I had a really good year and loved the people in my team and how easy everyone was to get on with (was no way near as corporate as I thought it would be). I also liked the company and the ability to work flexibly, hot desk and business casual dress code.
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I felt valued by my colleagues in terms of the work I was doing daily was needed by my department and some tasks were needed business wide, it felt like I was an important part of the team. I also felt valued in terms of getting on with my colleagues and there was a friendly feel within my team and department.
I felt throughout my year support and guidance was there if I needed it from my team. However, I didn't have regular one to ones with my manager where I could have been asked if I needed support or any extra work to stretch myself. After a while I felt confident enough to ask for more work and few more one to ones to this improved over the year.
As you would expect the work load definitely increased over the year as your skillset improves and your team gives you more responsibility. The workload was very manageable at the start of the year but there was always something to do. This picked up a lot towards the end of my placement where we had two model launches and my team was in and out of the office, so it became quite hectic but really enjoyable at the same time!
My main role was manging a fleet of 25-30 cars throughout the year which had constant bookings. I was the main point of contact for this and gave me good exposure around the business. My day to day tasks felt needed across the whole BMW Group as it affected the retailer network.
I feel my general business skills developed over the year such as communication, presentation and confidence. However, in terms of marketing specific skills and knowledge needed for my degree there was very little I feel I picked up as my role was product heavy. Although, I have improved my understanding of how marketing works in a large company.
The general atmosphere in the product department was great, everyone got on and there was always someone up for a joke around. Saying this every could also be switched on when needed, so it was a good balance. Due to the relaxed culture, there is a chilled and friendly feel around the office.
The overall year was very well organised and a great company to work for. The only thing I could flaw is when I was having my handover with my predecessor, he was busy with meetings and I didn't have much one to one time during the first week. After this it was fine.
The training and development was there if you needed it with in work training sessions and lessons. I wasn't given much of a personal development plan at the start of the year which I feel I could have asked to do with my manager. I felt I my skills developed well naturally doing my day to day role that this wasn't needed in the end.
There is a programme called Speedup which I decided not to go for as I wanted to experience the other side of the business world either from a small start-up or an agency. I could see myself working here when I am older and settled down - as the surrounding area is rather quiet!
The social scene amongst placement students was good and we went to the same club most Fridays (Moomoos), although it tended to be the same group of students going out. In terms of my team and colleagues the social scene was very poor, and we only managed a few gatherings across the whole year which was a shame as everyone gets on so well. The area definitely doesn't help!
My house was quite lucky as we found a super cheap unfurnished house, but this was at least half the price of everyone else's rent - it can be expensive to live in overall. Socialising isn't too bad - only problem is getting taxis around as everyones houses tend to be scattered around so can get quite expensive.
The nightlife was very average. To go to a good town you would need to visit Guilford or Reading but then you had the costs of cabs. We went to the same club in fleet when we did go out, which was still good fun but would have been nice to have more of a choice!
I played football regularly on a Wednesday which was organised by BMW - this was good fun and a great way to meet new people with a common interest. I also joined a gym and tried to find somewhere to play tennis but had little luck with this. The opportunities are there if you need it, but not many activities organised internally.