I very much enjoyed my placement. This was my first full time role and I was able to gain a real insight into what happens in such a large organisation. I was given a real role with value that would impact on the business and was given a lot of support to help ensure that I was able to carry out this role successfully. Alongside my usual role I was able to get involved in other projects and gain further insights.
I felt very valued by everyone that I worked with. The office had a good atmosphere and it was clear that people got along. Within my team we regularly held team meetings which allowed me to feel welcomed and part of the team. I worked closely with a mentor who was able to help me with any issues or give me advice or guidance. I was also given praise if I had done things well, and offered advice if things didn’t go so well.
I was given a lot of support from management and supervisors. I had an allocated mentor that I worked very closely with so they had a lot of experience with the tasks I was carrying out. As well as this I was given a second mentor within another team in my office, which was useful to raise any other queries. Finally I was given support from my section manager and office manager with important tasks such as investigations or presentations.
Towards the start of my placement I wasn’t as busy when compared to 3/4 months in. However I believe this was beneficial as it gave me an opportunity to settle in and get used to the key tasks and familiarise myself with them. Once I had settled in my work was at a good level with not being too much or too little. I always had something to work on and had to manage my time to get tasks done.
I was given personally responsibility over a number of excel documents that I would need to run and maintain on a daily basis. This then evolved into a requirement to present this data to other members of the team so that they could be aware of the data. I was also given responsibility when working with my mentor to help him with some of his tasks, which may have involved physical investigations or collecting data online.
I was able to develop a lot of skills that I had started to develop while at University, such as team working, presenting or time management. However the opportunity to develop and use these skills in a professional environment was much more valuable than my experiences at university. I expect that these skills will assist me in my final year at University but also will be invaluable when applying for graduate jobs as I am able to give examples of things I have done and times I have shown skills.
There was a good overall atmosphere on a daily basis. This was helped by special events such as charity day or fundraisers. The office was very open plan which also helped to create a communal feel around the place. There was a lot of lighting which helped to create a positive feeling. There was a good social feel, for example when people were leaving or retiring there were pizzas provided and there was an opportunity to relax a little which gave a good feeling.
The organisation was outstanding. I was given regular contact during the application and job offer process. Once being offered a role I was twice invited on site before starting for welcome events. During the scheme there was a good structure and lots of opportunities for placement events. There was a clear structure for contacts and support including the placement team and department mentors. I always had the information I needed and was always aware of who to contact if I had any issues.
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
From what I saw in my role I saw a lot of cross departmental movements and a lot of scope for job rotation. There were also a lot of promotions that I saw which would be something I would be pleased about. There is also a graduate scheme that seems to set staff up for a successful career and give them a good role with good benefits and opportunities. It is something that I am interested in, particularly after my placement.
I was able to start playing 5 a side football with some fellow placement students. In addition to this I was able to attend events with other placement students which involved going out for food or activities such as mini golf at Ghetto Golf. Within my office there was an annual christmas night out which was a good opportunity to socialise early in my scheme. I also regularly still speak with some colleagues as we have shared interests.
The area is pretty cheap in general, there are lots of places to live. Most students prefer areas like Jesmond or Heaton, but as well as that there are good areas in the South Tyneside/Sunderland area that are even closer to the office. For socialising the main benefit is that there is so much to choose from, there are areas/places that are more expensive while there are also cheaper areas to socialise if that is what you are after. I would also say there is a good mix of national/chain bars or restaurants as well as some very good local offerings.
There is a lot of opportunity and variety within the area. Newcastle and Sunderland are both fairly big cities with lots of bars, pubs and restaurants. There are also a lot of music venues, with bands regularly touring and sports facilities. You also have smaller towns like South Shields or Tynemouth that can offer similar facilities along the coast. Additionally it is located fairly close to Durham that can be a very popular destination for days or nights out.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
28th October 2020