I really enjoyed my time at Renault UK, the placement gave me real responsibility and definitely felt like a real job rather than an intern role and I felt throughout my time the roles of the placement students were widely respected across the whole company. The job also gave me great experience in marketing and on the job training which will be invaluable for me in the future.
My department especially made it clear how much they valued and relied upon the industrial placement students in the department. There was definitely a company wide feeling of respect towards the placement students. This happened because of the level of responsibility given to us as placement students, and how widely across the business we all worked.
The management was extremely attentive during my time there, particularly during the first 6 months where you learn the role there was an excellent level of support and guidance that steered you in the right direction, but also encouraged you to take your own view point and in the longer term allowed for a greater level of trust and independence.
In my experience, the workload was generally just right, with a gradually growing amount at the start to ease you into the job, and then building up to a point where there was definitely enough to keep you busy at all times and to challenge you. When the workload was especially high it was generally well noted and acknowledged also.
The level of responsibility given was great, as I worked in marketing communications I found myself independently delivering a number of advertising campaigns, and working on projects with commercial significance. These campaigns and projects involved significant financial investment and played a big role in brand strategy, and I was often responsible for them or for large elements of them.
I believe the skills I have learnt this year will massively benefit me upon my return to University, as well as significantly helping me after graduating, both in the process of applying and interviewing for jobs, as well as being massively helpful during future employment. I can say without a doubt I will be in a much stronger position coming out of university as a result of the placement.
Overall there was a friendly and positive atmosphere in the office, however, often the office could be too quiet and would lack a 'buzz' or much excitement. Sometimes this could be a positive as it didn't allow many distractions, however sometimes a bit more of a fun atmosphere would have been beneficial.
Overall the organisation on the work placement was pretty good, with clear points of contact who were always happy to help with anything. The work placement roles at Renault UK are very well established so they are experienced with dealing with work placement students meaning the year felt well organised and set up.
In terms of specific training there wasn't much investment into placement students across the year, however the personal training and development came from working in a role for a year, and was much more focused around learning as you go throughout the year rather than investing in specific training in areas of the business.
There is a graduate placement scheme at Renault which is well regarded internally, and many full time employees there came through the grad scheme. There are also a number of options to come into the company in other ways than the graduate scheme. The placement year doesn't guarantee you a graduate role at Renault but plays heavily in your favour.
The office is located in west London, in Rickmansworth towards the far west end of the metropolitan line. There are a number of living options around the office that vary in price. I lived in Uxbridge which was one of the cheaper areas to live. The cost of socialising was quite high as most bars/restaurants/activities were still London prices.
Around the office itself there was not good nightlife and wasn't a particularly good area for socialising. However the office isn't far from Watford which has better options for nightlife, and is also close to Uxbridge (a student area) as well as being on the Metropolitan line giving the area good access to central London.
There were a few good opportunities for outside of work activities. There was quite a large an active company football team, as well as a touch rugby team and cricket team which were all good options for meeting and getting to know others in the company and were good for socialising.