It was very varied, giving me great exposure to numerous areas of the business, and I've been able to build solid working relationships as a result. In my role I have been out of the office and on the road at least once a week - a bonus if you like experiencing new environments and meeting new people.
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Extremely valued - both by my team, and by the wider company. Within my team, I was regularly thanked and recognised for my efforts. On a wider scale, Toyota provide a lot for their staff e.g. celebratory lunches, conferences, parties etc - Toyota look after their staff and it shows.
My manager supported me when required but allowed me to work independently. Guidance was always offered, not only by direct management but others around the business who are happy to coach students. Complete opposite approach to micro-management - this gave me the ability to motivate myself and take full responsibility on my projects.
My role was project based meaning that depending what was going on I could either not have a moment to breathe, or have plenty of time to get on with work. On average, the amount of work was manageable, although some travelling/events do happen outside of work hours, but this doesn't prevent a good work-life balance.
More responsibility than expected for a placement student - this has taught me how to manage projects and communications with various stakeholders. Management style variable between departments however I worked independently and had to be confident in managing my own workload - my manager trusted me to get on as required.
The skills, behaviours and people I have met over the year will undoubtedly help me in life after University, and the experience has brought my degree in to reality. The techniques for learning and project management in Toyota, as well as seeing tangible business outcomes, have strengthened my understanding of theory learnt in my degree.
The office on the whole is fairly quiet, and quite relaxed, although this varies between departments and day-to-day. Very friendly atmosphere on the whole, including working with neighbouring Toyota Financial Services. Lots of staff are field-based so different people in the office every day, and always something going on in 'The Street'.
Overall organisation and structure of programme was good - clearly laid out from induction. Sometimes communication with HR department a little strained, but on the whole, no problems. Would have liked a few more opportunities for personal development specifically for students who are new to the business and to the industry.
Toyota are clearly invested in their staff, and this is apparent in the day to day culture of the company and their Respect for People. Due to nature of my department, my manager was focused on personal development so I was given opportunities to grow. Bonus to be invited to staff conferences and Dealer network conference also.
You are encouraged to apply for the Graduate Scheme during the year, however spaces on this scheme are limited, and difficult to gage whether you are welcome to apply for other non-graduate roles. When applying to Toyota for a placement we were informed that only previous students were able to join the Graduate Scheme after, however this has now changed and the scheme has been opened to external applicants - slightly demotivating for those who have spent 1/2 years with Toyota.
Opportunity to get involved with other students and open to join Sports and Social Club (around 1 event per month). Slight divide between those who moved in with colleagues and those who live elsewhere with other people - up to you how much you get involved with different events and activities, but the option is always there.
Surrey is expensive! Not such a shock if you live in London/somewhere else down South, but would be a big difference if moving from the North. Rent is equivalent to London prices, and drinking is also much the same as London.
Bars and a few clubs in Epsom/other towns near the office, as well as lots of pubs, however London not too far away if wanting a better night out.
Sports and Social Club was available but around 1 event a month for this - not much else that I was made aware of.