Supporting the management and implementation of the Joint Contact Plan across European Markets
Leading and supporting campaign creation and delivery in European Markets
Liaising with a creative agency in order to deliver creative design work
Analysis of campaign reports
Contribution to new initiatives (e.g. Ignition One)
Supporting the change to systems as a result of the PSA transition
My placement year at Vauxhall has really opened my eyes as to what I should expect when applying for graduate roles. Despite my role changing half-way through the year I have been heavily involved in numerous projects, providing me with invaluable experience managing campaigns internationally. Through the Mentor program I have also been able to spend time in other departments to gain an insight into not only the function of the business that I work in, but other functions including Retail Network Development and Marketing.
My colleagues were always very appreciative of the work I completed, often coming to me for advice on how to proceed with projects. I felt valued by being given a lot of responsibility, feeling more of an employee than a placement student.
As my role was a completely new role upon joining Vauxhall, I never received a formal handover like most other undergraduates do. Due to this my manager was extremely supportive, taking the time to explain everything and answer any questions I had. As the year progressed and the role, along with my manager, changed, the level of support decreased in order to give me more responsibility.
My workload varied on a daily basis, with some days being much busier than others. Due company restructuring my work was made up of mostly ad-hoc tasks and campaigns that came up as and when a market needed my team’s help. Despite there not being a consistent flow of work, there was always something to do.
During the second-half of my placement I was given much more responsibility. Within the first six months of my placement I was involved in multiple projects, often working “behind the scenes” to check campaign creative, create campaign summaries, etc. Whereas in the second six months of my placement, I was the one leading these campaigns instead of my manager.
Being able to work with multiple European markets has massively improved both my communication and presentation skills, which will help me not only in the final year of my degree but also in future graduate roles. This year has also helped me to improve my project management and organisational skills.
The atmosphere was that of uncertainty throughout the year, with organisational changes being announced fairly frequently. My department was pleasant to work in, and people occasionally bought in snacks to share amongst everyone. Everyone was really friendly and it would be easy to talk to people in other departments.
The placement scheme was well organised, with important information communicated to me prior to my placement start date. Social activities at the beginning of placement allowed me to get to know the other undergraduates. I was always able to ask any questions I had to the HR team throughout my placement.
At the start of my placement I took part in a few training sessions including presentation training and dignity at work training. I also had the chance to take part in Microsoft Excel training and Safe Driver training. I feel that more training sessions could be added to further benefit future undergraduates.
There is no graduate scheme at Vauxhall, however there are quite a few people that work for Vauxhall that completed a placement year as an undergraduate. Due to the Opel/Vauxhall merge with PSA I would not say there are definite future employment prospects within the organisation as there is still a lot of corporate restructure taking place.
There were a lot of social events during the first two weeks of placement, but the number of organised events declined after that.
Despite not living in Luton during my placement year and commuting to work instead, I did not have a lot of experience living and socialising in the area. However, there are cheap trains to London from Luton and prices when having been out for meals aren’t too expensive.
I never went out in Luton during my placement, but it is close enough to St Albans, Harpenden and London which may have better nightlife.
We were regularly told about events through Vauxhall Internal Communications emails which offered the opportunity to go to events such as England football games, a Christmas party, and many other activities. CSR days were also offered at Vauxhall in which undergraduates can take a day to go and work with / support the local community.