Supporting managers and team memebers in Logistics by assisting with tasks and projects they are undertaking at the time.
It was very enjoyable as the work load was never too much to handle but if you were ever in need of things to keep you occupied, then you could ask any of your managers of team members for additional work. I was a bit bored at work on slow days which happened quite frequently.
As I was only there for 6 months, it was difficult to truly integrate into the company family. They were very kind and helpful and always supported you when you needed help but as it was a very busy time at the plant, it was difficult to get to know each other on a personal level.
The support given was always great at the company. As you are always near your managers and supervisors, it was very easy to go ask them for help whenever you needed it. They were also very friendly so you felt like you could approach them whenever they looked free. Again, the plant was experiencing a very busy period towards the end of my placement so my managers and supervisors were out a lot of the time so it got difficult to find them when I did need support. The support shown towards the start of the placement however was enough to allow me to work on my own most of the time.
Not very busy, the work at the plant on the new model was getting to a critical point and there was a lot of work which I could not take part in as they required me to be there for longer. By this I mean that some projects were started way before I arrived and in order for me to understand the project being undertaken, I would have to gain experience before I could give my input. This means that the 6 month period was too short in order to take on most large projects that people, who have been there for years, had already started. My lack of knowledge and experience of the company's internal figures and extremely extensive lingo made it also very hard to take on ongoing projects. Managers who have been delegated to give me jobs were also out most of the time on their own jobs so they were out of the office and when they returned, they did not have enough time to find me a job I was capable for as an intern. I felt after a while of asking managers, that I was bugging them by asking for work constantly during the first 3 months so the last 3 months I stopped asking and let them come to me with jobs that they needed me to do instead. This resulted in a lot of time spent at my desk with no work to do.
The most amount of responsibility given to me was a new project that my manager had started up upon my arrival. I was given the task to update the main slides that would be presented at the companies meetings with higher level managers at the top level of the company. This was guided by my manager and another supervisor and I was not given complete free reign over the project as I again did not know the future plans of the company or how to approach this project compared to smaller ones that the company under takes. Most of my responsibility was looking after PowerPoint slides for other manager’s projects which I was temporarily involved in.
I received a proper outlook into the internal affairs of a huge MNE and the on goings of employees in different departments. I expanded upon my knowledge that university had taught me by looking at the practicality of some of the processes I had learned about in lectures and how these processes were implemented in the company. I learned about new terminology which I hadn’t encountered at University but was critical to the running of Logistics in the company. I got to learn about more practical pros and cons of systems and help me reinforce my knowledge that I received at university and in my other work experience opportunities.
The atmosphere in the office was always calm and nice. There was never any uncomfortable moments and people were always enquiring after you and how your weekend was or what plans you have and whatnot. On people’s birthday, cake was brought in and you could eat in the office and relax whilst you were on your break.
Not very well at the beginning as there was a HR mess up and I had some problems contacting the relevant person for details. This person however was renowned for being very poor at organisation and has since left the company. The problems I encountered with that person was:
1. Emails were not answered for 3-5 days when I sent them a month before starting at the company.
2. My contract was not sent out prior to me starting the company
3. I was not on the payroll when I stared at the company and I had to ask for an advance in order to pay rent.
4. My laptop did not come until the 2nd week of me starting (I was supposed to receive it on day 1 of my placement).
As far as investment the company gave to me in term of personal development, it was sufficient enough to be able to understand and commit to my work at work. As far as training beyond being an intern, there was not much time given to me for that. Working at this company, it seems to me that the main training you can do is always on the job. If I were a full time contractor, I would be probably expected to pick up on things I did not know and explore them in more detail myself in order to fully comprehend the work I had been given about that unknown topic. The first months at BMW were very overwhelming with details and terminology however after about 4 months I started to fully grasp them and fully understand what they meant.
I have planned for my future to be spent in another location of the country so I did not fully enquire into future employment in the company. However from what other interns experienced with the company, they take into account your previous employment with the company and prioritise you above those who do not have experience. This is due to the value of experience in the company in my opinion and it would be more beneficial if you knew the basics before starting at the company in a full time role. This is as well as knowing your managers and team mates being also very helpful to your productivity at the company.
The interns at the company have created a WhatsApp group where they communicate very frequently about events they are going to and welcome anyone to come with them. They also post advice for people asking in the chat and are very responsive. They also send out intern newsletters to keep you updated that way if you don’t have the application on your phone and they are all very friendly.
Oxford is the second most expensive place to live in Britain. The rent was nearly 60% more than in Newcastle where I live as a student. The cost of socialising can vary depending on what you do. Shopping is obviously costly however if you know where to go this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. There are cinemas and markets nearby as well as a bus to London which isn’t too bad cost wise. There are also activities to do in oxford like punting or museums and there are botanical gardens, all of which aren’t too expensive either. However there isn’t much else to do in Oxford apart from that.
Not very good. Went out once and the only good club was very expensive and packed full of very unsavoury characters. My friend was assulted as well which was not a good experience. Pubs were better however very expensive relative to the place I came from.
Yes, I joined a cricket club which was a 20 min drive away, however people without a car may struggle as the training ground was too far for walking or biking if you wanted to get home before 1 in the morning. Buses were quite frequent so you could get on one of those to town to do the opportunities described above however again you would have to take a trip to another city for more exciting options.