1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have really enjoyed my placement year. Cummins has provided me with the exposure and responsibility to be involved in a wide range of Human Resource activities from Employee Relations, Recruitment to Training and Development. I would particularly praise Cummins for this, as most other company only provide placement students with the exposure to one particular area of HR, normally Recruitment. The working environment has been great, all employees have been extremely helpful and friendly and I couldn’t fault my placement year at all.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
From day one, I’ve always felt like an employee at Cummins and not just a placement student. I have had a large amount of cross functional experience with different departments. I have had to communicate with colleagues from all levels and I believe I have been valued and trusted as a HR placement student on site.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager and team have been extremely supportive. At the start of the year, I worked alongside my manager to create a work plan which benefitted both me and the company. This was great as they allowed me to progress in areas I was most interested and they positively asked for my opinion. They have always been willing to help and provide support and guidance when needed. Throughout the year, I have been given the responsibility to lead projects of my own which has been great, and my manager has always supportive or helped whenever required.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
had a lot of work to do over the year, but never anything that put too much pressure on me. I was always able to complete the tasks I was set and if I ever had too much, my team were always supportive and able to help me.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility which I am extremely thankful for. I was the main site point of contact for our time attendance system and had full access to our data management system which is a lot of exposure for a placement student. I was also given the opportunity to lead meetings , organise award ceremonies, speak to external suppliers and have the responsibility to work alongside payroll.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I have equipped will be extremely beneficial to my studies as well as my future career. I’ve learnt so much from being exposed to different areas of Human Resources. I’ve learnt that reading from a text book is nothing like experiencing it in real life, and I’d recommend anyone who is thinking about doing a placement to do it. Real life experience will help you understand what you are portraying in your essays.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone is always pleasant and talkative. Within my time on site, I have never seen any bad atmospheres or tension which is great. I’ve always felt comfortable in my working environment.
We always try to raise awareness for local charities as corporate social responsibility is big within our company, so something fun is always occurring in the office !
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I had no issues with the set up of my placement. I was contacted fairly quickly after my assessment centre day and offered the role. Within days, I was given my contract, offer letter and new starter information packs. Between my acceptance time and starting my role, I had regular contact with a member of my team so they could ensure the set up ran smoothly for me. They also got me in contact with other placement students so we could socialise before starting our new roles. I couldn’t fault the set up.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I believe the company invested a lot in my HR and personal development. They paid for me to attend monthly personal development courses where I learnt how to conduct meetings, improve my presentation skills, develop my teamwork abilities which overall lead to an increase in my confidence. I’m very grateful for this. They also trained in me in HR software and function from one day to one week courses.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
My contract was extended for another 2 months, after my 12 months placement was up.
I would love to work for Cummins post Graduation. If a job became available after graduation, I would definitely go back.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes there is. I frequently go out for meals and bowling nights with colleagues including the other placement students. Colleagues also go go karting, play weekly football 5 a side and do many more fun activities. There is always something to do for placement students in and out of work hours.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home during my placement year so I cannot comment on the cost of living, but the Darlington area in general is reasonable. In my opinion the cost of living and socialising is cheap and is a lot less expensive than living down south.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Good night life. Not as good as Leeds or Newcastle, but better than most places. There is places to go for a quiet drink or night clubs so it is suited to all kinds of personalities. Myself and the other placement students in my year go out on nights out and we enjoy it!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Endless opportunities. As stated above, you can join 5 a side football with the company, we have a gym facility on site which can be used outside of working hours, colleagues generally organise quiz nights, bowling, go karting nights, or just a meal. There is always something to do.