1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have loved my placement year. I think the team you are with and the other placement students are a huge contributing factor to the enjoyment of the year. Everyone on the team that I am in is so lovely and always willing to answer any questions that I have.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Waitrose are very supportive of their partners, and praise is given where it is is due. I think that this is very important, especially during a placement year. It allows you to understand where your strengths are and can therefore help when returning to uni, updating a CV and applying for future jobs.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I meet with my line manager every week to discuss what projects we are both working on and if I have any questions or concerns. I also have a 'buddy' within the team who is there if I have any questions that are not necessarily related to the job role directly.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In PR, the level of how busy you are changed throughout the year depending on the seasons and also if big projects are taking place,. For example, the period leading up to Christmas was a very busy time, whereas summer time is a lot quieter and this is reflected in the work load.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Within the first two months of my placement year, I was involved with a business wide campaign and was looking after a vital PR for the campaign. Throughout the rest of the year I have been involved in a variety of projects and have been responsible for elements within those.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Working for full time for a year helps you to develop a strict routine which I know will help me when I return to uni, especially with managing assignments and writing my dissertation.
I think being so involved in the team has also developed my understanding and I have gained transferable skills that will aid me during my final year at uni and my future career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The organisation within the team has been perfect. However, within the personnel team, who our placement journey started with, we have had to ask quite a few questions, particularly around our development days and not really knowing who are best point of contact is for when we had any questions.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Throughout my placement I have been given the opportunities to visit other teams and visit our agencies to able me to develop my skills and knowledge of PR and digital PR. This was something that I was encouraged to do from the start to be able to maximise my experience.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would love to come back and work for Waitrose within their press team.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I personally lived at home during my placement year as I lived so close. However, we would try and have lunch together at work and occasionally go out on the weekends together.
I have also socialised within the team outside of work such as for Christmas parties and leaving drinks.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I was fortunate enough to be able to live at home during the year. This meant that I could socialise with other placement students and also friends of mine who were still living at home. Nearby towns are Reading and Windsor and London is only an hour on the train, so lots of options for weekend plans.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
If you choose to live in Reading for the year then bare in mind that this is a uni town so there are lots of bars and clubs, even on weekends, clubs aren't too expensive. If you live closer to Bracknell then nightlife is very limited and you will have to travel for that.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Waitrose have a gym on site which is much cheaper than your average gym membership. They also have other clubs to get involved with after work. The partnership also do sailing so that partners are able to get involved in that on weekends and during holiday time. There are also discounted tickets to events that partners are to able to apply for and purchase.