Fleet Sales Placement
My time at PSA Group was very enjoyable. It was great to have the opportunity to complete tasks that I could visibly see have an impact on the business. Although originally being offered two 6 month placements in different departments, I ended up staying in the same role for the entire year. I was asked if I wanted to move roles but as a large portion of my work was project related, I felt I needed to see the projects through to the end.
During my time at PSA Group I felt very valued by my colleagues especially in areas where I had more knowledge such as technology. The work I completed was always met with appreciation, especially in some of the bigger projects where I received a Silver ADAPT award as recognition which includes a gift voucher. My colleagues in my department were very friendly and even people who'd I'd never worked with are welcoming and are willing to help out if needed.
At the start of the placement my manager would give me daily tasks to complete, but as time progressed I became more familiar with routine tasks and more confident in approaching ad-hoc challenges. My initial objectives were set out at the very start of my placement, and reviewed half way through, checking the progress and setting new objectives where necessary. In addition to this I had a healthy handover period from the previous placement student as his contract was extended to ensure that I felt comfortable in the role.
The first few months of my placement I was still finding my feet, especially with the end of month reports that I had to reproduce. As I grew more confident in my ability, tasks like this took less time to complete and gave me more free time. After speaking with my manager I took on more projects, including one which took the majority of time for a few months. When a member of the department moved roles, I was asked to help cover some of their responsibilities until their replacement arrived. I was more than happy to help and was able to find the balance between these new tasks and my current role, however my manager constantly checked to see if I was coping with the new responsibilities.
My placement role is a full time position and as such there are large amounts of responsibilities included. I had large amounts of autonomy and responsibility when progressing projects, especially with meeting deadlines. Towards the end of my placement I assisted in Key Account Manager duties, liaising with customers and placing orders for vehicles.
There were numerous training courses throughout the year for the Industrial placement students that helped develop key skills such as influencing others and presenting. Personally I have gained valuable knowledge about the internal workings of a business and my confidence levels have vastly increased. Constantly working to deadlines has also improved my time management skills, something that will be vital in my final year of university and beyond.
The general atmosphere in the office was great. When I first joined the office was much bigger as Peugeot and Citroen were separated in different sides of the office. I was on the Peugeot side of the office and almost felt like it wasn't part of the same company, however ever since the both brands moved into the same side there is a cohesive atmosphere with both brands working together. Everyone in the office is very friendly, and the new Halfway Café is a great place to socialise and connect when making a drink. It enables you to meet people you don't directly work with, and people who you may be intimidated to talk to such as the Director General. There were numerous times throughout the year that the company showed their appreciation to the employees, for instance on the Citroen brand day there was a Crepe van offering out free food.
It was well organised. Any dates that were essential to be kept free I was made aware of in advance. In addition to this the handover that I received from the previous placement student was very good. He ensured that I was confident in my ability to complete the necessary tasks and even encouraged me to contact him if needed. Having objectives set from the beginning helped me know what I was working towards
The company invested a fair amounts of time and money into training and developing the industrial placements. We had training courses that ranged from Advanced Excel Skills to Improving Presenting and many others. There was the opportunity for further development on an internal system that had numerous training videos on many different subjects.
I believe that they do not guarantee you a job but if your time at he company was successful they will encourage you to come back on the graduate scheme. I personally hope to come back after completing my degree as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. My manager often jokingly mentioned that I don't need to go back to university and that I should just keep on working.
None of the placement students lived together this year and as such we weren't as close as the previous years were. Despite this, we still had lunch together every day and got on really well with each other. Within the company there are lots of young people as there are business apprentices ,placement students, graduates and French placement students so there is always someone to socialise with.
I didn't live in Coventry for the year as I lived fairly local and was able to commute in daily. However we went out for numerous meals and each time the prices were very reasonable. Having spoke to fellow placement students and graduates, all of them say that the cost of living is very cheap in Coventry.
Leamington has a few good places to go out but is a bit more expensive than Coventry. In addition to this Birmingham isn't very far on the train and has loads of clubs, bars and restaurants to visit. PSA Group also had a great Christmas party which was loads of fun. My department also had an end of year party which was great to see the people you work with on a day-to-day basis relax and hav efun.
As previously stated I did not live in the area, but from talking to colleagues I'm aware that there are numerous opportunities to get involved in various activities outside of work. There is a football group ran every week at work and various different sports clubs in the surrounding area. PSA Group has an onsite gym available to use.