Going out on campus raising the profile of RateMyPlacement. Looking after the partnership with societies. Contributing to our social media presence and blogs. Attending client meetings to discuss new products. Producing reports for clients.
RateMyPlacement are a young, exciting and growing company and to be part of that in such a crucial time in their development was an absolute pleasure. There are very few placement students who would get the opportunity to see the company they work for develop so much in the time that they are there. It really makes you feel like you're playing your part in the progress they are making which is the best sort of experience you can get. What really makes this placement though are the people. *Massive Cliche Alert* Everybody you work with start off as colleagues and by the end are some of your best mates. You're happy to be able to see them everyday.
From day one everybody here made us understand how we would fit in to the company and what was expected of us. Your role, especially for the first 4 or 5 months is very unique in terms of going out on to university campus' and being the face of RateMyPlacement. It is a great amount of responsibility for the early stages of your placement and everyone in the office understands how important that role was. If you can prove that you are responsible and accountable in this stage then you will be rewarded with the trust and resources to undertake some fantastic projects over the rest of the year.
The management at RMP are always on hand if you have any problems and you really benefit from being in such a close group of people because you never feel like you're bothering them. We had a 6 month, 9 month and end of year performance appraisal which I found really useful and it really helped me to improve in my role. I would have personally like these to happen a little earlier and have a 3 month appraisal. Each placement student was assigned one of the co-founders as a mentor and these catch-ups were a great chance to get things off your chest and put you at ease with people who you don't work as closely with. I always also found that these were a great chance to ask questions about what was going on elsewhere in the company. Maybe bringing in a mini-performance appraisal would help here too.
This was extremely varied. For the first few months you are out on campus promoting the website to students at freshers and careers fairs so you don't really have time to start any big projects. This means that you are left with not a lot to do and what you are doing wasn't very stimulating. However, once you were back in the office full-time and start to take on your own big projects thats when it starts to get really busy. My last month especially was extremely hectic and even had to carry on some of my work once I had finished. Just make sure you throw yourselves into projects that interest you and don't be afraid to say no to people every so often. Sometimes people in different areas of the team don't understand your workload and ask you to do a bit more than you can handle. But nobody will judge you for saying no.
You're trusted with a lot at RMP. As I mentioned earlier, you are the face of the company when our on campus and this isn't just for students, you are speaking to clients and potential clients on a regular basis as well. If you have a good idea and prove that it can work then you'll be trusted to run with it and make it work and you can't really ask for much more responsibility than that.
I think the main thing I will take from my placement is the work ethic I now know I need to have to be successful. The team at RMP put in a lot of hours to achieve what they want and this rubbed off on me in a major way. I was taught to be accountable and responsible for my own actions. In terms of training, RMP offer nothing official but if you see some form of training that you feel will benefit yourself or the rest of the team just explain it to your manager and more often than not it will be arranged.
This, for me, was the best part the placement at RMP. You're working with friends everyday and you just don't dread going in like a lot of my other friends at other placements did. There is always music playing (not all of it good), people having a laugh and great banter. It's a great work hard, play hard culture.
Being such a small scheme in a small company there wasn't a lot of structure to the placement. When you first came back into the office after being on placement there was a bit of a lul and not too much work provided. But this role is very much about finding what interests you and throwing yourself into it.
We took part in a few different bits of training during the year. It wasn't just for work as well, near the end of our placement we did a healthy living workshop. Like I mentioned before, if you see training that will benefit the group then tell somebody about it!
RateMyPlacement don't have a graduate scheme due to their size but 8 new people were hired whilst I was there and I understand they are currently looking for new members of the team. This shows how much they are growing and 8 new hires in a team of 21 is very good. I have been reassured that they would like to see me back at RMP if there was a role available once I have graduated.
Yes, yes there was. Working as part of a young team means that everyone is up for blowing off some steam after a week of hard work. Every Friday home time is met with a few beers that often carry on to a few more in the pub down the road. It's the socials that are the real treat. We do so many new and different things that I usually wouldn't have been able to do. I've tried cocktail making, dirt track racing, archery, been on a boat down the Thames, ice skating and all of these activities were finished with some top food and a great night out. It's not just the socials either, because you're with your mates you always arrange to do things out the office together.
London was never going to be cheap. But you get what you pay for, your living in one of the most exciting places in the world and the price reflects that. I was living in Wimbledon which is a really nice area. I was paying just over £600 a month on rent and bills with another £100 for travel. You may need to dip into that student overdraft like I did...a lot, but you're only there for one year and I just wanted to make the most of it. No regrets.
Something for everyone. Whether its cheesy pop or hardcore dance music you will find places that you go back to time and time again. Some of the best clubs in the world and you will never run out of new places to try.
We did quite a few things for charity, which was a lot of fun and gave us the chance to hang out as a group outside of work and away from the bar. I often played football with other lads in the office and other members of the team got together to do other sports like running and tennis.