Management trainee at Marks & Spencer

Placement Year (10 Months+)
Nottingham East Midlands
Review Date
£18,000 - £19,999


The Role



The Role

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

Overall I’ve enjoyed the year. It took me longer to get into it than I had hoped as at the beginning of the year. To begin with I felt that it was slightly un-organized as not all of the managers were aware of the scheme I was doing so I sometimes felt a bit awkward when I was told to spend time with them.
The latter 6 months of the year were a lot more enjoyable as I started to understand the job role and I was given more responsibility.


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


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

I’ve had one consistent line manager throughout my placement which made it a lot easier to gain support as we built a good working relationship. There was always someone to speak to or ask for guidance. More support on the system would have been useful as I learn through reading and writing notes.


4. How busy were you on a daily basis?

With retail it very much depends on the time of year. During sale or Christmas it’s manic but then there are quieter times of the year. It’s the type of job where there is always something to do! You also work as a team o if there was a time where you're jobs list didn't have anything on you'd help someone else.


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

My responsibility grew as the year went on. I had certain things that I was solely accountable for such as updating notice boards and creating power point slide to cascade information to the teams. I also covered managers holidays where I had to run their departments which was a lot of responsibility.


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

I have been able to develop my time management skills which I will be able to take onto uni. The management skills I have developed I will be able to use after uni.
Thought my placement I got the opportunity to work on all different departments and with different managers so I was able to pick up different management styles. I was also sent on lots of training courses such as managers first Christmas to get me prepared for scenarios I might have to deal with.


The Organisation

7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?

There was a good atmosphere in the office. Everyone got on well and you all have your own desk to work from. Sometimes it was hard if you had some work that you really needed to concentrate on as there isn't anywhere quiet to go as its a communal office.


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

Not overly well organised. On my first day the store hadn't even been told what time I was arriving so I had to wait for half an hour to be seen by anyone. Also a lot of colleagues, even management didn't really understand the scheme I was doing. This is something I have feed back.


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

There is lots of training available, this is something I felt the business did really well as they really invest in you by sending you on courses or allowing you to have time for your personal development. Also I built good relationships with other managers and I felt like they invested time in me.


10. What were the perks on your work placement?

  • Subsidised Canteen
  • Staff Sales/Staff Shop

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

It would potentially be something I would be interested in as overall I have enjoyed my year working for the business. I have been advised that if there is a job available after I finish university could come back, however I don't know what will be available in a years time.



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

There were social events available such as going to the theatre, Christmas parties etc. It was sometimes quite hard to organise due to there being so many staff. We didn't do that much socialising outside of work due to everyone being different ages and having different things going on. However when we did stuff it was nice.


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

The east midlands is generally cheap. I lived at work for the year so managed to save a fair bit of money through that. But even if you had to pay rent its a cheap area to live and socialise in. I went to uni in Nottingham so I know that its cheap to live in.


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

As the cost of living is cheap that meant that the night life was cheap. Being a student in the same city as you work in does help as you already know where to go. However it is of course very different to being a student as you do have less time to go out!


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

There wasn't much in the way of employee arranged activates and social events out of work. As said in a previous question it was difficult due to the store being so large and people had their own groups within the store so it would be rare for everyone to socialise together.