1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My placement was an amazing experience, a great insight into working life and a great look at working in a large company. I grew a large amount over the year and going back to university seems very strange. However the people you meet and the connections you make are so helpful and really help you decide if this career if right for you after uni.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I had a really significant role within my brand team, it took around 3 months to get into the role, however after Christmas my responsibility picked up and I became a really important role to the team. They often depended on me and when i went on annual leave, they often told me how much i was missed.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager changed a few times and Johnson and Johnson are not very good and guidance or a development process. The managers I did have were always very helpful and caring and really made my time a pleasure. I was given a weekly catch up with my line manager to catch up on projects, this really helped me stay on top of things and ask any questions that I had.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Some days were very busy, others were incredibly quiet that I would clock watch. It is important to manage your time well and try to spread your work load. Monday was always the busiest day and got much quieter towards the end of the week. some placements would arrive 2 hours early and leave 2 hours late just to show face, I only did this if i had work to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
After Christmas you are given more responsibility as you have officially settled in. I had to handle a number of projects on my own beginning to end. I did however have to be proactive and ask to run these projects and suggest various tasks to my manager, but these projects became my focus on placement and it is really great to see the end result.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learnt more on placement here than I did in my first two years at uni. I have found that since being back at uni I am much more focussed and confident. I also feel I have a greater understanding of the context to which the work that i am being taught fits into. Completing a placement was the most beneficial thing I have ever done. Every week at J&J there is a further learning session where we met with successful companies, these also really helped with my wider learning.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I loved the buzz down in marketing, the rest of the building seemed to be very quiet and toned down, whereas marketing was always loud and happening. The atmosphere was alive and exciting, you felt like you could speak to anyone and they would be happy to talk, the atmosphere was only quiet and chilled on a Friday when most people work from home.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
For my intake, it was not set up very well, we were not told who we would be on placement with until a month before we started which made finding a house share difficult. We also did not know our brands until a couple of weeks prior. The induction was very poor and little had gone into it. However for the next intake of placements, we were asked to put together a number of booklets and presentations so it seemed as though they improved this following my year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The training programmes were plentiful, especially at the beginning, however the development was minimal and I had to request a number of things for myself to be involved in such as further experiences like a day in the field sales force. However once I had requested the experience, there was rarely an opportunity that was turned down or rejected, so as long as you are open about what you want out of the placement and how you want to develop, the rest should follow.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I did not apply for the grad scheme as I felt I had gotten all that i could from the company. I have heard that if you apply for marketing, you may find out shortly before starting the job that you have had a change of department - I did not like the idea of this. I also decided this was not the industry for me. However I know some of the current graduates and they are having a great time, they get a number of perks such as a company car and love it, it just was not for me.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Not really, everyone was very tired/busy and separate, a few nights out were organised but nothing spectacular. There were never any events with fellow colleagues outside of the placement circle which was annoying and there was no Christmas party either. It was lovely to chat to the team on the average working day however, so within the company the social scene was good, after 5pm once you have gone home, it is not so good.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Maidenhead was so cheap! The rent and living was really low budget so you can save a lot if you try. J&J also put on a free bus which made transport free too! There are lots of cheap restaurants in Maidenhead so that was never a problem, the only expensive thing was the gym. If you don't have a car you cannot really go to the free J&J gym so you may need to pay to join a close one.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Maidenhead does not offer much in the way of a night out - smokey joes is all it has to offer, and i somehow avoided this throughout the year. Reading is a great night out though and less than £5 to get to on the train. If not, London is only 40 minutes on the train and is about £12 with a railcard and was a great night out! You just have to watch on a Saturday though as the trains stop quite early.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I did not come accross any activities, I know the boys joined the football team but that was pretty much all there was on offer.