My main responsibilities include:
• Regularly monitoring coverage of both brands in the media, often feeding back to other departments on the sentiment of coverage of a new product
• Dealing with enquiries from media on a variety of issues such as press car loans, launches and events, products and other company activities
• Assisting with the organisation of events and product launches
• Supporting the operations of one of the biggest press vehicle fleets in the country
• Regularly updating the media site with the latest sales figures, prices and technical information
• Assisting with the writing of some press releases which are distributed to a list of over 500 subscribers and published on the media website
• Organising photography of products and events to support the operations of the press office
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The fact I was given so many opportunities to do exciting things throughout the year, and was working in a department with really friendly, helpful colleagues made the year fly by in a good way.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was regularly praised by my manager for the work that I did, and was allowed to get involved in a lot of things that carried responsibility which made me feel like a valued and trusted member of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
There was always informal support from my colleagues and manager for every day questions and uncertainties and then there was the opportunity to gain support in a more formal way through regular one-to-ones with my manager and the annual review process.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My workload was dependent on what was going on at the time, for example if there was a product launch approaching then there was a lot of activity going on to prepare, but even during quiet periods, there's always something to be done to keep you busy. My workload has never been unmanageable- my manager always maintained that I should make her aware if I felt like I had too much on.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Plenty! Over time as you become more confident and capable in your role, you're given more responsibility. You're never given too much responsibility for your capabilities though which is good as you don't feel overwhelmed by it- you're eased into it gradually throughout the year.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I've learnt a great deal over my placement- both in terms of the demands of my job role, and generally working in a professional, corporate environment. It's made me more confident about going for a graduate job as I feel I have lots of great things to talk about during interviews, and I believe I've gained transferable skills which will benefit me in other jobs.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
My office always had a great atmosphere. I worked in a department that worked excellently as a team- we all got on well and could have a laugh, but also worked hard at our jobs as everyone cared about what they did.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very well. The student placement scheme is well established here so each student has a purposeful role with the relevant support needed both in the beginning, where you have a thorough handover with the outgoing student, and throughout the year with support from your manager and HR.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were opportunities for training throughout the year with formal training and online personal development. I personally felt that the most valuable form of development was just by learning through experience on the job though, as opposed to formal training.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is a graduate scheme which current placement students can apply for. Although I am not applying for it, due to wanting to explore a career path specific to the type of role I'm in now rather than working up this company in different roles, I think it's a good opportunity for people who would like to work their way up the ladder in this company. It's a great company to work for which looks after its staff.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
All of the students get along well and a lot of us sit together most lunch times. I think the social scene outside of work amongst students probably varies each year dependent on whether people choose to stay down here at weekends or travel home. Amongst colleagues, the social scene is sometimes good in my department- we've done lunches out and curry nights in the evening before. However, as we are based in the suburbs, just outside of London, some students may find it less sociable than they would expect.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home during my placement so the cost of living was good for me as I wasn't paying rent. However, if you are moving down here to work, it can be considered cheaper than London but will be a lot more expensive than the cheap university rent most students are used to.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Locally, nightlife is not amazing, but it is very easy to get public transport into London or surrounding areas for nights out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The sports and social club put on many events throughout the year at a very subsidised cost, which many people attend.