1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have really enjoyed my internship with the motorsport team at Porsche. As I am trying to plan a career in event management, the experiences and skills I have learnt here have been very relevant - from office admin and event planning, dealing with clients and suppliers to on site hospitality and contractor management at race weekends.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
There is a high level of trust between my department and myself - as I often work independently during certain aspects when on events. They rely on me to be organised and timely with paperwork, finances and any projects I am working on. I feel valued as they have trusted me to work as an individual on vital departmental admin - whilst also working closely along side the event planner and assistant manager on various topics.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager has always been helpful with advice and constructive comments. My team have also been able to check over any presentations or publications, which has helped grow my experience in carrying out business presentations. The rest of my team, and other departments have all been extremely helpful with explaining internal processes, which has helped me feel more confident.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
As in most event management jobs, the run up to and during events are the busiest times. This roles requires a very organised person with time management skills. Although certain admin and paperwork can be carried out months in advance, certain things cannot be finalised or packed until the week before a race weekend - meaning these days are filled with last minute requests for tickets, spaces, travel plans etc. After an event, there is more space and time to carry out normal tasks - such as feedback reports and organising invoices from suppliers.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I have been given a high level of responsibility within my internship. Some key examples I manage include; the Porsche Centre's hospitality programme which has included presentations in front of the most senior mangers at Porsche GB and event management; the race weekend contact for all guests and hosting their tours; organising accommodation logistics for the motorsport and technical team; dealing with international suppliers; and internal kit orders.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The biggest development to my personal skills has been through the job itself. This role has focussed on my presentation, organisation and time/ event management skills. Other training sessions have been provided by the HR department, which have included: Driver Safety, Psychometric testing, Interpersonal training, commercial awareness and team working through the intern charity challenge.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The motorsport department spend a lot of time away on events together - which means we get to work with each other outside of the office environment. Whilst in the office, there is a friendly but "formalish" atmosphere between each department. I have found everyone very approachable and genuinely happy to help each other.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
At the start I did feel like I had been thrown in the deep end after a short 2 week handover period. However this actually turned out to be the best way to learn. The HR department manage the internship programme, so each internship's set up is very consistent and well organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company have paid for many intern training sessions; driver safety awareness, interpersonal training, introduction to Porsche (2 day training and driving experience at Silverstone), psychometric testing, manual handling and safety at work sessions, commercial awareness, CV workshop, compliance and legal training. As well as optional workshops for those wanting to work on things like presentation, negotiation skills etc.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have been offered to stay for another 12 months within my department - which is really exciting because I feel like I have settled in really well. The office headcount here is relatively small (less than 100). I have met some colleagues who were interns, and after graduating/ gaining some more experience they have since been re-employed.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As the motorsport intern I do work the odd weekend which means I have missed out on some weekend plans. But we do make an effort to plan a mid-week dinner for those who have shorter commutes. We have been known to go for Friday drinks/ nights out - but as I work over race weekends I miss out on some.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
5 of us actually rent in the same area - but not together. Average rent is around £500pm including bills. Gym membership around £20pm. Nights out are pretty standard, as Reading University students go to similar bars/ clubs. Taxis are cheap, drinks are definitely cheaper than you would find in London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I much preferred going to bars. The main street in Reading has handful of clubs, which don't attract many "young professionals" as you would find in a city. We found a bar/ restaurant which has games out until 10pm - we would play pool, foosball, ping pong and darts etc until it was turned into a dance floor.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
My role includes various events from Autosport, karting, race weekends to an international trip abroad - so I have managed to see a lot. However other intern roles are very much office based, and so do not have the same opportunity. We did start playing at a local netball and badminton club after work, but it has been difficult to keep that up.