This review was submitted over 4 years ago, so some of the information it contains may no longer be relevant.
Working for Computacenter was a real pleasure and I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement year! There was a balance between work and learning and I was welcomed to the team I worked in as a valued member, rather than just an intern.
Everyone's been extremely supportive and valued my opinion. I felt that not only my team, but also people from the wider Computacenter community were keen to support me and help with my projects. Furthermore, I was given real responsibilities and accountable for my own tasks. Hence, I learned I could add real value to the team I worked in and the company.
Throughout the course of the 12-month placement I always felt supported when I needed and experienced being part of a very friendly culture. Nonetheless, I was also given the opportunity to be initiative and to make my own decisions. As part of the Scheme each placement student is aligned to a line manager and a mentor; I had regular 1-2-1s with both of them on a monthly basis to track my progress and to discuss my aspirations. Mentors and managers usually work together to ensure the best experience for each placement student.
My workload varied from month to month; I had my daily repeatable tasks to do but also had the flexibility to do more than that. I am the type of person who likes to be busy. Hence, if I didn't have specific tasks to do, I would normally built up my own workload and create little projects for myself as I go. Therefore, I really enjoyed the times when I had quiet periods and time to arrange "Day in the life of...", sign up to different courses or just focus on additional projects.
I was given as much responsibility to carry out my role as a regular employee would. I was responsible for managing my own tasks and time and was trusted to communicate important messages to key clients. I was also trusted with more than just my daily tasks, and assigned with responsibilities which are typically performed by more senior members of staff.
It is noticeable that the company invests a lot in learning and development of its human resources. For the duration of the 12-month Placement I have reported on a number of improvements and was allowed (and even encouraged!) to attend quite a few training courses. Example courses include: Presentations Skills, Emotional Intelligence, Excel Skills, as well as several role specific courses. Furthermore, I was constantly pushed to develop further on a daily basis by doing responsible tasks which were beyond my job description.
As I was based in the head office in Hatfield, the atmosphere there was often more formal compared to other offices - e.g. London, Reading, Nottingham. As previously said though, the general feel in the office was very friendly and welcoming. Some of the offices across the UK encourage Dress Down Fridays on a weekly basis.
The placement was very well set up and the scheme allowed for development outside of the role too. As I was the first student to undertake a placement in the team I worked in, I think both my colleagues and I were on the learning curve this year, but it proved to be worth it!
As mentioned above, training and development is an area in which the company invests a lot which is great! I received a lot of training, led by both internal and external professionals.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
The company provides plenty of opportunities for eager individuals who'd like to come back. There is an excellent Associate Programme designed for graduates who want to pursue careers in Sales or Service Management. During my time at Computacenter I felt encouraged to come back to the company and I am sure people who were on the Placement Scheme would have a better chance of securing a graduate role. The company is currently developing further graduate opportunities and it is likely that the routes for recent graduates will change drastically in the next couple of years.
There was an excellent social scene amongst the placement students. In 2014/2015 there were 9 of us doing the placement, so it was easy for us to keep in touch and organise regular catch ups - both formal and informal.
I personally commuted from London to Hatfield on a daily basis. However, cost of living in Hatfield is reasonable (and a lot cheaper than London!). In regards to socialising, we had regular meetings in London where the the socialising element was better.
Placement Year (10 Months+)