The Marketing Communications department is responsible for all of Renault’s Advertising and Communications in the UK.
As a Brand Communications Assistant I contribute to developing effective ATL campaigns including Radio, Print, OOH, partnerships, shows and events for the Renault brand. My role involved working and meeting with media agencies, creative agencies and events agencies on a daily basis, briefing campaigns, managing stakeholders and approving plans, creative and budgets regularly. This role also involves the development of national fleet communications, including creating the annual Renault Business Magazine, Range brochures and specific company communications on request. This role required a lot of interaction with other areas of the business including product teams, legal teams, fleet teams, finance and sales.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
At Renault UK, I was given an exceptional amount of work, autonomy and felt trusted by my colleagues that I was contributing towards the business and was producing high quality work. My job itself was good fun, very varied and facilitated making a number of networks across the company and with external agencies. My work wasn't purely office based, meaning there were opportunities to travel elsewhere on business adding another dimension to the job.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I cannot express enough how good the organisational culture at Renault UK is. With such a small marketing team, my particular role meant that a lot of work was given to me and I was consistently told how the interns at the company added great contributions to the firm. Our department were not just colleagues but also friends, I participated in a number of activities outside of work which only brought us closer together and has meant i have taken away a number of very close friends since leaving the job.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Throughout the year, my manager was always on hand to offer help if i needed. Throughout the start of the placement i spent a lot of time reviewing my work with management to make sure it was meeting the desired outcomes and where improvement was needed, i was offered advice. At some points throughout the year, admittedly i felt more hands on deck could be needed. Being an international company, sometimes a few of the managers would be out of the office abroad, leaving a lot of the work to be covered by other members of the team, including interns. In this particular situation, where help is needed it was more difficult to complete tasks to a high standard.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
With the vast amount of responsibility handed over to interns, there was always something to be done. With my job being in advertising, there were daily deadlines for either booking media, supplying creative or signing off projects, coupled with the need to juggle multiple projects at the same time and brief in for the next project around the corner. Additionally, this role required daily interaction with agencies, company departments and legal advisers which meant that constant communication was required to manage expectations, keep people informed and seek approvals for every project. The quietest period was from December-February where the Christmas period kicks in and a lot of the plans for the next year are kicking in - this time is more for strategic planning for the year ahead rather than working to meet short term deadlines.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
a lot - I am still surprised at volume and variety of projects I was able to work on throughout the year. Multiple times, I was the main point of contact for 360 campaign on both the agency and client side and thus a key decision maker at times. I didn't anticipate before the placement I would have the position to be able to sign off budgets and comment on invoicing, but this became a regular part of my job and enabled me to gain a concept of managing media budgets. If there is one thing I would recommend as the highlight of my placement, is that I had the ability to manage projects and make changes to the company's systems and processes in order to improve them.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The experiences you gain during placement are invaluable. As a student that studies Management with Marketing - the theory of management is nothing without the practice. This year I feel as though i have managed projects, people and processes - i have gained skills that will carry me through uni and beyond. I would say one of the biggest ones is being able to multi-task - managing current projects & expectations, meeting deadlines whilst staying organised and plan for the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The automotive industry is one renowned for being quite male dominated, old fashioned and cold. I have found the opposite at Renault. The company treats its employees well - there is flexible working, fair pay, multiple work benefits, including company vehicles, pension & holidays, which encourages a family-friendly culture in the office where a good work-life balance is heavily promoted. Within my marketing department especially, there is a diverse range of people -where gender, sexual orientation and race is varied among the employees and this really contributes to a culture that is open and forward thinking. I must admit other parts of the organisation has a lot of work to do in terms of diversity, but I personally find this environment very encouraging. Additionally, the people at Renault are very friendly - there is always an opportunity for a laugh and the one thing I miss most since leaving the company is the people.
The building does feel quite corporate, with quite a few rows of desks and screens and glass offices for the directors but i quite like this atmosphere. Generally there is the background hum of working but on some days where a lot of people are out it can feel quite quiet as the office is quiet spacious. Fridays are fairly relaxed and the company encourages 'dress-down Friday' so people don't have to wear their suits.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Joining the placement, I found it a lot more well organised than other internships I had applied for. I was kept well informed up until joining the company, was able to meet current placement students at the interviews to ask questions and came in for a day to meet my future colleagues before i started full time. I was given a full and accurate job description and was given more details and advice about where to live, work perks and opportunities to get involved with outside of the business. I was also put in contact with other placement students from both Renault and Nissan in order to find other students to work with.
Since being at the company i had training that i was able to attend and was also given a mid-year review with my manager and an end of year review with my manager, departmental manager and HR placement coordinator to mark my progress and talk through future career plans.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
At the start I had a lot of departmental training with external agencies and software companies to help with my day to day job. When I joined the company i had a product training day to educate me on all of the Renault range and was able to explore Goodwood Festival of Speed to gain some insight & understanding of the industry as a whole. All of this training was both informative and fun - none were simply death by powerpoint and involved a lot of learning by doing which was helpful.
For the rest of the year, the training opportunities were not promoted as much, and perhaps this could have been better. It might be that it is a more pro-active thing, such as asking for particular training that i wanted but I never did myself.
One thing I did enjoy is the company had a big health and well being push - there were talks from HSBC about various toppings to help personal finances - such as how to secure a mortgage, how best to invest your money, how to budget properly - these life skills were really useful for me as I didn't have a clue.
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?
I have learnt that as a company employee you get looked after very well by Renault and the perks are very attractive. I look at the organisation as a fantastic place to settle down and support my family life when I am ready to have one. In that respect I would say it is very attractive,
With the way the bonus schemes and career progression works a lot of director level positions are often individuals who have worked for Groupe Renault across the globe and so have worked in multiple subsidiaries - in this respect as someone who aspires to reach higher levels of management I do feel it may be harder as there are fewer levels of management from intern to director, however the time and experience it takes to reach that higher level is a lot longer than some other organisations where there are multiple levels.
I do feel strongly, that having done a placement at Renault, I am in good stead to apply for the graduate programme. Lead by example, many graduates currently on the scheme were at Renault previously as an intern and so with connections and experience they are well prepared to make the interview stages and perform well.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
It is very dependent on what department you are in. Marketing are renowned for having a good social scene - weekly i meet with some of my colleagues for a drink in the pub, but I know in some other departments this kind of culture isn't as obvious. Depending on the year group, some grads and interns become really close and form social groups - I live with 3 other placement students and so our social life was good as we would regularly go out together, but for those living at home and those who had to drive far for work, the social aspect for them was not as good.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
We work in greater London so London prices is to be expected. The offices are located near Uxbridge, however, where Brunel University is situated, therefore here there is more affordable housing that is £400-£500 pcm which for the London area is a very good price. I managed to get a gym membership for £25 per month which I consider good, and with multiple shops nearby varying from Lidl to Tesco to Waitrose, there are facilities to suite whatever budget you have. Socialising is more expensive as the cost of transport in London and general drinking is very more expensive - I must admit I am glad to go back to subsidised prices at the University!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Around work, there is no real nightlife as it is in greater London, but there are multiple pubs for afterwork drinks, albeit most people drive to work. To go out, everyone goes into the centre of London and so there are multiple opportunities to meet up with friends you might have in the city and other placement students you might know. The only downside is the time it takes to get home and also the cost of the whole experience is nothing like uni. London promises a good night out, as well as so many things to do at weekends - even in a year you will never exhaust the potential activities!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Activities you could get involved with in work include:
- company football club
- company cricket club
- company pilates classes
- work on events such as Goodwood Festival of Speed, Big Feastival and other events
- attend some of the sponsorship & partnerships we have such as Eden Project, Color Run, Men's Health Survival of the Fittest, CSM Design Week, Clerkenwell Design Week
- get involved with Charity events - this year we did a lot of volunteering for Bernado's