I was responsible for supporting the use of a particular section of Oracle's E-business suite internally. This involved fixing common issues day to day as well as creating patches and fixes for more long term problems.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The work was not really what I wanted to do, however once I got settled in and started to be able to find my way around the system a bit better it was more enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My manager was very friendly and helpful and often praised my work. Many of the other staff and managers were also very friendly and were able to support me with various aspects of my work when my manager was not available.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Every intern had a weekly meeting with their manager to track their progress which was always very useful for maintaining a sense of direction. We also had monthly meetings with one of the administrators responsible for looking after the interns to check that other aspects of our placement were fine.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Work tended to come and go so sometimes we had plenty of work to do and other times we had very little other than the standard product support which is an on-going process.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had the same amount of access as my manager to all the test environments and also to the production environments. I was working on the same issues as my manager, although slightly less involved as I did not have as much knowledge of the system.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
A lot of the knowledge gained was specific to Oracle, which, given their size and market share is not a bad thing with regards to future job prospects. They also make good use of standardised technologies such as SQL and XML which will no doubt come in useful in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The other staff were all very friendly, although a lot of people often chose to work from home meaning the office was often fairly empty.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It was well managed, although the two administrators have now left the company/moved jobs so this year it is more down to the managers to provide inductions and monitor progress etc.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We were allowed to go on a week long course relating to a technology we often make use of at Oracle University.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would like to work for Oracle again, although maybe in a job that is more to my taste.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a large number of interns, many of whom lived together meaning there was often something being organised.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Accommodation in Reading is fairly expensive, we were paying £350 per month in rent excluding bills. Being a student town however means that there are plenty of cheap shops/bars/pubs.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Reading is only a large town so don't expect anything epic in terms of clubs, though London is only a half hour train ride away. There are plenty of pubs/bars though for (not so) quiet drinks.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There is a dedicated Sports and Social club at Oracle with a full time member of staff who organises plenty of events, though not many of these really appealed to the students. It is possible to organise football matches against other businesses on the business park which did happen quite often and was well received.