Buyer for Packaging
I really enjoyed my time at NMUK working in Purchase. As someone who is not from the north of England I was a bit nervous about moving up, but I was made to feel so welcome by everyone. The atmosphere within my department was professional but also relaxed, which helped me to settle in quickly and start to enjoy my placement from really early on.
From the feedback I was given, I felt very valued by my mentor for the work I was doing. This was because I was helping him by taking away a chunk of his work load, and completing it to a standard that he would be happy with. I was also shown how much I was valued by the great appraisals I was given.
I do not think I could have been given a better mentor and section manager for support. I was able to ask questions whenever there was anything I felt I needed help with, but I was also pushed to handle things by myself when my mentor thought I was ready for the challenge.
Throughout my placement there were peaks and troughs when it came to how busy I was, some weeks I would be rushed off my feet and some weeks I was left with little to do. This was just down to the job role though, as my work as a buyer depends on what projects are on-going within the plant.
As the buyer for packaging, by the middle of the placement I was completely autonomous for my own budget, which was in the region of £5-6 million. Therefore, I had full responsibility for my own projects and was trusted to get on and do my job. If I needed any help though, I could easily ask.
As a buyer the focus is on commercial negotiation, but there are many other skills I picked up such as Microsoft Office, Project Management etc. that will assist all aspects of life, not just my degree and my future job roles. I believe the negotiation skills will definitely assist me in the future too, as it can be implemented in all walks of life.
The general atmosphere of my office was extremely positive. Everyone in my office was professional but also relaxed, which contributed to an environment where I loved going in to work each day as I knew I was always going to have a fun but productive time. I think the management helped to create this environment by being such genuine people.
I thought once I got to my placement everything ran very smoothly. My only issues were with HR before I started my placement, as although I was offered the role in February, I did not see any contract until May. Within this time period there was also no communication from Nissan, which worried me slightly.
Unfortunately I didn't get to go on any training. This is because at NMUK, a placement is technically a contractor, meaning that we were not able to receive the same benefits as the normal Nissan employees. Therefore, because of this we were not allowed to go on any training courses or exercises.
I am very interested in the prospects of working for Nissan after I graduate. Being from the South I am not sure that I would like to move back up to the North East, however there are opportunities to work at Maple Cross and in Milton Keynes. My management did say that they would help with my applications to these other Nissan entities, which I am very grateful for.
The social scene was not as great as I hoped, as placements started at different times throughout the summer, department depending. This made it difficult for placements on different intakes to integrate with one another. This left placements from different intakes just socialising in their own circles and not with one another.
Moving to Newcastle was a great decision for me as the cost of living and going out was very cheap compared to what I was used to. It allowed me to save much more of the money that I earned than if I had done a placement in London or another Southern city.