Trainee Commercial manager at Marks & Spencer

Placement Year (10 Months+)
Leeds Yorkshire and Humberside
Review Date
£16,000 - £17,999
Business Management Retail


The Role



The Role

1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?

I enjoyed most of it and have learned and gained a lot from the experience but there were quite a lot of times where I have felt lost and unsure on what I am doing.


2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?

It depends on the colleague, there are some who are very grateful for what I have done but there are some who don't pay much attention and find it annoying when I ask them questions because they are too busy all the time.


3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?

Again, this depends on the manager as I have had several. Some are very supportive and give me projects to work on and support me with that when I ask for it. However, some have not given much guidance and I have been left with not much to do.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

There are days when I am really busy and have lots to do which I like, but there are days where I don't have much to do.


5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?

I think there is only so much responsibility a placement student can have as we can't have direct line reports. However, I have been responsible for running multiple through the night shifts by myself, organising events etc.


6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

I think that I will find the skills transferrable, especially the people skills, leadership skills and confidence. I am unsure on how it will help with my degree as I don't know the syllabus but I hope that it will assist me.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

The general atmosphere is usually busy and stressed but not negative. Everyone is normally upbeat but it is just always busy with people dashing in and out all the time.


8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?

The organisation was quite poor. I was only told about where my next attachments were days before I was moved and my new managers were also only told days before I was moved so didn't have time to prepare for me coming. I don't think the programme has been well structured as I haven't spent the right amount of time in each of my attachments.
There was supposed to be milestone days every quarter which I would have found very useful but we only had one right at the start.
I think it would have been beneficial and more consistent if our attachments were roughly organised and communicated to us from the start and if the managers who were going to be having placement students with them and learning from them went on a course so that they knew how best to support us and structure our learning.


9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The company has invested in me to go on several courses which I have found very useful. The best ones and most transferrable ones in my opinion were the coaching to inspire and the plan your a game course.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • There were no perks with this Placement Year

11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?

I don't think that I am likely to come back to M&S as a commercial manager as I just don't absolutely love it and I want a job that I love. However, I do like the company and am strongly considering applying to the graduate scheme at head office for buying.



12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?

As we only had one milestone day with everyone and we all worked in different shops, I didn't spend much time with them so no there wasn't really but there could have been if we got to spend more time with each other at work.
However, myself and 3 others did our induction 2 weeks together so the 4 of us stayed in touch and friends throughout, meeting up socially.
In the future, I think it would be beneficial to arrange more milestone days so that everyone gets to know each other better and can share their experiences and tips etc.


13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?

I have worked in Leeds this year and have lived in Leeds all my life (except for university) so the cost of living and socialising is the same as it has always been to me which is absolutely fine.


14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?

The nightlife is good, as I said I have always lived here so I know the city well and go out with my friends a lot.


15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?

Not really. There was a charity day which I asked to go on but my manager told me that I couldn't.