1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was tedious at times but got a lot better as the year progressed. I had a good group of mates so I enjoyed going to work. Towards the end of the year I got a lot more responsibility and ended up running a couple of small projects from start to finish. I was actually quite disappointed to leave when I did.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by my colleagues. They made me feel that the work I did made a difference to the organisation. By the end of the year I felt like I was really important to my department.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager wasnâ€™t in a lot but always made time for me when she was. She was keen for me to develop, although often work priorities took over. In general my manager and supervisor were very committed to my development; this was consistent through the organisation.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My job was very project based. At times I did a lot of surfing the internet! But at times we had to work extremely hard to meet some tight deadlines. On the whole, I would liked to have been a little busier in the earlier part of my placement.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
By the end of my placement I was doing practically the same job as my manager, co-ordinating projects in the department, and working with external employees and companies to meet our objectives. It is great to have a project you are responsible for and manage it through completion and roll out.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I will use a few of the technical skills I picked up, including some basic programming skills, and a general understanding of IT in a big organisation, however the most transparent skills I have developed are time and project management skills, which will be invaluable in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was fairly relaxed, maybe too relaxed at times! There were only 4 other men in my department of almost 20, so the football chat was fairly minimal, but everyone was really friendly and had plenty of time for the students.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very good. The job that the student does is filled by a student every year so the organisation is well used to having us around, and they give you plenty of opportunities to get involved in whatâ€™s going on in the company and industry. In fact, you feel so much like a proper employee, its gutting to know everyone else is getting paid double what you do!
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had some great IT training when we started, but I didnâ€™t go on much formal training throughout the year. Having said that, the company were more that happy for me to learn new skills, through on the job training or self guided learning at work. Without formal training I developed loads of new skills during my placement.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Itâ€™s a great company to work for and they treat the staff really well. Pharma sales isnâ€™t for me and thatâ€™s the most popular route into the company. Having said that, a lot of my friends from my placement year have plans to go back into a sales role.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were over 30 students and although we complained of lack of money and the nightlife the area, we still managed to socialise together a fair bit! Lunch times were good fun and we got involved in a lot of stuff outside of work together. Iâ€™ve definitely made friends for life.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
High Wycombe is pretty cheap to rent in comparison to the surrounding areas, and the town itself is pretty cheap and studenty to go out in. There are some nicer, more expensive surrounding areas.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Pretty poor to be honest. We had some great nights out but more to do with company that the area, High Wycombe is a pretty terrible night out. Only half an hour from London so easy to get there occasionally, when I could afford it!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The Sports & Social club was really good and we did the 3 peaks challenge which was a great laugh and all the students got involved, and there were always theatre trips and such like organised, and quite cheap. There was plenty going on in the surrounding area if you looked hard enough and loads of the students found sports clubs to join etc. It helped massively having a car though.