Management - learning how to first manage a store and then manage an area (3 or 4 stores)
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It is a tough placement, particularly the amount of awkward hours you work, however, it is equally rewarding.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I have been a valued member of management within stores. Out of stores, I have undertaken projects that have been presented to Directors.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
As the year has gone on I have developed a really good relationship with my mentor who has helped me whenever needed and become a good friend.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It is a very busy job at times, particularly as you progress through your in store management training it becomes a bit of a balancing act. However, there have been a couple of quiet periods. For the majority of the time though I have not felt swamped or too quiet.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A lot. Having spoken to people undertaking other placements I feel like I have been given a lot of responsibility. Managing a store, undertaking big projects and even being given the chance to run an Area Manager's area for two weeks, although they were there if I needed.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My skills don't directly relate to my degree because I do not study a business degree, however, skills that I have learned can definitely be transferred, for example; management (group work), communication and presentations skills, organisation, and my Excel skills have also improved.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
In store the offices are very busy as they run as efficiently as possible so there are quite often people coming in and out. The stores definitely have a good buzz to them. In the Regional Office the Area Manager office is normally quiet as the majority of Area Managers are in their stores.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I got on to the placement two weeks before my start date, as a result there was a bit of confusion around the beginning of the year. However, that improved very quickly and then ran fairly smoothly. It is a job that does require a certain level of flexibility though, this goes for the graduate role even more so, therefore, it is good to be able to show this in your placement.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
They give almost the same level of training they give to the new graduates. The management courses that I got to do were very good. I got to go to an all expenses paid placement event to another region and stayed at a nice hotel. The placement students get invited to the Christmas party as well. Besides that, they give you a lot of training as they want you to come back as an Area Manager, not just to come and be used as cheap labour for the year so it is in their best interest for you to be well trained.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
It is a tough job, but once you settle into it it is really good because of how rewarding it is. The Area Manager role does mean working at some weekends, but once you become a director you move to a more Monday to Friday role.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Unlike a lot of my friends who got to live in houses with other placement students I had to live on my own which was quite difficult. I mostly relied on University friends and friends from School for my social life. If you get the option to be based near your home or university I would do that.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Varied, I moved to different locations within the region I was in.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I did not often go out with work.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?