1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Toyota GB and would recommend it to anyone that is interested. The range of placements available allows a specific area to be explored, however there are many opportunities to get involved in departments outside of your placement role should you wish to do so.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
All of the staff at Toyota GB are lovely, both very welcoming and helpful. Even those outside of my immediate working circle were happy to help explain any queries I may have, whether this be in regards to a business or university based project.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Bi-weekly 1:1 meetings were conducted with Managers. I also benefited from Quarterly Reviews which reviewed my performance in detail, against my objectives and the company competency set.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I had a unique role which featured working in two different departments, reporting to two separate Managers. This meant that at times my workload was quite high, however Managers are very responsive to feedback and are happy to help manage deadlines where needed. My Managers were also very supportive in my university work, helping to contribute their views on my assignments and sometimes allowing me to work on my assignments during quieter times within the office.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had a range of responsibilities during my placement, from managing invoicing throughout the network, to arranging team away days. On multiple occasions I created reports and charts which were used during a number of key presentations and events within the business.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I was able to develop a number of transferable skills which will help both during my last year of university and within future employment situations. I was able to benefit from a great deal of training such as Intermediate and Advanced Excel courses, A3 development, Project management training and a well being workshop.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere at the Burgh Heath office is great, it is a lovely environment to work in with lots of outdoor spaces to relax during break times. The meeting spaces vary from formal rooms to newly introduced restaurant booths, which really help when creating a good working environment.
There are many opportunities to benefit from which help to change up the normal office routine, these include; bake sales, plant sales, dress down days, ride and drive events, team away days, bbq's, ice cream vans and there is sometimes even a shop set up in the restaurant featuring brands such as Benefit Cosmetics, The Body Shop and The Book People.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was set up very well with an array of information provided by the HR representative prior to starting, any further questions were answered very quickly. Social media groups were set up in order for both current and future students to meet and discuss any worries.
The implementation of the standard quarterly review process really helps the students to feel like part of the business and allows for a opportunity to receive honest and constructive feedback.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
As previously stated, I participated in a great deal of training which has really helped me to improve my skills and confidence within the working environment. Training opportunities included;
-Microsoft Excel advanced/intermediate
-Project Management Survival Workshop
-Well Being/Time Management
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Very appealing graduate scheme which is only open to previous placement students who have completed the PDCA process.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The student community is very close and supportive, there is always someone available at the weekend to make plans with and everyone looks after each other especially those who have moved far away from home.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Quite a pricey area as it is so close to London (30 minute train journey.) So it is therefor not possible to rent a property alone, however it is possible to find a good deal. The average rent paid by the current students is around £550 before bills, these usually come in at around £30-£50.
Social life is full of opportunities, there are many places to visit on a day trip, with Brighton beach only 1 hour away. Lots of nightlife places nearer to London have a strict 21 and over policy, but there are some exceptions.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Epsom nightlife is limited but still good, with two very small clubs and lots of bars.
Clapham is a 20 minute train ride away (cheaper to taxi share) some really good places to go are Northcote Records, Be at One, Four Thieves (strict 21 rule) and Revolution.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Lots of opportunities with the Sports and Social scheme which costs approximately £2 per month. These events included a karaoke night and BBQ, you also sometimes get access to reduced theater/cinema tickets. There is a brand ambassador team which allows you to work at events on the weekends and keep your eyes peeled for event tickets such as Vfest, Goodwood Festival of Speed and BBC Good Food Show.