1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It's hard to assess the placement as a whole because the first part when we are at a store is completely different from the 2nd part at the Regional Office - it's more like two separate placements. I did not enjoy the former that much and was counting down my time there but did enjoy much more the 2nd part of the placement at the regional office. Anyway, as a whole I can say I learned going through it and has helped me prepare for next step.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I think we are given quite a lot of responsibility throughout the whole time. My time
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
In the store the general atmosphere felt school like. There was kind of small groups and some colleagues tried to look good for the manager showing after quite a different face when the manager wasn't around. The language and culture was not very professional either but things got done and there were good laughs. I would be more inclined to call the other employees 'buddy' than 'colleague'. That can be good or bad.
When with the Area Manager was much more professional and combined with good laughs very good balance.
In the regional office everyone was very nice and friendly and a very professional environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My training plan in the first store was not followed at all. The details for the second store kept changing.
When in the Regional Office departments didn't always know they would have us with them and didn't know what to do with us. These times were quite frustrating.
However, there was a total of 8 weeks where there were very well prepared projects and briefings and we just had to get hands to work.
I believe though it might have changed now as one of my final projects was to try to standardize the training plans across the board so hopefully that is being done.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had an opportunity to go twice to a CSR training which was not part of my original training plan but because I was very interested it was something they were able to accommodate.
I feel that the time with AM is quite an investment as we are paid the full time when we are not really contributing much.
Time in store wasn't that good however and also there weren't any seminars or workshops we attended to develop particular skills or anything of the sort.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
For those who wish to stay with Aldi and that Aldi wants them to stay the progression seems pretty good. If you get a placement with them and enjoy and perform well I'm quite confident you'd get a graduate job.
I personally was not a fit for the organization and it was clear for both sides and such will not have a job but it wouldn't be fair to give them a bad review.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Aldi is not known for being a social placement and my interviewer made sure to emphasize that.
I was placed (by choice) in a store quite away from where all the other placement students ended up so I mostly felt I was the only one on placement during the store time. When I was in the office things changed and I had the chance to go for lunch with the other placement students and interaction was much higher.
Socialising prospects as a graduate are much higher.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I ended up working in Lancaster for store time and then in Manchester for the office time both are not particularly that expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Not really a nightlife fellow.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
50h a week is quite a heavy workload for university students. Initially felt quite much but with time learned to use time wisely and always had two days a week off that really felt off.
Also at the store the work is very physically and mentally draining due to the fast-paced nature of the business which makes it hard to do other things. At times did feel all I did was work and go home.
But after organizing myself a bit more and when moved into Regional Office it was easier.
The only thing Aldi organized outside work was a Fun Day to celebrate the opening of the regional office. Not happening ever again I'm afraid.