1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I found the job incredibly enjoyable and non-monotonous
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
There was a great team atmosphere and I felt welcomed and valued, even though I was only there for a short period
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
All new recruits get a 10 day training map which they are guided through to orientate them to the business in their first few weeks and help them settle in to the job. There is also a one to one review with your branch manager every 30 days. Besides this we also attended training days at HQ to further equip us.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There were incredibly busy periods, but this was always balanced out by quieter times of the day which allowed you to get other work done besides serving customers, and gave you the opportunity to ask questions and learn off other more experienced employees. We also had team building days out which offered a welcome break from the office.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Once I had been trained up in the major aspects of the business, I was given a lot of responsibility and autonomy to deal with things how I saw fit (within reason of course!) On occassions, I was manning the branch on my own, which was really good experience. And if I got stuck, help was only a phone call away!
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The training we received was invaluable and definitely helped equip me to work in a business environment.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Obviously it wasn't banter all the time as we had to do some work and maintain a professional attitude when customers were present, but aside from that the atmosphere was always relaxed, friendly and informal.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There were a few things which didn't come to fruition, but these are a minority. Considering I did my placement in the very first year that an intern scheme existed, I thought that the overal set up was very well organised and didn't really pose me any problems.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was incredibly surprised with how much time, money and effort was invested in my personal development. As i have previously mentioned, we had training days at HQ throughout the duration of the placement and all new recruits spend a week of orientation at admin in Stirling (for Scotland placements) before formally starting work in the individual branches. All of this training was invaluable and so much more focused and applied than anything I have ever received in a lecture theatre
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects are very appealing. To begin with, all applicants for student placements go through exactly the same recruitment and training processes as graduates. This facilitates the ease of securing a permanent position with the company once you have graduated. All management trainees work through a management development folder which, once completed and assessed, makes you eligible for promotion after approx 1 year. Doing a placement allows you to work on this as well and so gives you a head start into the process if you decide to take up a graduate post later on. Also, all promotion is internal, so you aren't competing with applicants from outside the organisation.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social side of the placement was fantastic. During orientation week, we were all put up in a hotel in Stirling to avoid having to travel there everyday. This helped us all to get to know each other really well and we were taken out for lunch everyday to give us some time to get to know each other away from the training room. Besides that, we had activity days organised by Enterprise where we did white, water rafting, quad biking and clay pigeon shooting. There were also various area nights out arranged and a summer family fun day for the whole Enterprise Scotland group. I am still in touch with the interns from last year and we all got on really well.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Since I worked in Edinburgh, the cost of living is high. But I study there during the academic year, so it was something I was used to and so didn't really pose a problem. The salary offered is quite high compared to most summer placements, so I didn't find it a problem at all. Branches also have bonus incentives from time to time so you can pocket a bit extra in reward for hard work
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
It's the centre of Edinburgh...so obviously it's great!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?