1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed my time at Nissan. It was my first job so I didn't know what to expect. I loved the friendly and informal atmosphere that the offices had and was surprised with how much I learnt. I built up my skill set and made friends with other placements.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I struggled a bit at the beginning as I didn't have a proper team introduction due to scheduling issues with some of the team members. This made it difficult for me to settle in, especially as i was the only placement on my team. Over time I became more comfortable though and I always felt valued, everyone was very friendly and welcoming.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had monthly meetings with my supervisor to discuss my progress, he provided excellent guidance and support. The informal nature of the offices made me feel comfortable talking to managers or even general managers, so I could ask for help or more work without any stress. I was given a lot of opportunities to express difficulties I was having, and received good feedback.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The ISD department at Nissan is project based, so my level of work depended on what I was working on. There were very few deadlines, so I could work on the projects at my own pace. Personally I like to stay busy, so I worked on a lot of different projects at once, many of which I requested from my mentor. We were also allowed time to work on reports for university, so I rarely had free time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
One of my projects was to redesign our digital innovation room. We were given a budget and had to design the room, getting contractors to paint, fit whiteboards, etc. I didn't expect to be responsible for a large budget on a placement scheme, so the whole project was exciting and it was satisfying to see and use the room afterwards.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have become much more confident as a result of this placement. I received a lot of training, such as a presentation skills course and an assertive skills course.
Both of these helped me identify what made me so nervous in various situations, for example presenting to managers, and gave me some skills to overcome those fears.
We also had access to online training and a placement-led training course, which i am involved in preparing for the next intake.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office was a great place to work. We had open plan spaces, so collaboration between teams was easy and fun. It's also great as, even if there isn't many placements on your team, there will be some in your office. The atmosphere is very informal, and the uniform makes you feel equal to everyone else, even managers and general managers, who also sit on the same desks as their teams.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I was impressed at how quickly the recruitment process happened: Within 12 hours of the assessment centre I had a interview offer, and within 12 hours of that I had a job offer! This continued in the placement itself with a great educational hires team, who frequently met with me to discuss my progress.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was an abundance of training options. Lots of training courses were offered via email, giving me the opportunity to join if I wanted too. I did the presentation skills and assertive skills courses, which were very helpful and also a good social experience with the other placements. Access to online courses both on and off site made the training experience fantastic, with a huge range of professional-level courses to take on.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I intend to apply for Nissan's graduate scheme. As an IS student, I am a bit concerned that Nissan won't be using the latest or best technology like a tech-focused company, but the opportunities for growth and the inviting atmosphere make me confident that Nissan would be a viable employer long term.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes. There were a lot of placement nights out as well as other activities. This included some events organised by work, such as the christmas party, which made it easier to socialise with other colleagues outside of the placements. Even when at work the informal atmosphere and friendly staff made the working day a fun and social experience.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in Sunderland city centre, which is significantly cheaper than Newcastle, in a student accommodation studio. This made living affordable and easy for me, especially as bills were included. Socialising cost depends on location, for example Newcastle is more expensive than Sunderland, but still reasonable by big city standards.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There is excellent nightlife in the North East. Most of our nights out were in Newcastle as there were loads of bars and nightclubs to explore. We did occasionally go out in Sunderland too as it had a more relaxed atmosphere. The metro service made it easy for everyone to travel between and within the cities, although if you're planning a lot of nights out, Newcastle might be better for you.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I didn't get involved in much outside of work. There is a popular football group that play every Tuesday, but I wasn't into that. There is also a few gyms on site, which some groups of friends would go to. Most of the activities I participated in were organised by me and other placements, which I didn't mind.