The overall Aldi Placement Year was amazing and something I thoroughly enjoyed. The retail atmosphere is something that I craved and if you think you would enjoy a fast-paced always-moving place of work Aldi is the place to be! The best part of the placement was the chance of being able to see every corner of the Aldi model, going from stores to the warehouse then head office was an amazing opportunity to learn more skills and more about yourself.
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I felt valued from day one. Being interviewed by the Managing Director was an amazing experience and shows how much Aldi invest into you from the start. During the placement you will have constant feedback by your Area Manager and then quarterly sit-downs with your Store Operations Director who will echo the feedback that your AM has given and see how you are generally getting on. There is a focus on feedback at Aldi and I don't feel there was ever a time where I didn't feel valued. I even got a Christmas present from my Store Manager which was a nice touch!
You always have a good support network during your placement. When in store you have you Store Manager who you can always speak to regarding any queries or problems you might have. They will also guide and train you in order for you to be a competent Assistant Manager when leaving stores. Additionally, your AM is always there when you need them and will guide you in the 'AM way' in order for you to be in the best position if you wish to come back to Aldi after university.
VERY! There was never a time especially in store time where there wasn't something to do. This in turn adds the problem of prioritizing. There is always a task that can be carried out however choosing which ones to complete and when is important and something you will learn throughout the year. When you enter Head Office there is a huge difference in atmosphere and it is much more calm and relaxed. However you are still just as busy and there is still always something you can be doing to help.
As much as you could possibly think of. Over the course of my placement I was entrusted to run a store when the Store Manager wasn't in, undertake interviews and help decide who should be taken on, help open a new store and complete important projects for my Directors. Every placement differs slightly, however responsibility is never something you will be short of at Aldi. This personally was one of the biggest attractions of the scheme, and Aldi didn't and don't disappoint.
Although the placement is phrased as a '12 month interview' for the AM scheme, there is a constant assessment of whether what your learning will help in your given degree. The placement year is part of your degree and all of the management at Aldi understand this and will help you gain important skills moving into the final year of your degree. I feel I can take forward lots of aspects into my degree and future however specifically I think I've gained a higher confidence level, stronger presentation skills and an increased awareness of the professional world
There was usually a very positive atmosphere in both the store office (even though you are never in there!) and the head office. There is a time for a joke, however when in work the idea is that you are working and it is important this is recognized. As said, in store you spend the majority of your time not in the office and on the shop floor, so for atmosphere this depends on the morale of your staff in store, which is something that you can have a dramatic effect on. In Head Office there is a general positive atmosphere however this isn't 100% and there was occasions where if people were having bad days you will see this. Overall, I would say there was a good atmosphere in the offices I worked in, however as stated its important to understand at Aldi when you are in the office you are there to work and not to be having too much of a laugh.
From day one you are given a plan of how the next 12 months will look, which will show you where you need to be and when. In retail there are constant changes and for myself parts of the plan were changed such as which store and AM I was given. However this wasn't the norm and everyone follows the same guide during the 12 months. Aldi are also very facilitative when looking at geography for store time.
The future prospects are out there for everyone to see. If you perform well over the 12 months and your managers in specific your directors and managing director feel you would be a good fit there is the chance of an AM position after university. Interestingly how your personality fits into Aldi is just as important as your performance. Although there a certain traits and competencies that are looked for we have many different types of people that come from completely different backgrounds and degrees. This year is placed as a 12 month interview for the AM scheme and that is exactly what it is.
Being an Industrial Placement Student does but you in an interesting position. You are in store for a prolonged period of time and it is important to remember there is a line as you are acting as a manager. The best parts of the social scene for myself was between the fellow IP's in my region. We had a social media group that allowed us to exchange experiences and arrange the odd night out. I also used some of my days off to travel back to university to see my friends who hadn't done a placement year. In terms of the company, there are some events arranged such as Christmas and Easter, however this isn't a job where you will have the time/energy to be going out every night! That being said there are chances for you to do things in your own time and you do have 4 weeks of holiday too.