I had a very insightful year with a great team, feeling fully trusted as an essential part of the business and learning not only about the business, the industry and working life but also a lot about myself.
This was one of the best parts of working for Renault. Placement students represent about 10% of the business and we really are essential to the business' operations. The intern community was great, supporting one each other and working together as a network.
Whenever I came back from annual leave I realized how my input really was missed which is a great indicator that the business relies on you.
As I was working in a very small team of only me and my manager, I had a high amount of responsibility. That said, after the first few months I was so trusted that I got less and less guidance and more and more freedom in my projects and how to manage them.
I would recommend this role fro someone with a high level of self-organization skills and who can follow up on their projects independently.
It varied throughout the year. There were the operational tasks such as reporting that are quite timely at the start of the placement, but as the months go by you do them very quickly and therefore have more time for longer term projects.
When there weren't many ad hoc projects there were a few afternoons in the week were there wasn't much to do. It is essential to use that time to work on your own projects independently.
As said above, due to the small team size I was given full responsibility over a lot of things such as signing off communications material, creating and updating customer product material such as brochure and website, ...
I would say that especially my communication skills (oral and written) improved, for example when speaking to customers at events, writing and reviewing customer messaging, preparing internal product presentations,... There was not a high amount of training throughout the year, but it is important for you to listen to the feedback you get from colleagues and use that as training material. I tried to do that and I feel like I really improved the way how clear I communicate with people, getting great feedback on how helpful I am from team members which is a great reward.
It was a very friendly and modern open-plan office. There was always someone to chat to or ask for help when in need. I would say that it can tend to be quiet sometimes with people working on their own projects rather than collaborating. Within our team there was a good team spirit and you can really feel like there is a common goal there.
There was clear communication from start to finish. After induction it is really up to you and your team to set up objectives and discuss possible projects. Throughout the year you get caught up in your own work and there isn't much guidance from HR but you know you can always speak to them if there should be anything.
I thought that this was the weakest area of the placement. There was not much training throughout the year, and you are really left to yourself to develop your skills. You teach yourself most of the hard skills such as intranet and Excel, and keep on reflecting on soft skills such as project management. Whereas the team is great in helping you out when in need, I found that there could have been more training sessions to support development.
Renault offer a graduate scheme where you rotate throughout the business and get to experience the business from different perspectives. The graduate community I experienced looked extraordinary, they seem to support each other so much and have become very close friends.
For me personally I am not sure it is the right next step as I want to experience a range of different industries but I might be back later in my career.
There was not a high amount of social activities outside of work. There are a few sports activities but if you aren't into that there isn't a huge amount. That said, on weekends people were busy visiting uni friends or going home. In the week and especially at work it was a very supportive and friendly community/
It was reasonable. I lived in Rickmansworth, which is very close to the office in a spare room. As you would expect, as you get closer to Central London cost of living goes up, but the areas around such as Uxbridge, Watford, Harrow offer a range of accommodation options. HR assists you in finding a group of people to live with.
As the Office Park is fairly secluded from any bigger towns it was a bit difficult to organize drinks directly after work, however, there is always the option to go into Watford/Uxbridge or London which we did a few times.
Throughout the year there were competitions to win tickets to football games, the British Film Festival, the Big Feastival... We also had great opportunity to participate at sponsored events such as the Colour Run, Goodwood Festival of Speed and TFl Rugby competitions. If you want to you can work at a number of car shows and events, lots of opportunity to get involved there.