I couldn't have asked for a better placement. Great people to work with in nice offices and and interesting job with good exposure to a variety of work in the department I was assigned to and beyond.
I was never held back from doing 'real work' or pushed on due to 'only' being a placement student. That said, I always knew I could ask for support from managers and colleague when needed - which was a lot for the first 6 months at least! Some full time colleagues - who were once placement students like me - would take time out to give me 1x1 mentoring sessions. It was natural to find friendships with colleagues at work extend outside of work due to joining a number of different Roche sports clubs.
Throughout the placement, I met my manger for 1 hour each week for a general catch up and to discuss if there was anything I needed help with. It's common that there is a 2-3 month overlap period between successive 'generations' of placement students. This provides the perfect oppportunity for the outgoing students to 'buddy' the newly arriving students through the early stages of settling in before the students find themselves in a real work situations. I liked the open plan layout of the Welwyn office as it means there are plenty of chances to ask people around for help when stuck!
There were natural periods of business and natural periods of not-so-business, but I imagine this is typical of many jobs. When in a period with slightly less work to do, there were lots of chances to learn more technical skills via training, which would be required in the busier times! In all, I thought the balance was good.
Naturally I began with no responsibility whatsoever. I started with simply checking other peoples work, but this quickly turned to being thrown in at the deep-end when a unplanned project needed completing quickly. I helped this project team with increasingly difficult tasks during a busy 3 week period and by the end I was praised for doing a good job. After demonstrating I could so well, I was pushed on more in day to day work. When I asked my manger for responsibly, I would get it providing I was dealing with everyone I already had to do well.
There is no doubt that doing this placement made it so much easier to get a graduate job .I am happy to say I rejoined Roche after my final year at university and I'm still here in my 3rd year after! I am part time studying for a masters degree in statistics. After my placement year I find it much easier to relate what I study scenarios I would find at work.
There is an open plan office layout and plenty of communal areas for meetings and coffee breaks. I think this allows for a good freindly culture with people always saying 'hi' as they pass by and also there are lots of opportunities to
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
Healthcare from home
It is quite common for ex placement students to return after graduation. I am happy to say of of them is me! I now live in Switzerland working for Roche, and my current boss was also once a placement student at Welwyn, He is now based in San Fransisco! Working for Roche gives you excellent opportunities for growth an career development. Doing a placement year is a real great opportunity to get to Roche in the first place! To my knowledge there are 6 students from the last 5 years of placements that are full time employees at Roche, and there are more from even before that.
If you are expecting a party town then Welwyn Garden City is not for you! That said there are a few nice local pubs and these offer the perfect place to unwind with colleagues after a stressful day! Neighboring town, Hatfield is where a lot of placement students stay, and this is home to Hertfordshire University with student union bars. King Cross train station is ~20 mins by train.
Roche has a gym on site and sports clubs to join. While I was there I played in the football, badminton and golf clubs. Between 2-4 times a year there are activities run in aid of the chosen charity of the year. The department I worked in had a social mailing list, which everyone is asked if they'd like to join on their first day.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
13th September 2015
£18,000 - £19,999