I don't think I could have enjoyed my placement year any more than I have at TUI. The culture of the organisation is so fun, fast-paced and sociable. Every day is different and I felt constantly motivated to develop personally and drive company strategy forward.
Everyone at TUI instantly made me feel welcome. I have always been encouraged to question existing processes at TUI and my opinions really felt valued. As a placement we have exactly the same role as other assistants and the same level of responsibilities; as such, we were treated with the same respect. My colleagues are some of my best friends, and this makes coming in to work a truly positive experience. TUI encourages a one-team mentality and I really felt this enhanced my experience - members of other teams were always willing to help with any questions I had and were there to shed light on other areas of the business. Equally when I helped across teams I always felt like my support was really valued.
My managers really took a vested interest in my development. My line manager was always willing to share her wealth of knowledge with me and really helped me develop my analytical skills. I was also encouraged to spend time with other areas of the business alongside my day-to-day role. Senior manages organised a variety of sessions throughout the year, to help us better understand the industry and the business, as well as to build upon our personal skills such as leadership.
Most days are fairly busy, but personally I really enjoy being busy and TUI allowed me to get stuck in and involved. At the beginning of the year, it is not quite as busy because they gradually ease us in to the full responsibilities of the role, but by the end of the year we are immersed in the exciting, fast-paced environment.
The level of responsibility is incredible. As I progressed throughout the placement I was making real, meaningful decisions that would have considerable impact on the business. My line manager let me lead important strategy meetings and lead projects that had large financial implications. As a placement we have exactly the same role as other assistants and the same level of responsibilities; as such, we were treated with the same respect. Whilst I had all this responsibility I never felt overwhelmed as I always knew the support was there if I needed it.
My analytical skills have drastically improved and I feel at University I will be more inclined to question theory and assess theory with a more open mind. Training on giving impactful presentations has completely changed the way I plan presentations and will help me both on my return to uni and in future job opportunities. I feel I will be better able to project manage, take the lead and strategize in future roles. TUI has provided me with so many new skills and developed existing skills to a level I never thought would be possible in one year.
The atmosphere at TUI is so sociable and lively. Everyone is always so positive and friendly. The office itself is bright and colourful and this reflects the culture of the organisation. My colleagues are great friends and make everyday cheerful and down-to-earth. It is not uncomfortable to go and speak to colleagues in other departments if you have a query as social events mean you get to know everyone early on in the placement. Nights out with fellow TUI employees are not uncommon!
The placement is really well managed, especially seeing as it is not ran by a HR team but colleagues who run the scheme alongside their day-to-day role. The placement scheme leaders made sure the whole induction process ran smoothly and that we could reap as many opportunities as possible in our time here. Sometimes the timeliness of certain training sessions could have been improved but this never impacted our experience or development. The team always encouraged us to give them any feedback throughout the year and really took our opinions on board.
I have learnt more in my year at TUI than I have in 2 years at University. TUI constantly invest in out development, whether this be through training that focuses on the industry/business, workshops that focus on improving our presentation or excel skills etc., or through placement projects that give us the opportunity to work together with other areas of the business to achieve a key business objective. What I have really found impressive, is that if we want some form of training the company will do their upmost to provide it. Whilst there is the main training programme and sessions that are popular with every placement year, the scheme is also tailored to us and what we want to get from the year.
Future employment prospects are really appealing. The company has taken many previous placements back in to various roles across the business. I would love to come back and this is being discussed over the next month. As an international business the prospects aren't just isolated to the UK or to the department we did our placement in.
The social scene at TUI is one of the best parts of the scheme. Myself and my fellow placements go out all the time and often with other colleagues across the business. The culture at TUI is very much 'work hard - play hard!' At weekends we're either on days out or nights out, and the company even organises events like rounder's after work which have been a real laugh.
The scheme is based in Luton, which is fairly cheap in comparison to London, but having come from up North the area can seem a little pricey. We still managed to have fairly cheap nights out though and could easily head into London if we fancied it.
The nightlife in Luton itself isn't great, but London, Harpenden, St Albans and Watford are all right on the doorstep and offer a variety of nights out, whether you want a typical uni night out, or just nice drinks or a posh one in London! The people at TUI really make the nights out amazing though - you'll never have a dull night out!
Being so close to London, you can literally take up whatever hobby you want in your time at TUI. There are lots of sports clubs in Luton and the surrounding areas. Train and bus services are frequent so you can easily get wherever you want to go.