a pool table which is always super busy and tournaments going on! In more uncertain times the office was closed due to COVID-19 but has re-opened and a number of people are going in so hopefully we will have some of that amazing atmosphere back!
My placement was really well organised - from applying through RMP the whole process was seamless with how quickly we were at CV screening and a phone interview. The assessment day ran so smoothly and was one of the most enjoyable assessment centres I have ever done - you didn't feel like you were being scrutinised or judged they just wanted to find out who you were as a person and if you had the capability to do the job. I then had a week handover with the previous placement - I had to delay my start date and they were very understanding. The handover was a great chance to meet everyone and teach me everything that I would be doing. It allowed me to settle in really quickly.
There wasn't a formalised structure to my training and development but I spent a lot of time with one of my colleagues who would mentor me and teach me everything! When I needed to know or learn something each member would take time out their day to teach me. I went to Women In Tech events and career fairs all paid for by the company. The training I received was all in-house and continuous throughout my placement.
Sports and Social Club
They offered me a job at the end of my placement to come back after I graduate!
Yes! The office is located in Old Street, London so there are so many places to go and things to do. The building has a roof top bar and we would always have Friday drinks. With the number of placement students and graduates at Egress there was always people to go out with. The office socials were also a great way to see people outside of work and it was always super lively and fun!
Obviously being in London, the cost of living and socialising is high, but that is to be expected in one of the most expensive cities in the world - and I think its totally worth it! The company full funds the socials so we always got to do something amazing and fun for free! I lived at home on my placement year so didnt have to pay london accommodation prices and there are cheaper areas in london you can live and go out in! I never financially struggled and if you are smart you can save!!
The nightlife is bustling....So many bars, clubs, restaurants and activities to do. You will be spoilt for choice!
There are loads of opportunities to get involved in outside of work...so many charity events and awards nights. People in the company organise tough mudder challenges, football teams, netball, steps challenges! You are never short of things to get involved with. I made so many friends at Egress and we would meet up all the time outside of work and go for drinks or dinners. People even just played pool after work before they went home!
Placement Year (10 Months+)
8th October 2020