Managing three UK&I talent programmes for high potential employees.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My internship proved to be an invaluable insight into a large organisation and provided a great array of experience. However, I will be honest in saying the area of the business and even the industry proved to not be a true fit to both my personality and strength. Therefore it was sometimes hard to feel integrated and part of the collective. I will also note that my role did not really focus on my learning and development as much as I would have liked.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The organisation by its very nature it quite impersonal with much communication done over computer. Meeting face to face seems to be the last resort in many instances. Within my base office I was the only male within the team and I felt that both the gender and age difference between my colleagues and myself meant strong relationships were not established. I did get on with my colleagues and they were a great set of people to be working with. But I don't feel we were an exact fit in terms of personality and values.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My superiors on the whole were great at setting tasks for me. When I had a problem or difficulties, I was able to get support and guidance pretty much instantly. But there were a few instances of miscommunication and a failure to recognise expectations from both parties. I also felt that perhaps a greater attention could have been placed upon guiding my development and look at how and why what I was doing was important.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My workload did fluctuate just from the nature of the role. One week I would maxed out with various ongoing projects, events and people to contact. Then the next would be a bit more quite and be the opportunity to sort out less important tasks.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I am extremely grateful in the fact that I was given majority ownership for three major UK&I talent programmes. My project manager and I would have regular calls, every other day, just to make sure everything was in check. But I was encouraged to take the lead with many aspects within each programme and I preferred this instead of taking the back seat.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
From the leading role I took I was fortunate to engage in a variety of tasks, which developed a vast array of skills compatible to any future role within a professional organisation. Organisation skills, time management, and many communication competencies were all acquired/developed during the internship. I feel these will be integral to succeeding in my final year of university and in my future career. Sadly I didn't received much 'training' during the internship. Much of the training was on the job, yet sometimes I felt I was expected to just do certain tasks without seeing how they were done properly.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Despite the team within the office being great individuals I do not feel there was much of an atmosphere. Conversation rarely occurred and a vibe of insularity became apparent from individuals being immersed in their laptops.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Expectations for the internship were not strictly outlined and at times I did feel as though I was undertaking a summer job as opposed to an internship due to the lack of focus on my personal development. The actual tasks assigned to me in my role were very well organised by my project manager who recorded everything I did. I was set tasks and given deadlines through a well structured process yet this was down to my individual manager and not prescribed by the organisation's team that run the internship scheme. My project manager encouraged me to branch out to other areas within the service line of the business and gave me freedom to do so.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were thousands of E-learning modules available and my project manager identified key areas to focus on and complete certain modules. Yet no formalised training was apparent for interns in compared to graduate who I am aware undergo much training programmes/sessions.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Sadly my outlook and ambitions do not lie with an organisation as big as Atos. This may change in the future but for me personally, right now I feel my core values are not aligned to the culture of the organisation. The graduate scheme does look a fantastic option in terms of development but in the wider scope of things I can't see myself working for the organisation or in the particular industry.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
On my visits to the London office there was a another intern I would socialise with outside of work. My buddy and another ex-grad said they would invite me out for drinks sometime, but this never materialised. My colleagues at my base office did not do anything social with each other as far as I'm aware.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was fortunate to be based very close to home so I didn't have to pay bills etc whilst undertaking my internship.
Going to London for drinks is always going to be expensive though!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The area of Winnersh has no nightlife as far as I'm aware. London bars are great though.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I think there were/are but being an intern I was not really made aware of these. I'm led to believe that grads do a lot of outside activities in terms of work sport teams and volunteering.