With over 70,000 reviews of undergraduate work experience across the last 14 years, Co-founder Ollie Sidwell shares why it was time for a revamp of the review questions for 2021.
It was a bright Spring morning on campus, Ali, Chris and I were all in our final year at Loughborough University. Sitting around a table in the uniquely-designed upside down diamond shaped library, we were supposed to be focusing on our final lectures pre exams and getting in that much-needed revision.
We weren’t at all. We were too excited. Having returned from our placement years the previous September, we’d all dreamed of creating a website where students following in our footsteps could rate and review their placements, internships and insights. Today, 12th March 2007 was the day of that launch.
The three of us all struggled to search for and find work experience. The three of us all felt the roles we eventually secured could have been better suited to our skills and expectations. The three of us all knew there was an opportunity for a resource to help support students searching for work experience and understand which roles would suit them best.
Roll the clock forward 14 years and you’ve got RateMyPlacement.co.uk, the leading resource in the UK for students looking for work experience. Teeming with reviews, jobs and advice, our vision of “inspiring young people to take the first steps in their career” is as strong today as it was back then.
As the vanguard of review websites in 2007, we had no parallel. Not only for benchmarks, but inspiration. We’d seen reviews on Amazon.com, but they were for products. Could you really review your job?
As it happens, 2007 was a good year for review platforms, both TripAdvisor and Glassdoor launched in the US then, but that wasn’t helpful as we didn’t know about them! So, we researched review questions amongst ourselves, our fellow students and came up with 15 questions that have incredibly yet somehow lasted us until today.
Approaching 70,000student-written reviews with over one million ratings and well over 15 million words, students use them to educate and inspire themselves. Understanding more about the role and employer they’re applying for, students self-select in - and out - of opportunities that best suit their skills, requirements and expectations.
The honest nature of the comments in the feedback has also been incredibly helpful for employers too, getting a unique insight into how their cohorts have enjoyed their time with them and learning where they can improve.
So why change a winning formula?
Quite simply, our audience is changing.
As Generation Y, what was important to us doesn’t always correlate to what’s important to Generation Z.
We needed to realign.
The realigning process involved plenty of iterations and alliterations: researching, revising and revamping… and we now have new review questions for 2021. The focus on skill development has very much stayed, but we’ve removed the questions around nightlife and introduced new questions around culture, diversity and sustainability.
Huge thank you to students, university staff and employers, along with everyone internally at RMP who has supported us the project. The new review questions are below and welcome any feedback you may have!
Ollie, Co-founder of RMP Enterprise
New Review Questions
Overview 1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis.
Skills 2. Have you learnt any new skills, or developed your existing skills?
How would you rate the training provided during your experience? - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
How would you rate your development of industry-specific skills during the experience? - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
How would you rate your development of personal / soft skills during the experience? - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
Please rate how these skills have helped you in your career development - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
Responsibilities 3. Were you given much responsibility during your placement / internship?
Please rate how meaningful the work you were doing was - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
Support & Guidance 4. How much support and guidance did you receive during your placement / internship?
How would you rate the support and guidance from your line manager? - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
How would you rate the support and guidance from the wider team? - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
Culture 5. What was the company culture and general atmosphere like?
How would you rate the inclusiveness of the culture? - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
How would you rate the social opportunities? - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
How would you rate the diversity initiatives? - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
How would you rate the charity, sustainability and CSR initiatives? - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
Your Impressions 6. To what extent did you enjoy your placement / internship?
Please rate your level of enjoyment on your placement / internship - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
Please rate how your experience met your expectations - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
Please rate the future employment prospects at COMPANY NAME - 1 = Poor, 5 = Excellent
7. (Yes / No) Would you recommend COMPANY NAME to a friend? 8. What advice would you give to others applying to COMPANY NAME?
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