1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my internship very much. The company were excellent to work with and my time with them absolutely flew. It has been an extremely rewarding experience and I am very glad I had the opportunity to work with M&S, they are an exceptional company with an extremely bright future.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt highly valued by my colleagues. Every person I met was extremely positive towards my presence, I had worried before hand that they might see an 'intern' as someone who would just get in the way. However, this was not the case at all, they couldn't have been any more helpful if they tried.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
From day one I was given the support and guidance that I really needed to flourish on the internship. Any questions that I had were answered promptly and in enough detail to ensure that I could get on with tasks without feeling as if I didn't have the knowledge or skills to succeed.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This varied depending on what promotions/events were happening in store. However, I was busy most days. The company really gave me the opportunity to seek out what I wanted to learn and to pursue it, this meant that days which at first glance appeared to lack content or structure were suddenly filled with tasks that I wanted to do myself.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I believe that I was given the correct amount of responsibility during my placement. The internship was a 'management' programme and therefore the expectation was that you behaved and treated people as a leader. I felt that I was given enough respect and autonomy from my colleagues to really succeed in this context.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills that I have developed during this internship will prove absolutely vital in my future career. I hope to return to work with M&S, however, if this is not the case the team-based and leadership skills that I have gained will prove beneficial in any business environment, in any sector.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the store was extremely positive, everyone there was very enthusiastic and clearly cared about the business. In my time in store I didn't encounter a single individual that I thought had a negative attitude towards the business or the other staff members. It really was a happy place to be.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was very well structured, it was clear from day one what we were meant to do and where we would be able to be flexible and do our own thing. There was a great variety of different tasks that we could undertake and these very clearly explained and outlined to us.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was given the ability to work directly alongside the store's commercial managers and the store manager. As a result I was able to see the day-to-day workings of the store and how the management team run it so effectively. This for me was the biggest investment that could have been made as it has put me on the right path for future career success.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
As a FTSE 100 company with over 80,000 staff members I believe there will always be room for graduates in the company. The internship has a direct graduate scheme that runs the year after you have been on it, places on this are limited, however doing the internship should put you in a good position.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, we all got on very well and we were placed in stores in pairs. This meant that we were able to develop a really good bond with someone who was in exactly the same position as ourselves. I found this to be very beneficial and meant that the experience was more enjoyable.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Manchester, expensive for the North.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Manchester is exceptional.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As I live and go to University in Manchester I was already involved in lots of things, therefore I was able to maintain a very positive work-life balance whilst on the internship. Even if you are not from the city or the University there are so many things to get involved with in Manchester there wouldn't be a problem!