1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship with Marks and Spencer and it has confirmed my passion for retail. I have met inspiring people and have built relationships for life across the business.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I have definitley felt valued in the company. My store manager and commercial manager made it clear from the beginning we could contact them at any point and made us feel welcome to the team. We also had the support and guidance from customer assistants and were happy to answer any queries I had.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given plenty of advice and guidance by management, in particular my store manager and commercial manager. I also feel that our supervisor was always there to answer any questions we had. However, I do feel my supervisor could have spent the day in store seeing us in action. This is perhaps a suggestion for future internships.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I have felt busy everyday working in store and have been given plenty of roles, from learning the operations in store to seeing how managers operate their store, it has been a great way to experience how a leading retailer operates. I also feel I have covered fundamental aspects of both food and clothing and home from a commercial perspective.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given plenty of responsibility, running engagements for managers and customer assistants and feel as though I very quickly given responsibility by section managers. I was tasked with helping run an engagement for managers on resilience, and I was also given responsibility to lead an engagement with customer assistants on top sellers.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel this internship has given me confidence in giving talks to all levels of management and people within the business. I also feel I have developed incredible relationship and networking skills, which I strongly believe will benefit me in university and beyond. Moreover, my drive to meet results has increased and I feel this will be invaluable in my studies.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Overall the general attitude in the workplace was positive. Most people I met were willing to adapt to change and were positive about the company’s transformation. Having said this, there were people who were unwilling to participate in the drive to help improve the company. On the whole, however, people were positive.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I think overall the work placement was well organised. People in store were evidently informed before our arrival that interns would be joining and we felt valued from day one. In terms of the learning and development team I do feel a mid way session would have been beneficial for all interns.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Everyone in the company have seemed invested in my development and I feel everyone I have worked with, from customer assistants to store managers and head of region have placed a siginificant amount of time helping me learn as much as possible and have helped to answer any questions I had.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Obviously with the recent managerial cuts in the business at a time of transformation, I think positions will become more limited but I am optimistic that the company will always see future talent. There is evidently ability to progress at Marks and Spencer and this has been evident by those in high level management that have spoken to us.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes. All interns spent time outside of work helping each other and going for dinner. This was a nice way to catch up on how we were finding the internship and an excellent way to share ideas on how the business is doing and how we believe it could progress.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Manchester has been an excellent place to do a placement, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Manchester, however is not cheap. I stayed at the IQ accommodation which was a good price for the location and facilities available. I will definitely recommend this place to any future interns looking for a place to stay.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I did not have the opportunity to go out in Manchester sadly, but I have heard the nightlife is excellent.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Manchester has plenty to offer and I kept myself very busy for the eight weeks I have been there. There have been plenty of activities available.