Commerical Trainee - supporting Brand Manager in managing the marketing activities of a J&J brand.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall the placement was very enjoyable. The first month or so was difficult in terms of the amount of information I needed to take on, but once I found my feet it became much more fun. I was given a range of projects to work on, and often have full responsibility for, which helped grow my confidence as the placement went on.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
From my first day I felt very supported by my colleagues, they were always willing to help with any questions I had. I felt truly valued from being given large responsibilities to work on projects autonomously, such as a digital partnership with Buzzfeed. By being trusted to lead projects as a placement I was made me feel like a vital part of the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager has always been very interested in my personal development, constantly assessing my workload to ensure I was managing, as well as steering my projects towards areas I was more interested in. For example I have had no exposure to PR before my placement so my manager ensured I worked on a PR campaign to broaden my experience as much as possible.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
At times I often felt overwhelmed with the amount of work I had to do, but I was never bored or had to ask for work which I feel was great. Even though there is a lot of work for placement's to complete, my wider team was always willing to help and my manager constantly assessed my workload to ensure nothing was falling behind.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The amount of responsibility I was given was probably the best part of the placement. Being able to own a project is the best way to learn, and although at times it was be scary and I made mistakes, I feel like the work I was given was always interesting and relevant. Feeling like a vital part of the team rather than just an intern also helped me integrate into the company culture and create meaningful relationships.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Working in Marketing has really opened my eyes to the commercial world. I now know which areas interest me the most and where I want my career path to go. The training has also been of a very high standard, and pulled together theories I've learnt about in University into the real working world, which is really satisfying.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The culture in the office is very relaxed and enjoyable. The open plan structure means it's easy to talk to anyone if you need to. The casual dress-code and flexible working hours also make the environment seem less like a standard office and more like a communal working space, where everyone can get on with there work as they feel comfortable to.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The application process was very simple with standard steps. pre-placement there was a slight lack of information provided in terms of living arrangements, start dates etc. which was a slight disappointment. However on the actual placement the way you are allocated projects is very organic, with manager's taking into account what you're interesting in learning about have having exposure to, as well as what your strengths and weaknesses are.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
In the first month we had lots of training to ensure we were equipped to do our jobs, which was often intense but very useful. We also had regular training presentations in person and via Webex during the whole placement. These range from compliance training to presentations from Facebook. You are definitely made to feel like a valuable team member who the company wants to help develop.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Although I have had a great time on my placement and learnt a lot, I don't think I will be pursuing future employment with the organisation. This is not due to me not thinking the company is great, it's because through my placement I have learnt that I'm more interested in digital marketing and e-commerce, which is better suited to other companies.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The placements often meet up outside of work with nights out and meals, and it's great to be around people the same age as you. However I did also have some nice evening activities with my team which is great for team bonding, however didn't happen very often which was a shame. This social scene does vary between teams and departments, the location of Maidenhead also makes it hard to do things after work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Although I worked in Maidenhead I lived in Ealing, so the cost of living was higher but I had access to all the London bars/clubs/restaurants which was great. In Maidenhead it is cheaper to live than in London, but there isn't a huge difference as it's still quite an affluent area. There are also travel costs to consider which is higher to commute from London, but there is a free shuttle bus from the train station.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
In Maidenhead the nightlife was really quite average. Although we had some good nights as a placement group, they were usually in Reading as this is a University town and therefore much more fun, and most placements lived in Reading. However there are some nice restaurants in Maidenhead which are nice to go to after work.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There are some activities that the company organised outside of work. There's weekly football which many of the men in the office take part in, and also Touch Rugby which has started in the summer months which is quite popular. There are also exercise classes at the local gym which we have free membership for which people often go to in groups.