1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement at ASOS. I have always felt well supported during my time here from the HR People team as well as my colleagues. I have also been given actual responsibilities which have contributed to the functionality of the team, which has made me feel really valued.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
From my first day in the office I was given an action plan of tasks I needed to complete by the end of the week. Whilst this was a shock and quite nerve wracking it made me feel valued straight away, and pushed me out of my comfort zone to achieve new things and learn new skills. I was constantly supported through my tasks as well, which made me feel even more valued as my work was actually appreciated and used within the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I have always been encouraged to partake in weekly 1-2-1 sessions with my line manager whilst at ASOS, which are completely self directed. These have helped me to monitor my progression and develop my skills more efficiently. The people team in HR have also been really supportive, organising monthly sessions where all the interns come together and work on personal development, discuss how each other's internships are going and setting goals for the next few months.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was variable, and very much dependent on the season/success of trade within the department etc. However there was always something I could have been doing, whether this was individual project work, online training or research. There were also frequent opportunities to help other teams out who had a lot of work on, so I was busy but the frequency varied intermittently.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
There were certain things that needed approval from management due to legalities, but I managed a lot of tasks independently which really mattered in the workflow of the team. During my 1-2-1s I would always raise any concerns, and if something was imminent there was always someone who was willing to help. But at ASOS there was a massive encouragement to learn things for yourself and push yourself to be brave in making your own decisions on things, even as an intern.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I've learned a lot of business skills through working at ASOS, working with their supply base and negotiating with all the various teams in head office. I've also gained much more efficient time management skills, prioritisation skills and IT software skills (i.e. Excel), which will be skills I'll use throughout my career, not just when back at uni.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Really really fun! It's very fast pace and intense - much like you would expect a global fashion retailer's head office to be! But it's also a really fun environment to work in. It's very open plan and social, with a lot of work spaces becoming agile (no one has a set desk and people are encouraged to sit in different spaces around the office, including different floors). There's always music playing and people chatting, but it's really productive.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
In terms of support from the HR team it has been excellent. There's been so much support from them in terms of progression, skills development and integration into the company, and they've worked hard to ensure we have the best experience. However in terms of working with our individual teams I feel that our managers could have had more support from HR, to enable them to support us better. There have been times when our line managers have not been able to support us fully due to their busy schedules and I feel that they could have been given more support in facilitating an intern as well as managing their current team(s).
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I'm paid a salary, which is extremely competitive for an intern, so already I recognise that I'm being hugely invested in. As an intern I'm also entitled to full employee benefits, training programmes and development sessions, which have enhanced my experience at ASOS no end.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I'd love to come back to ASOS. Personally I feel like it's the exact type of company I want to work for, I empathise with the core values of the brand and have really settled into the way of working that's encouraged. I also know from having spoken to previous interns who are now back as full time employees that ASOS are really facilitating if you show an interest in coming back once you've graduated.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes - but I think it came from us more than anything. Having the monthly meetings with the people team allowed us to really get to know each other from the very first day, and from then we've formed our own friendship kept in touch inside and outside of the office.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Being in London everything is way more expensive, but I think due to the fact that all of the interns are getting paid it meant we had a bit of extra money to spend on going out and socialising as a group. I would definitely say my group and I have made the most of living in London this year, but on the flip side I've also had to make sure I keep on top of my budgets - it's easy to get carried away!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The office is based just south of Camden, so the nightlife in the local area is really good! It's also only a few stops on the tube away from Soho, which is a great place to go out and is one of the cheaper nightlife areas in London!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
We regularly had emails and information about external activities to get involved with, some linked to work and some not. ASOS also strongly encourages all employees to partake in a "Give A Day Away", which allows you a day off - outside of your standard holiday - to volunteer in the community. I'm using mine to volunteer for the LGBTQ+ charity PRIDE in London just before I leave.