Industrial Placement Student at Aldi

Top Employer
Duration
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Region
Neston North West
Review Date
Salary
£24,000 - £25,999
Roles
Retail

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6.7/10

The Role
7.8
Organisation
6.8

Socialising

4.8

The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

Overall I have enjoyed the placement. There were aspects I found very rewarding but there were certainly some very low points too.

During my time in store I initially struggled with my store assistant training as it was incredibly demanding both physically and emotionally. The first store I was placed in was famous across the region for being a very busy store with a very high rate of productivity. While this was great for my development I did struggle with the long hours which were often in excess of 13 hours each shift. However once I began to master the tasks I began to enjoy the work more. When I moved to my second store which was less busy and I was taking on more management tasks, I was able to take more enjoyment from the role.

During my time with my area manager mentor, I was able to gain valuable insight into what the role entails. I particularly enjoyed the people management side to the job. Although I found that sometimes I was given tasks to simply fill up my time rather than because they were beneficial, this was less enjoyable.

During my time at head office I had the opportunity to work with each department on real projects that would make a difference to the business. This was really rewarding and I have thoroughly enjoyed this part of the placement. It was also really interesting to begin to see how each department fitted into the bigger picture of the business as a whole.

8/10

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2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

Again, this varied considerably at different stages throughout the placement.

During my time in the first store I felt valued and everyone in the entire team was supportive of me whilst I was completing my training. This was even apparent when I began to take on more management responsibility and I was managing some of the people who had trained me. In my second store I felt valued by the majority of the management team, with the exception of one manager who had been in the business for 20 + years. This manager was somewhat dismissive of me due to my age and inexperience and constantly undermined me (sometimes publicly) when taking on more management duties. This made my working life difficult at times. However the rest of the store team were brilliant and a real pleasure to work with.

During time with my area manger I mostly felt valued and through undertaking projects I personally felt my work was making a worthwhile contribution to the business. Although I do recall being told at one point that IPs were ‘not needed’ by the business and that this year was for my own development only. This was somewhat disheartening .

At head office I felt really valued by each department. At times, when time sensitive issues arose and other departments need an extra help I was invited to assist. I was always thanked by the director of each department after updating with them at the conclusion of each rotation. I found this was very rewarding.

7/10

3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

On the whole I felt that I was supported well by the various people I was reporting to throughout the placement.

In store, the management teams were very supportive and offered feedback on the tasks that I completed. This helped me to assess my progress and make any changes necessary to address any areas of weakness. This was hugely beneficial, especially initially whilst I was adapting to the fast pace required on the shop floor. The feedback was usually given verbally and often informally and I do feel that I may have benefitted from having more in depth updates with the store managers.

I updated with my area manager mentor frequently who gave me feedback collected from my store managers. This was beneficial, however it would have been helpful to have been given the feedback from the store managers themselves more often, so I could address any areas for improvement immediately rather than waiting to hear from my mentor. I also felt that my mentor could be somewhat unapproachable, therefore there were occasions where I contacted the ex-placement student who was in my stores the previous year. I found this support hugely beneficial and I recommend Aldi continue to encourage IPs to meet with the previous year’s students and exchange contact details.

I also had the opportunity to have regular updates with the store operations director to discuss my progress and any feedback. This was very useful.

7/10

4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

In store I was extremely busy. It is a very fast paced environment and there was always something to be done with the days often passing quickly. Quite often I was too busy and would stay later than my scheduled end time in order to ensure tasks were completed. While this is expected by store management, it did not bother me as I felt that I was helping the team.

At head office, I was given several large projects which required me to plan my time effectively, these projects filled the time perfectly. This allowed me to be busy enough, without having to put in excessive extra hours.

5/10

5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

From the moment I started the placement year I was given huge amounts of responsibility. After only being with the business for a few short weeks I was running opening and closing shifts and managing the safe. While initially this was daunting, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. While I was shadowing my mentor there were occasions where I would be expected to visit the stores independently and provide feedback to the store managers.

10/10

6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I feel that taking a year out from university and working full time has given me the opportunity to reassess my priorities and attitude towards university. I have developed a strong work ethic and I am now more ambitious than I have ever been before and I intend to aim for the highest grades I can possibly achieve. I have also learnt how to conduct myself in a professional environment, which will help me in the workplace after graduating.

10/10

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The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The atmosphere was corporate and professional, however everyone was friendly and would assist you if they possibly could.

7/10

8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

My placement barely deviated from the plan I was given on the first day. There were occasions where a project would come up and I would take it on, which changed the order of the rotations between departments a little. I still had the opportunity to work with each department though.

10/10

9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

I feel that Aldi invested a great deal in my training and development. However when it emerged that I was not fully confident in an area of store management, I asked for some extra training on it and was told I had no training hours left. I would like all future IPs to be aware that they have a specific number of training hours to be used for the purpose of training ONLY. They have some degree of control over how these hours are used and thus some control over how and what they are trained on. I did not know this, thus my hours were used up without me giving any input into how I wanted them to be used.

7/10

10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Company Car
5/10

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

An Aldi career offers unparalleled levels of responsibility and a clear route of progression along with a very good financial package. It is really quite unlike any other graduate opportunity. The job requires dedication and high levels of commitment along with a willingness to be flexible about the days you work. All of the area managers I have come into contact with have stated how much they enjoy their job. I think it is the most incredible opportunity for the right person. Unfortunately that person is not me and I do not feel that pursuing a career in the retail sector is the right decision for me.

5/10

Social

12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

Due to the nature of the retail sector and the associated long and often unsociable hours, there was not much opportunity to engage in a social scene during our time in store. We were all working on different days and at different times. However once we arrived at head office and were working together we did arrange to go out for dinner after work a few times.

3/10

13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

I lived at home, so my cost of living was minimal.

10/10

14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

I live and study in Liverpool, so know the city well. The nightlife is great however I did not see much of it this year with working such long and variable hours !

1/10

15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

No, not unless you organised it yourself with other IP students.

5/10

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