Talent and Learning Executive (HR Intern) at Jacobs Douwe Edgberts

Placement (5-9 Months)
Banbury West Midlands
Review Date
£16,000 - £17,999
Administration/Secretarial Charity/Non Profit Consumer Products/FMCG Design Employment Law Food and Drink Graphic Design Human Resources Internet/e-Commerce/New Media Logistics and Operations Manufacturing Media Psychology Public Relations Recruitment Voluntary


The Role



The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

Working at JDE was crucial to both my professional and personal development.


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

Working as part of the HR team, I had the opportunities to work with a variety of different associates from different functions. This has enabled me to improve my networking skills, delegation skills and more than anything - my leadership skills. I regularly received feedback from colleagues, not just because I actively asked for it, but also because JDE's culture encourages associates to grow through giving and receiving feedback on a daily basis. Their belief is not to wait until formal feedback opportunities, but to be brave and actively ask for and give feedback to all types of colleagues - even from the top directors of the business.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

I felt that I could ask my manager for guidance whenever I needed to. I learnt to thoroughly think through all of the options and possibilities before approaching my manager and she was great and motivating and offering support whilst still letting me take the lead and decide important decisions for myself.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

As expected, I started off with fewer responsibilities at the beginning of my placement but once I proved that I could be relied on and dependable, I asked for more work and there was no shortage of that by the end of my time at JDE! There was never a dull moment and I felt that I was challenged (In a positive way) each week. JDE has a fantastic industrial placement student programme that prides itself on giving it's placement students real responsibilities that actually affect and influence the company - you are treated as a true associate and your opinions and work are taken seriously.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

From organising external assessment days, internal assessment centres for future interns, the annual business conference, training days at hotels and both new starters and intern new starters on boarding days - I had a lot of practice for event management and organisation. Other responsibilities included over-seeing the Learning Management System that all training and formal appraisals and development sessions were run through. This included trouble-shooting technical issues and ensuring that employee's were on track with their performance reviews. I also developed the new exit interview process for the company as one didn't exist when I started my placement at the newly-merged company. I found this extremely rewarding as it meant that I could conduct most of the exit interviews using the process that I invented. One of my later projects was to lead a project team and to create a new intranet site for the UK&I population. This was a high-profile project and would be accessible for all UK&I office-based associates. It took 5 months to launch and I feel really accomplished to say that I was the main driver behind that project and also to know that the company are using it actively as a tool to help it's associates.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I developed my organisational skills by a huge amount, ability to confidently delegate to others, work both within a team and on my own. More than anything, it has boosted my confidence for entering the working world. I have also arranged to collect data from JDE for my final year project and hope that producing a study that has real-life data will put me ahead of other final year students for a strong degree grade at the end of my 4 years of university.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

JDE as a global company have open-plan offices as part of their culture. The Banbury office was bright, modern and buzzing with fresh employee's who had a drive to kick-start the new company. The HR Team are positioned at one end of the office and as part of my role I would consistently go and talk to people from other departments on a daily basis. You are encouraged to talk to people face to face if possible, which gives a real sense of networking - especially if you're walking through the office and know everyone's names in each department! Our office had a friendly and positive feel to it.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

As I was the first into this role as an HR intern/placement student, I wasn't expecting my year to be mapped out to an exact science as I knew that the company was 4 months old at the time that I joined. In some ways, this was exciting as I could have a say in which projects I would be interested in working on (for example, the exit interview project was a concept that I brought up in my first week of my placement). It also kept me on my toes as some projects were given to me out of the blue - which taught me to think on my feet and also to adapt to unexpected challenges or changes of course. I believe that I helped pave the way for future HR interns as I developed my role throughout the year by taking opportunities that came up and also by voicing my interests and the types of projects that I felt I would succeed in.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

As I worked in a Talent and Learning role in HR, I was surrounded by the development opportunities for associates at JDE. There were lots of training sessions available to all types of associates and my department listened to the feedback that they were getting in terms of what training and development opportunities associates would like to receive. Part of the culture at JDE is to be accountable for your own learning and take control of your own development plans. This not only allows you to adapt and focus on areas of development that really matter to you, but it teaches you how to 'own' your progress which can be applied to other areas of your life.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Subsidised/Company Gym
  • International Travel
  • Company Parties/Events
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop
  • Above 25 days holiday

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

If I was to proceed with a career in HR, I would definitely consider JDE as a potential employment prospect. My time with JDE has left a really positive mark on my opinion of FMCG companies and given me invaluable experience for future employment. If you're looking for a company with a great culture and drive to be the best in the market, JDE would be the perfect fit.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

As I was one of the first commercial placement students, I didn't have any other interns in my office at the start of my placement. However, there was a great group of Research & Development interns that were based on the other side of the site. I made an effort to socialise with them and gained a few great friends through my placement. Later on in the year, more interns were recruited into the commercial/operations office where I was based and this defintely improved my experience as there were more people around my age to socialise with. A large part of my time in JDE was spent contributing and participating in fund raising activities through the JDE Student Charity Committee. This included running events and bake sales across the site both in and outside of work. At the end of the year we totalled just over £7,000 that we donated to two charities of our choice.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

As I lived at home during my placement with JDE, I couldn't give an accurate representation of how much accommodation would be in Banbury, but generally, socialising isn't too expensive if you know the right places to go on the right nights. It's not an expensive town and has bars and pubs suited for all genres and tastes.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

As I grew up near Banbury I don't have a fresh perspective on this, but as I mentioned above, there are bars, pubs and a club that would suit all tastes. Down the main hughstreet (Parsons Street) there are a couple of bars that are always busy in the weekends and week day evenings. There is a relatively young social scene if you know the right places to go in Banbury.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

There were lots of sports to get involved in such as badminton, touch-rugby, ultimate frisby. If you're not particularly sporty theres also games nights at a local pub during the week. Lots of JDE associates and interns took part in 'The Wolf Run' half way through my placement year - it was great to see teams bonding outside of work.