This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
I have loved my placement year with NHS England, the work has been very varied, interesting and challenging at times. I have also been given the responsibility to manage and influence the direction of my own projects that have been used in high level reports and discussed in board meetings.
Throughout the year, I have always received valuable feedback from all my colleagues, not just the ones I have been completing work for. I receive feedback on all of my work and get regular updates on how my analysis has made an impact, either by emails/face-to-face meetings. Often I have also had to develop my projects or carry out further analysis on a specific area due to feedback from customers/team members.
My manager and I had weekly catch ups to ensure that I was progressing with projects sufficiently and to also ensure that I was coping with my current workload. Sometimes we have also used this time to discuss about the transition back into University, ideas about a dissertation title and to also get a general feel of how I'm feeling. By doing this I have built a great relationship with my manager and feel extremely supported by her both in a work environment and also personally.
Due to the nature of the organisation the work comes in peaks and troughs, I have had a couple of ongoing projects throughout the year, that I have been developing and tailoring as to what my manager needs and when, during this period the workload is constant and manageable. I also have extremely busy periods when I am given AdHoc pieces for work to complete very quickly for an upcoming meeting or paper, which is very exciting and has given me experience in fast-paced work.
Throughout my placement year I have been the analytical lead on various projects, this has developed my project management skills. Often I have been briefed on a piece of work and then had to go away and create a piece of analysis based on what the customer wanted. I have had full responsibility over the piece of work and the direction of the analysis has been completely my decision.
I believe skill I have developed most this year that will really help me when I return back to University is the ability to see numbers in a real life application. I have also chosen to complete my dissertation based around a healthcare topic, and I believe that this is an added advantage as I will already have over a year's background knowledge in my chosen subject area.
The atmosphere in the office was quiet the majority of the time, however often a colleague would crack a joke or bring up an interesting discussion point. Everyone around me is very enthusiastic to help me and offer any advice they may have. There are also often team events organised for example throughout the year we had 2 bake offs, a cake sale and also a team pizza lunch.
The placement was very well organised, I can now see that there was a lot of processes my manager had to complete prior to me joining the organisation, so it seems like they were pretty on the ball. On applying for this placement, I had regular contact with someone from the organisation that was overlooking the whole recruitment process and the transition into work was very smooth.
On starting my placement it was made very clear to me that I had a £1000 training budget to use for whatever I believed would help my work throughout my placement. As I completed quite a lot of graphing work, I decided to attend a course on Data visulisation, which I found really helpful.
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
With the organisation being a governmental organisation the only down side is that they cannot offer you a job on completion of your placement as most private companies could. However you are offered a lot of support with your application for example, I have had multiple 'mock' interviews and colleagues are offering to read over my application/CV. I have also been made aware about the employment streams and the benefits they offer through seminars and meetings, I believe that through completing this year has given me a deeper understanding about the employment and recruitment process of the civil service that I wouldn't have necessarily had.
There was 15 students in our year and throughout the year we all became very close, every day we would meet each other for lunch and we would also arrange social activities in the evenings. Even though we were all placed in different teams and from all over the country we have become very close and I have made some friends for life. Not only have we had a great year socially and outside of work, having other students on placement with you also allows you to ask for help and pick on the other students skill sets as we are also all from different universities and degree disciplines.
I rented a lovely 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom flat in the city center with one of the other placement students for £750pcm inc water. As we had decided to live together our rent was considerable less than that of some of the other students. In particular the students that were living by themselves in the city center. However the office is also close enough to the student area of Leeds that you can commute from the student area, which also reduces the rent etc. I have found that the cost of living is much less than what I am use to and find myself often eating out going out for drinks. With the salary we get and the cheaper cost of living, I feel that I have had quite a large disposable income for myself and that I can always afford to socialise.
There is an abundance of clubs, bars, restaurants in the city center with a variety depending on what you are into.
Often teams are organising socials and team building nights out. Throughout the year I have been to 3 Christmas parties, a cricket match with my team, the cinema and plenty of team lunches/dinners. There are also lots of sports to get involved in for example wheelchair basketball, squash, badminton and also running club.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Yorkshire and Humberside
29th July 2015