It was a really great experience and I had the opportunity to work in a role that had really high levels of responsibility. Everyone within Danone is very friendly and the culture is really great, as I often had the opportunity to work from home. The dress code is also smart/casual, so this made the whole environment really relaxed.
My team was quite small, only three people, so I felt valued by the people that I worked with directly, but not as much so by the wider HR team. I did a lot of work with Line Managers throughout the company, so I often felt quite valued by them, as organised the recruitment of the Placement roles into the business, however not all Line Managers were aware of the role I was doing, so not everyone felt the same way.
I had quite a lot of support and guidance from my Line Manager. We had weekly meetings and then also weekly meeting with the Emerging Talents Team and then with the HR Talent Team. I had a lot of support and I was never afraid to ask questions, however I didn't always feel as though I had as much guidance as I would have liked. My Line Manager was often quite busy.
It varied quite a lot working in Talent Management, as during the first few months we were preparing for Assessment Centres, Careers Fairs etc, but this quietened down quite a lot from March onwards. From March onwards most of the work I did was more to do with planning ahead for the next year, this meant that I had more time to focus on projects, as from September - Feb, all of my work was very operational based, which gave me a good overview of the different parts of HR.
I was given quite a lot of responsibility. I ran the recruitment process for the Placements, of which we have around 20. This involved emailing all of them, looking at testing scores, watching Video Interviews and organising for the candidates to come in for an Assessment Centre or Interview. I also organised the logistics for the main Gradaute Assessment Centre that we held and any Careers Fairs that we attended. I also looked after the Campus Brand Managers that we have and our Social Media, which we used for recruitment.
My organisational skills have definitely improved, through organising Careers Fairs, Assessment Centres etc. I think that my inter-personal skills have also improved, as I've had the opportunity to work with employees from all different parts of the business, I have also become more aware of the impact that I can have on other people. I think that these skills will be helpful, although it would have been good to have developed slightly more skills.
It was a really great atmosphere when I started, as I was working on the same floor as the Dairies and Waters businesses, however in Jan/Feb, I moved to a different floor with the Early Life Nutrition business, who are slightly quieter. So the atmosphere wasn't quite as bubbly as when I began. However I got on well with a range of people around the business and there were always events going on.
This could have been more organised, as all of the Placements began at different times. In general of the Placements had loads of responsibility, which was great and there were opportunities for the Placements/Grads to interact and do things together as well. There could have been more things organised to get all of the Placements together though.
You had the opportunity to take part in training etc, although I didn't have a large amount. I had some training in terms of interviewing candidates and assessing them, but this was all quite informal. There was also the chance to take part in training on Mental Health as well, which was really interesting.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
Ideally I want to work in Events, so this isn't exactly the type of role that I would like to work in. The Grad Programme is also somewhat unorganised at times, so it isn't overly appealing, but the company itself is a great place to work and I would be happy to work here at a later point in time as well, potentially after completing a Grad Programme in another business. Ideally I would also like to work somewhere that is slightly closer to home.
It was quite good, but a lot of the Placements stayed together within their CBU, whereas I worked in the central business team. But my HR team went out to lunch together quite a bit and we also went out to bowling together etc. So there is always someone there that you can spend time with.
I lived at home, so all I had to pay was the cost of commute, which wasn't too bad. Socialising is also about average for London, the company pays for quite a lot in terms of team dinners etc, so that's really good!
I didn't go out much, as I commuted from home, so it's hard to say, but there are quite a few restaurants nearby.
Yes, there were quite a few opportunities, particularly related to CSR, as I had the chance to volunteer at the Danone Nations Cup Regional Finals. I also volunteered to help out at a food bank within working hours. I also went out for drinks and meals etc with people within the HR team quite regularly.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
25th May 2017