I have loved my time at TUI, before starting a placement I didn’t really know what to expect and was worried I would be stuck in a job I didn’t enjoy for a whole year. This has completely not been the case and I have really enjoyed every aspect from getting to know the job itself to learning more about the other areas of the business and how these operate. There have been endless opportunities and experiences to get involved in and everyone really encourages and supports you to do so.
Placements are treated exactly the same as any other assistants in the team and are given equal responsibilities. There have always been the support and development opportunities I have needed from my team and no one looks down at me as a placement student.
Everyone in the office is really supportive and there are lots of different people you can seek help from depending on the issue. Aside from your manager and direct team who are able to help with any day to day issues, as a placement you also have guidance from the placement Learning & Development team who meet with us once a month for a placement meeting and are available for support along the way. You are also given a buddy who is usually someone in the business who you don’t directly work with when you start who you can go to and meet with whenever suits from any questions or issues you may have.
My workload fluctuated across the year with September and January being the busy trading periods. In this time there was more focus on the sales aspect of the role and more detail was required in the analysis but despite the faster pace of work the amount was still manageable. Aside from this there were also busy periods for example when working on the various placement projects we undertook alongside our normal workload so again with these we learnt to manage our time as effectively as possible. There was never times where there wasn’t enough work to be getting on with, and as long as you were sensible in managing your various tasks then it was never achievable either
The amount of responsibility we were given was far greater than I ever managed. Each of us was responsible for our own resorts/ships for a specific season and the day to day management of that fell onto us just like any other assistant in our teams. I never felt overwhelmed by this level of responsibility as there was always support available from my manager and the rest of my team to help me manage this but at the same time it was really nice to have control of my own area and know that I was accountable for the actions I took and the consequences these may then have.
There were so many opportunities across the year that helped me developed my skills such as presenting, time management and analysis; all of which will be extremely useful to have when going back to Uni. As well as this my confidence has massively increased from being exposed to a range of different circumstances and going forward this will be really useful when returning to the working world after final year. There are both formal and informal methods in place to track and push development throughout the year such as the Personal Develop Plan that each person creates for themselves.
The office is a really relaxed place to work and everyone is really friendly. There is a coffee shop and canteen in the building as well as plenty of different areas available for meetings. There is a really strong social element both at work and after work too with lots to get involved in. There are also activities such as TUI Choir, and a netball, football and running clubs too.
The scheme is really well run and what is nice is that it is run by people within the Commercial department not a central HR team so there is a lot more interaction than I expected. Each placement has a personalised training schedule in the first few weeks to train you up and then throughout the year there are placement monthly meetings to not only check in as a whole team but also where we hear from other people around the business. We have also completed 3 placement projects in the year again allowing us to get exposure in different departments and also testing our skills in something very different to our day to day roles.
On the placement scheme you benefit from formal training sessions on areas like excel and presentation skills. You also go through a 4 week induction programme when joining the business to take you through all the different areas you will look after in your day to day role. Other opportunities are the 4 half days we get given to spend in other departments over the course of the year which are really great in allowing you to explorer different areas around the business.
As the company is investing in your training and development whilst you are in the company for the year they encourage high retention rates. This can range from coming back into the your role on placement on a permanent basis, looking for another area to try or coming back on one of the various graduate schemes.
Because the office is so young and social there is a really good social scene at TUI. Over the year I have joined in on many different social events from nights out to sports and lots more. As the placements tend to live together we have been really close as a group as well, meaning there is always fun activities going on!
Rent in Luton varies depending on the area you live in but generally is fairly reasonable for a shared house- all the placements tend to live together for the year. In terms of socialising we usually go to nearby towns such as Harpenden and St Albans which have fairly normal prices, obviously when we go to London this tends to be more expensive. Train fares are relatively cheap between these areas especially if you have a railcard.
There isn’t much going on in Luton but the train links are really good and so we usually went out in Harpenden or St Albans which have a good variety of bars and pubs. We also went into London several times as it is only around half an hour on the train and these run through the night because of the airport.
There are lots of activities going on out of work, ranging from organised team outings such as footgolf, darts and meals to more relaxed catch ups. There's also organised teams such as Football and Netball. As I've already mentioned, there's always a lot going on and I've made so many great friends over the course of the year.