1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Really enjoyed my year or so working here. The Industrial Placement students follow the same scheme as the graduates for a year, so we were treated very well and had many opportunities to develop our skills. I have been given plenty of freedom to manage my own work and time, and have been supported through many opportunities for training. The actual work has been varied and interesting and there is still a lot more I could learn from the business.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Felt extremely valued. The graduates & Industial Placement students are managed as an overhead and therefore departments are more than happy to take us on. I always felt I was an important part of each team I worked for, and that my work was having a positive impact, and received plenty of positive feedback from colleagues.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The scheme provides plenty of support and has common figures looking after us. I had a buddy allocated to help me settle into the area & business, who is a current graduate. A discipline manager, who is a senior manager looking after your best interests and providing guidance within the project management function. Also we each had several placement point of contacts; who for me were project managers. These were the people I was working for in my various placements, and they helped set personal objectives linked to work carried out for them. As well as this all the IP's and Graduates report to a common line manager; who holds overall responsibility for us and whom we had regular contact with.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Generally very busy, nature of projects meant that workload was varied and there were always things to be working on. If I did choose to have a quiet day then it would just mean I would be working harder and longer another time. There are also many 'graduate' activities I am involved with, as the business has close links with the community. This means there are many community and charity projects which the business actively promotes us to manage and these also kept me busy.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given as much responsibility within my roles and i could hope for, and was responsible for identifying solutions to problems and defining scopes of work for projects, then carrying out activities that were needed to meet the solutions. The graduate activities also provide much responsibility, helping to build management skills and a higher level of autonomy in decision making.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Will be crucial in providing real business context for theory learned in my final year. The nature of the placement has meant I have experienced working within different teams and have experienced different aspects of project management and business in general.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Changed offices several times and so the atmosphere varied. The site is huge and there are many different cultures within one organisation. First office was mainly senior management and so that was a calmer atmosphere, but lacked much banter! Other offices have been better and enjoyed more of a 'team' atmosphere. Overall it was good, and I was often out of the office seeing people around the site anyway.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Couldn't really fault it! As mentioned the placement scheme follows the graduate scheme, and the graduate scheme is recognised as one of the best in industry. The graduates and IP's also support the set-up and management encourage input to make changes to improve it. Always evolving and this means the scheme is improving year on year.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Plenty of investment. There is a huge catalogue of training courses and we had the freedom to identify relevant courses we wanted to go on.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have been offered a place on the graduate scheme and the offer of sponsorship through my final year of studies. Future prospects within the organisation appear good in general; the graduates appear valued and it seems most move into good positions after coming of the scheme.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I lived together with two other IP's, and all 7 IP's socialised together. There is a very strong graduate community here and IP's are encouraged to get involved, making it easy to find people with similar interests. Plenty of group social events going on all the time.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Low cost of living. 4 of us rented a 4 bed house and paid Â£150 each per month exc. bills. Average pint around Â£2.30. Plenty of reasonably priced restaurants.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Probably the main downside is the lack of variety, with only two real nightclubs, although plenty of bars. No such problem with pubs though, plenty to choose from.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Many opportunities to get involved in sports teams, social events, activities in the lake district etc As mentioned, plenty of chance to get involved in community/charity work.