Work on different departments within the store and become a manager.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really felt it was a valuable year and I learnt a lot. Retail is hard work and I believe I am now ready for the real world of work. My placement year was hard work and the placement is for committed and dedicated individuals who love retail.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I believe that my colleagues did value my strengths whilst I was on my placement. I made videos and creative boards which they had not currently done before and they really appreciated it. Some managers really valued me on my placement and I thrived on their departments.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support and guidance did vary between departments, but overall I felt comfortable speaking to everyone. My store manager also supported me and gave me weekly catch ups.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This varied throughout the whole week: on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays I would spend the majority of my time on the shop floor filling stock and helping customers. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays focused more on detail and meetings.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given lots of responsibility throughout my placement year. I would have been completely managing the whole department when the manager would be on holiday. This would be hard work and very rewarding, particular if there was an important visitor.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
There were multiple courses throughout the year which were very good and gave me lots of skills to take back to store. Skills such as organisation, presenting and leadership will help me with my degree and beyond. However many skills are very specific to M&S.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere did vary day to day, depending on whether there was as sale, dine in, head office visitor. However the office was very energised and everyone got on with each other.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement could have been better structured and this would have given me more guidance throughout the year. There was a workbook which I could use, however it was very general.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I do feel the company did invest in me throughout the year. Marks and Spencer as a whole do develop placement students and do prepare them for the real world. I do feel that each manager would invest different amounts of their time into you, but this would be similar for all stores and businesses.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future aspects are very minimal due to the business being in a tough climate currently. However, I do feel I would want to stay in the business if there was a demand for Commercial Managers.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was limited social scene, however there was one other student on my placement year so I did become very close friends with her.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost was very good. Particularly because I lived at home.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?