I really enjoyed my work placement here at TUI. I felt right at home from the beginning, the people are so friendly and welcoming and I was treated like a full-time employee and given real responsibility. I have learned so much from my time here that I will be able to take with me back to University.
I felt very valued by my colleagues, both peers and managers. The team environment is really nice, everyone works together and supports one another. I always had questions to ask and felt as though there were so many people I could go to if I needed to. I also felt like my opinion was valued and taken seriously by everyone in the team.
My manager was very supportive throughout my entire time here. I always ask questions as this is the best way to learn, and he was always happy to answer. If I had an concerns I always knew I could raise them, whether that was with my direct line manager or senior managers in the team. They all made it clear that they were available if we ever need any support or if I just had the odd question.
The pace of the work environment changed at different times of the year, but I was always busy and had things to do. There was never a time where I was sat doing nothing, I always felt like I had things to do and things I could be working on. During the busiest times of the year it was a little bit overwhelming, but I enjoyed the challenge and how fast-paced the days were.
I was really happy with the amount of responsibility I was given during my time here. You really are treated as a full time employee, and without you being there they would have to recruit someone else to do the job. It is a huge responsibility to have control of an individual country, and the job itself is very important. At all times you are given huge amounts of support by your manager and colleagues however, so I never felt the responsibility was too much because I always had them to ask questions to or get their expertise and advice. I have learned so much during my time here, mostly because of the amount of responsibility I was given. My confidence has improved greatly, and my ability to prioritise my workload is much better now, because its something I was tasked with working on every day.
I think the skills I have achieved will help me so much when I go back to university for my final year. Not only the specific analytical skills I have learned from my role, but also the business knowledge and acumen I have gained from working for a FTSE 100 company, and the work ethic I have developed during my time here. My confidence was one of my biggest development areas before I joined TUI and I am so proud of how much I have improved this during my time here. I will be able to bring this not only to my studies, but also to my professional career afterwards. I have gained so many skills it would be impossible for me to list them all here but the biggest ones would include confidence, organisation, ability to adapt to different working environments, presentation skills and excel skills. I will be able to bring all of these aspects to my studies next year, and build upon them even further.
The atmosphere in the office was really great! It was much more fun and social than I expected, which I was pleasantly surprised with. Its is very much a work hard, play hard culture and there's always conversations and chit chat going on which makes you much more relaxed when working.
The training when I began my placement was well organised and I definitely felt it was needed in my first few weeks. During the year there was sometimes a lack of communication from the L&D team but this was quickly dealt with and improved. The learning and development team are really lovely, and work hard to make sure the scheme is organised. In the second half of the placement they sent out a spread sheet to all of the placement students to give transparency on what they were working on behind the scenes. I found this really useful, because you don't always get to see what they are doing, and the effort they are actually putting in throughout the quieter periods too. I really enjoyed the monthly placement meetings that they organised, and it was really nice to have that time to catch up. I also think they did a really great job at organising the placement projects throughout the year, and some of them have definitely been my biggest highlights!
I think the company really invested in my development. We had extra opportunities through the placement scheme to partake in additional projects which gave us exposure to different areas of the business, and gain extra skills and knowledge. We were also allowed 4 half days to spend in other areas of the business that we were interested in, as well as being able to take part in the 'Tour Operator Development Programme' sessions throughout the year.
Future employment prospects are really appealing within TUI. Because they invest so much in you during your time here, they really encourage you to return. I also really appreciate how open they are to you gaining experience and knowledge of other departments during your time here, if you don't specifically want to return to the department you had your placement in. It is very easy to talk to the other departments and gain these contacts, especially through the placement projects and half days.
The social scene at TUI is very good! We did a lot as a placement group, but also with other colleagues within commercial. Because its such a young company, many people want to do activities outside of work which is really nice, so you get to socialise with you relevant teams as well as fellow placements. A lot of events are organised within commercial such as the Summer party and Easter party.
The cost of living in Luton is relatively cheap, but its not really the type of place you want to go out in! I mostly went out in Harpenden, St Albans or London where it was more expensive but not too much, and definitely worth it!
The nightlife in Luton is very basic, theres not too many places to go to, so we would always go out in Harpenden, St Albans or London which are really easy to get to!
There were so many opportunities for this! I really loved this aspect of TUI, because they organise so many events outside if work it makes it easier to get to know people when you first join, and get to know people that aren't in your immediate teams. Within our first week there was a rounder's tournament in Trading, and in October we went on a conference to Rhodes! There were so many parties and activities organised throughout the year, done by the business and also ones just organised by other people in your teams.