1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
This scheme exceeded all expectations for me. Working in travel is one of the most exciting industries in my opinion and getting the chance to work for the No. 1 Travel company in the world is the best way to get into it. I've also had a lot of fun this year, making some really good friends along the way.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My role is the same as any other within my team and I was never left to make coffee or do the photocopying. I was trusted to do the same work as the rest of my team but also given extra responsibilities based on the skills that the managers saw in me.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
There is whole team dedicated to learning and development of Placement students. You're assigned a buddy who is outside of your team to help you settle in and answer any questions you might have about life at the company. I also had regular one-one catch ups with my manager where we'd discuss my training, any issues I had and also things that I could work on over the course of the year.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
You're never given dummy work and the role I had meant there was always actions and tasks to complete daily. Some periods of the year were naturally much busier than others but my workload never became overwhelming and I was able to speak openly to my manager if my plate was getting too full, the rest of my team were always on hand to help as well so I never felt like I was dealing with things on my own.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The level of responsibility I've been given here is great! Just like everyone else within my team I was given resort areas to look after and it was up to me to make key strategic decisions within my resorts to improve sales or profitability. I was also given extra responsibilities on an ad-hoc basis based on skills I demonstrated throughout the year.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I study Geography and Tourism directly feeds in to my degree. The insight I've gained from working for TUI will be really helpful in the Tourism modules for next year. I've also learned a lot about data analysis and some of the different techniques that can be used. This is a really easily transferrable skill that will help with my research projects in final year.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The office atmosphere is very fun and it's an exciting place to work. A lot of that is down to what we do, designing and selling holidays is exciting and you can tell people around the office genuinely enjoy what the do. The people are friendly as well and will always take the time to help you out if you need it.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There's a dedicated team of people who work on the scheme alongside their day to day. There is a team for Recruitment who run the whole application process and assessment days; communications who help raise awareness of the scheme both internally within the company and externally and the Learning and Development team who organise projects for the Placements to get involved in.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was a month long training schedule at the beginning of the year to train me on the basics of my role. THis was supplemented throughout the year with more advanced training to help build my skillset, such as excel and Web analytics. I was also put on the same progession document as permanent assistants.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There are a number of Grad schemes on offer around the business, but there are also opportunities for you to come back into a permanent role after you graduate. Both of these can be secured before you leave, taking the pressure off finding a job in final year. I have accepted a job offer post graduation within the department I've been working in this year.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
It's a very fun place to work, the team I work in is quite a young team so there's regular nights out both planned team nights and more spontaneous after work drinks. As there are only 8 placements, we've all become very close over the year and are often organising nights out and trips to the cinema.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Due to the proximity to London, some of the drinks prices are quite expensive! However Luton and the surrounding area is much cheaper to rent than London which more than makes up for it.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are loads of different places to go out around the office. We're only 30 minutes by train from London, but also Harpenden and St Albans are 10 minutes down the road and have a lot of bars, restaurants and clubs. The trains between these places run all night Mon-Friday which is also really handy.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I play 5 a side every week with some of the others within my department. There is also a lot of different things organised by the company throughout the year as well.