1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I spent the year working with a very supportive and innovative team. I was eased into my role and soon found that I had my own responsibilities that really made a difference to the company. My day job was supplemented by placement/graduate activities which broadened the scope of my experience and allowed me to get involved in a breadth of activities.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Even though I was a placement, I found that I was treated with the same level of respect as full time team members. I certainly wasn't just a tea boy. The environment was very supportive; if I ever needed help, I only had to ask. I was never looked down on for needing help and it helped me find my confidence knowing that I had support when I needed it.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had 2 managers - a line and a practice manager. My line manager was very supportive in giving me training, helping me challenge myself and involving me in new and enlightening experiences such as supplier meetings. My practice manager would meet with me every four weeks and look at what I wanted to develop, how I wanted to better myself and what training or tasks I could do to improve myself. I found both managers to be exemplary,
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was given a challenging but achievable amount of work to complete. I was never overwhelmed but I certainly went home with the feeling that I had made a difference and I could be proud of what I accomplished.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
My line manager increased my responsibility throughout the year as I got more knowledgeable and skilled. By the end of the year I felt integrated and like I was a full member of staff.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I based my dissertation on the area of IT that I was working in. Having spent a year learning the enterprise applications and theories of the area, I was able to gain a high first class on my dissertation and overall for my degree,
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I worked in the headquarters, a new modern building in Milton Keynes with excellent facilities including a gym.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The scheme was very well planned from the get go. Everything was explained and we were given the structure of the year from the first week.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had access to a great number of internal courses but was also invited to many external training courses such as the vmware vsphere 5 overview course.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
Healthcare from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The organisation is always changing which opens up opportunities for innovation and fresh eyes to take on the challenge of Britain's railway infrastructure.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Many placements chose to live together. We would meet up for socials on Fridays and there was opportunity to get involved with 5 a side football, FIFA competitions and the like.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Milton Keynes is a lot cheaper than London. The pubs/clubs were similar in price to most bars you'd find in a large city such as Nottingham or Birmingham.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Milton Keynes itself has a limited night life but is within an easy 30-40 minute train to London with late trains returning as late as 1.30am.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Sports and social club, golf, volunteering - there really was something for everyone.