1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
In my year at Aldi, I don't think I have ever learnt so much in the space of one year. It may have been one of the hardest years of my life but I have enjoyed every second of it. For Aldi you have to be willing to work long hours but the job is very rewarding and there are lots of opportunities to experience different parts of the business.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The project work we were given is now being used in every day business life. During my store time, the staff appreciated the amount of hard work I put into my stores and as a result they worked harder for me. A lot of responsibility is given to you early on which really helped in making me feel valued within the business.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
At the start of the year, I was given a mentor who I could go to with any problems or issues I had. Her role was to give me constructive criticism throughout the year in order to improve my overall performance and to support me in my personal progression. I had regular updates with my direct leader giving further feedback on my performance.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It is no secret that people at Aldi work hard. From Day 1, I was running around the store to complete the tasks that had been set for me. I very rarely had a spare minute in store to "catch up on my emails" and my breaks were limited in store time. At head office, the pace was slower but I was still expected to work equally as hard throughout the day with similar working hours.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
After 2 months in store training, I was ordering for multi-million pound stores as well as managing a team of over 20 staff. To say you get a lot of responsibility at Aldi is an understatement. I was entrusted with safes, confidential documents and international audits which will be useful in later life.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My training was very structured across the year with 6 months of store time followed by 6 months of head office time. My store training was broken down into separate parts with the end goal of becoming an Assistant Store Manager. This was important in becoming a possible Trainee Area Manager because it was important to understand the pressure and stress that Store Manager's have on a daily basis. A lot of these HR skills could be used in my future studies because a lot of my time at Aldi was people management so I can use these experiences in my future dissertation.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office is a friendly environment and people are always willing to help.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
All the different parts of the year were set up well. Each department had jobs/projects for us to complete. Our store training was well structured with regular feedback given.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Aldi invest a lot of time into their people. I get regular updates with my mentor during my training and my director updates occur once every couple of months where I can find out my progress. A lot of money is invested into online learning and physical workbooks.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I hope to come back as an Area Manager when I graduate. I love working for Aldi and strongly believe in their culture and beliefs. I enjoy the communication between stores and the competitive side to the job.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We met up on occasions for lunch.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Very cheap to socialise and live in the Sheffield area. Was a massive bonus for me in terms of increased disposable income.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is good around the university with a buzzing atmosphere.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I continued to play squash regularly but not as often as I would have liked.