1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have loved my time with Renault. This is a great place to work, with a fantastic team, great opportunities and new challenges every day. Throughout the year there were different events such as the National Ploughing Championships which I got to work on, keeping the role interesting all while allowing me to continuously learn and develop.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
From Day 1 I felt like a respected and valued member of the team. There is such a great atmosphere in the office, and everyone is always happy to help. I never felt like 'only an intern', instead my ideas and opinions were listened to, and quite often to the extent where changes would be implemented as a result.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of freedom in the role, so there is definitely a need to be independent and work on own initiative. However, the team were always more than willing to help if I had any questions or needed any direction. I would often receive feedback and appraisal on work carried out.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Levels of work would greatly vary at different stages of the month and year, but there was always something to do. At busier times I would have a lot of general tasks to complete, but at other times I would be able to set aside time to work on other projects.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a lot of responsibility, especially as I became more confident in the role. As I was part of a small team, I naturally played quite a big role in the functioning of the department. I was trusted with handling important information, liaising directly with third parties, communicating with management etc. This all helped me to gain a realistic insight into the operations of such a company, and what a future career might entail.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Most importantly, from working within Renault, I now have firsthand knowledge and experience of the functions of such a company which will be invaluable as I progress through my final year of study. I will be able to compare theory to reality, which will add depth and credibility to my work.
I have gained extensive IT, Reporting, Analytical and Presentation skills, specifically adapted to a business environment.
I have also developed my confidence in working with teams of diverse age, nationality and culture which will become vital in the global workplace.
I am sure that this will greatly benefit the rest of my studies and my future career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was good. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming, and there is always a bit of fun in the office! There is a good range of ages, nationalities and cultures where everyone mixes really well which makes for a good atmosphere for everyone. Special occasions are also celebrated by colleagues which is a nice touch.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
On our first day we were well received, and an induction and training etc was planned. For my particular position I was the first ever intake, which made everything a bit less certain. It took a bit of time to develop the role and to put together a schedule. Over time this all improved, and with the new intake this year everything was a bit more organized.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
During my time at Renault I received product training almost immediately by our Product Manager which was very worthwhile. I also received third party Excel and Outlook training which was again very beneficial. Asides from this there was a lot of self-learning, whereas there probably could have been a more formal structure to personal development.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Although I have not looked into future careers at Renault just yet, I am aware there are definitely opportunities to possibly move to Renault UK or another country. This is quite appealing depending on the position. I am not sure that I will stay within the industry but if I was to then these would definitely be appealing.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There are quite a few other young people with Renault, which was very good for arranging different social events - from lunches to nights out. Renault facilitated this in the fact that there were different work functions where we were able to socialise with each other and others. There are however at current no formal social clubs, which we could maybe benefit from. This would be especially beneficial to students who are not from the area and are not familiar with things to do/places to go.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost of rent, food, general living costs and socializing are all very expensive in Dublin, so budgeting is very important. It was initially very difficult to find accommodation after relocating to Dublin - between the high costs and lack of availability. Renault may benefit from assisting students more in finding affordable accommodation etc.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Nightlife in Dublin is brilliant and there is always something to do/somewhere to go. Whether in the city centre itself, or in nearby areas, there is a very lively and enjoyable atmosphere. The only downside to this is again the cost as taxis, and food and drink are very expensive.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Renault actively sponsor a few interesting events which we were encouraged to get involved in. From Fun Runs, to Agricultural Shows to other outdoor and food events. As well as this, we were sometimes offered tickets to different shows, charity events etc which was brilliant. Lastly, as interns we also took in upon ourselves to organize different days away, road trips and nights out.