1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my placement year at National Grid. I was treated as a full member of staff, with real responsibility over important work. There was a great environment for learning with lots of support for development.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was treated and trusted as a full member of staff, with real, important work to do that actually contributed to the business. I was given responsibility, took part and lead in meetings, conducted presentations to senior members of staff.
There were also a number of team building days and some evenings in the pub that made sure I felt like welcome to each team I worked in.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
A great deal of support was given by the organisation itself and by my managers.
There was formal training for 2 weeks at the National Grid training centre where we were taught general professional skills, like leadership and presentation techniques to build our confidence.
The year was well structured with multiple reviews during the placement to see our progress and to put into action and changes that we needed to make.
Both my managers were fantastic, giving great deals of support on the day job, and in ensuring that I progressed well through my reviews.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
For the most part I was busy. There was some downtime when you start a new role, but this is the case with all jobs at any company.
As previously stated, I had real responsibility over important pieces of work, so I was kept busy throughout the vast majority of my time at National Grid.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had plenty of responsibility. I was not treated as a placement student, but as a real member of staff. I had important pieces of work that were critical for the business, and made a number of presentations to key stakeholders throughout the business, giving me real exposure to senior managers within my department and others.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The personal and professional skills developed during my placement year have been really useful when going back to my degree.
Things like leadership and presentation prove really useful when you have group exercises and presentations in university.
Furthermore, the placement year helped put a lot of my degree into context, and gave me useful ideas for different assignments and for my dissertation.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was good. It was nice and relaxed, and a good community of people. It felt like you were able to ask anybody for help, even if you didn't really know them.
Of course, the last 6 months of my placement were online due to the Coronavirus, put there were appropriate measures put in place, like daily team catch ups and weekly meetings with management.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement year was well organised. My line managers had a clear understanding of the expectations of both myself and the business, and were keen to support these.
Training was well organised, and arranged well in advance. We were put in contact with our placement colleagues and managers before we started so we were able to feel comfortable on our first few days in the office.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company invested a great deal in our development. Our first two weeks with the business was spent at its training centre, purely to train and develop our skills for starting our roles.
Even throughout the pandemic, the business made an effort to maintain our training, working with the training providers to alter training from in person to online, making sure that we keep developing.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have been offered, and have accepted a graduate scheme role with the company.
There is a good deal of opportunity for progression within the business, both within my department, and outside. There are a number of people that were on industrial placements that are still within the business, in more senior positions.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a large community of both industrial placement and graduate scheme employees, so there was a good social scene.
Half of the year was during the pandemic, which significantly hindered social events for everyone.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Leamington Spa is a fairly HCOL area, with rent being of particular expense.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Decent nightlife in Leamington and Warwick. Good transport links to bigger cities like Coventry and Birmingham where there is also good nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was plenty of external opportunities provided through work, particular sports. There were numerous sports groups which organised sessions after work on each night of the week. This was good to let off steam after work and to develop relationships with people from work you wouldn't normally meet or work with.