This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
The company has a very welcoming atmosphere and everyone I worked with were always patient and helpful. I have thoroughly enjoyed the year - had lots of training (presentation skills was extremely valuable) and had the opportunity for an overseas trip as well.
I worked in a small team and from day one was made to feel welcomed. I was very timid at first but have developed into a valued colleague and I can see the benefits of my work.
I can't fault NATS on the support and guidance they offered. I had regular meetings with my line manager where we monitored my progress throughout the year. I had several mentors, each of which I learnt valuable lessons. I also wanted to have one-to-one meetings with the head of department as he is known to be very knowledgable and has been in the company for many years - this was arranged with no problem.
During the first half of the year I wasn't very pro-active and relied on my manager to give me work to do. From the beginning I was involved in some large projects so most of the time I had something to do. However now I have developed into a more pro-active person I am constantly busy and have learnt to become a more integral part of the team.
I was given large responsibilities from the outset in producing the department's year plans and creating/managing the presentation of the investment portfolio. As I increased my confidence and came out of my shell, I was given a task that I could grasp hold of and call my own. This has been very successful and is now the driver for a business improvement project.
The main skills I have learnt and developed have been soft skills such as team work, presenting, organisation, communication etc which will be valuable life skills. I think of these as being the most important kind of skills as whatever career you choose, these skills will be needed. I didn't use much of the knowledge I learnt in my degree on a day-to-day basis. This has meant that I have increased my knowledge far more than I thought I would though!
Good humour and banter, very friendly environment.
There was an initial plan for the year but within the first quarter we realised that this wasn't the best way for me to get the most out of the year, so we changed it accordingly. The fact that the placement was so flexible really impressed me because it meant I could really develop in the best way possible.
I went on numerous internal training courses. The best was the presenting skills as this was one of my weakest areas. A specialist external trainer came in to teach and I learnt a great deal during that day.
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
The organisation's at a tough point at the moment as far as employment opportunities go, much like many other companies in this tough economic climate. However I think I have made a good impression, I am urged to keep in touch and if any opportunities arise then they will let me know.
There is a lot to get involved in such as the sports clubs. However if you are not a part of one of these then it is difficult to get involved in the social scene. A few of us who started on the same day eat lunch together and have gone out for drinks a couple of times. There are a lot of placement students in the organisation but there weren't many opportunities to socialise with them. This is something that has been fed back and next time a lot more students will be inducted at the same time.
I stayed at home so had cheap rent! The cost of socialising is standard.
Portsmouth and Southampton are both close by.
There are lots of things to get involved in - sports and social clubs, charity work etc.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Accountancy, Administration/Secretarial, Business Management, Financial Management, Information Technology, Logistics and Operations