1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the environment I worked in, but there was a bit of a lack of direction in terms of what the department wanted me to achieve by the end of the placement. There was possibly too much emphasis on 'development', to the point where it was patronising.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
It was clear that my ideas were valued and I was often asked to offer solutions and brainstorm as a group. They were happy to help and ask for my help in areas which I had knowledge.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My coach was fantastic and always happy to help, my manager was also approachable and helpful, I really enjoyed working for them especially when it was clear my actions made their job easier,
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There was a lot of day-to-day variation, however I was encouraged to ask for more work when I wanted it.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
When I volunteered for tasks and showed that I was good at them, my manager extended those projects to give me more responsibility and a chance to create something which will assist the company in the future. I was also asked to coach managers in use of the project I had worked on, which was a lot of responsibility, but I felt secure that I had been taught and learnt enough to complete these sessions with ease.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I made great friends in the internship and through them could get an insight into other areas of the business which I may then explore. The tool I used was specific to Project and Portfolio Management, however the problem-solving skills I was encouraged to use to test the program and plan future updates could be applied to any area.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Friendly atmosphere, teams tend to be dictated by the manager and their approach is reflected in the team. The 'dress for the day' initiative made higher-ups seem much more approachable and I think it fit well with the company's community atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There was huge variation in this field, some employees had little information on the aims of the internship, but those involved tended to be quite organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
It was clear that a lot of money has been set aside for the Internship programme, however I think this may have been used better. The development plan was patronizing in content, including sessions where we coloured in a paper box and put our 'hopes and dreams' in it and a presentation about presentation skills- which we have been hearing all through school.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The ability to do a graduate placement where you can move around the organisation is great, at a time when many people still don't know what area to go into. The link to SLI is also good as a rotation can be done relating to investments, which adds even more choice.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, the interns were placed in communal flats in the same building and the intern social life was great. It was also really good that events weren't seen as compulsory and there was almost an open-door policy, with a good range of activities.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Standard Life covered the cost of the accommodation which was amazing, particularly during Edinburgh's Fringe Festival. Drinks and food are relatively expensive, as expected in the capital, but it was always possible to find cheaper events and free Fringe shows.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
During the Fringe there was a lot going on and a lot of tourists. Before that Edinburgh's nightlife is relatively average, however a lot of interns were Scottish and so we were able to stay over at their homes after nights out in Glasgow etc.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was a large element of choice in this area, it depended whether you decided to look for them. The company guided us into setting up a social committee in the first week and they organised many events such as tours and nights out.