1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the internship. Having never had any kind of corporate business experience before, it was such a valuable time to learn about all kinds of different aspects of how retail works. The team were all very friendly and made me feel welcome, and the internship itself was very well organised.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues couldn't have made me feel more valued. We were invited to important meetings, allowed to ask questions or give our opinions at any time, and most importantly had an individual project to work on that we presented to a very important person within the company, so felt that it was a valuable effort
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager was brilliant when it came to organising the internship, as he made sure everything was scheduled very clearly when it came to who we would be with for the day, what times meetings were, etc. We had "official" catch-ups every week, but we would be sitting near him in the office anyway and could chat to him anytime.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The good thing about having an individual project is that when we weren't in meetings or in a team placement, we could work on that, which meant we were never short of anything to do. However, we never felt under pressure from the workload, so it was a good balance.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The fact that our project presentation was presented to such a high level in the company meant that we were given lots of responsibility, as they were counting on us to provide them with a benchmark, and would base their actions on our recommendations. With regard to team work, we were given as much responsibility as they could give us without something being out of our knowledge range.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
We had some great training on project and career management, and personal guidance from individuals about our future careers. Whether I come back to M&S or not, the skills I've learned have definitely equipped me not only for a future career but for practical matters within uni and my personal life.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was much more relaxed than I was expecting- everyone was extremely friendly and happy to chat at any time, as well as working hard on the tasks they had to do. Working from home was encouraged and hot desking was in place, so it felt like a dynamic atmosphere as the layout and people changed every day.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My line manager made sure the internship was extremely well organised, so I had a great structure and knew exactly what I was doing. However, some friends in other departments didn't have as much organisation, so it could help to have slightly more supervision from an HR/company point of view to ensure that all the line managers have organised something for their interns to do. I was lucky with mine.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The interns all socialised lots, having lunch together every day and doing things after work. The only problem is that it was all organised through us- if someone hadn't taken the initiative to make a group chat at the start and organised things through there then the company wouldn't have helped with that. Everyone was lovely and socialised a lot though, and I will definitely be keeping in touch with a few of them.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Being in central London, living and socialising costs were high, but that's something you have to expect and there are things you can do to keep these costs minimal. Things like packing a lunch rather than buying one and thinking of alternative post-work activities rather than just drinks can make a big difference.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were some socials within our work team which were good fun, as well as things to do within the intern team like drinks, picnics, movies etc. When you're in London there's a multitude of varied things to do, and you'll never get bored of all the different possible activities!