Performing low level management duties that were delegated directly from a senior management team, including but not limited to:
Approving employee timesheets
Approving employee leave requests
Attending monthly management team meetings
Keeping records of employee training courses
Acting as a first point of contact for employees who need to ask their line manager a question
Organizing and coordinating new starter inductions on a monthly basis.
Internal Software Development projects using .NET4 with C# and MVC3
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Having originally applied for a completely different role than I ended up doing, Atos made every effort to give me as much experience in other areas as possible, especially those that I was originally going to be undertaking.
I only gave this question a 9/10 as although I thoroughly enjoyed the role I did, I would have liked a little more exposure to the area that I initially wanted to work in.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I worked directly with a team of 6 senior management for the full 12 month placement, and was always made to feel like an important part of the team. I was included in 3 different management social events over the year, and received a leaving gift as a thank you for the work that I did over the 12 months.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
As previously mentioned, I was working directly with a full team of management, this meant that whenever I needed support or guidance, there was always someone who could make time to help.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I always had plenty of work to be doing, especially after around 6 months when I was fully settled in to my main role, and I was then working on multiple projects.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
"I was running the show!" is probably a bit of an exaggeration, but I was given a lot more responsibility than I ever imagined I would during an internship. The main role that I did was putting me in a management support role, therefore performing low level management tasks and even managing employees who were a much higher level than me.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My role was mainly business management based, therefore I didn't learn as much technical knowledge that would have aided more in the final year of my degree. However, the business skills, and people management skills that I learnt will be massively beneficial in any working career, not just in the profession that I will be pursuing.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office I was based at for the majority of my placement was one of the smaller offices in the company, and therefore social life was a little diminished compared to the larger offices. That being said, I often went out for lunch with a few of my colleagues, and also attended leaving parties and Christmas socials etc.
I spent a lot of time in 3 or 4 of the other offices, and found that the bigger and more populated offices had a lot more going on on a daily basis.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Being a big company, the recruitment process was handled by both Atos itself, as well as an external recruitment company. I found that while dealing directly with Atos staff, the recruitment experience was absolutely fine, however while dealing with the recruitment agency, it could take a long time to find out any kind of information or answers to questions. This score should not reflect badly upon Atos in any way, but if you need answers to an important question I would recommend trying to speak directly with an Atos contact.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Atos has a huge library of online training programmes in both soft skills and highly technical skills. I was given the opportunity to create a training plan, and was always given the time to do whatever training courses I wanted, as long as they were related to my current roles, or further university studies.
I was also given a lot of one-to-one time for personal advice and guidance from some of the most senior members of the company.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
However not yet 100% confirmed, I am most likely going to be receiving an employment contract to return to Atos on a graduate scheme in Summer 2013, and I am told that it will be confirmed as soon as some minor formalities are sorted out within the company.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The majority of placement students were based in the London office, and I was based almost 3 hours north of London in a town called Darlington. This meant that it was difficult for me to attend all of the social events put on for interns in London, however there were plenty of opportunities.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I found the North-East of England to be very reasonably priced in both accommodation and food expenses, so much so that I will definitely consider moving up there after graduating!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Darlington itself is only a small-ish town, however the nightlife was really pretty good for a small place. You also have Durham and Middlesborough close by, however I didn't venture that far so couldn't comment on the nightlife!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Darlington was a fairly young office, to the point where a good handful of employees were actually younger than me (I am a "mature" student of 24 turning 25 during my final year), and as long as you get involved during office hours, i.e. introduce yourself and be sociable, you will be invited to join in plenty of nights out and football matches etc.