1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed the majority of my placement and have grown a lot as a person. I have gained life skills that are transferrable in any job. However, there were quite a lot of times I felt unsure about my position and like I had no structure or support. Retail is hard work and you have to love it for it to be enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Some managers celebrate your achievement with you and give you praise when due which really helps you build your confidence with the role. However, on some departments it felt as though the manager expected a lot but did not say "well done" when you had tried your best at something within the department.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
It is very dependant on the team you work with and specific individuals. Some are extremely supportive and approachable and there are others who you feel like you are annoying them when you want to ask a question and unapproachable. A lot of the times other colleagues are too busy to support you through regular catch ups and creating a structured learning path. Some give you lots of important work to do and others give you no guidance and leave you feeling very lost.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
When there is a phase change or an even on then you are extremely busy which makes the day enjoyable and like you are contributing to the store. However there are some days/weeks when I didn't have a lot to do and this makes you feel de-motivated and quite anxious to find things to do.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
This is hard as a placement student because you are assigned a department but not the line reports. So you are responsible for ensuring phase change goes well but when it comes to the team's absence or managing the team that is very hard to be responsible for as they are not assigned to you. I have been responsible for running events and projects.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have learnt some great transferrable skills that I will greatly support me in future jobs. The people and leadership skills I have learnt have been amazing and I believe I have grown so much as a person. The skills wont assist with my degree studies greatly, however they will with my future career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere varied depending on the team that is in and the workload they currently have. If there was a Dine in, or sale, or a visitor the atmosphere would be different. Some people's moods could change quickly, but everyone got on well.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I was given a workbook on my first day however this was not really followed and was very generic. There could have been a better structure as most of the time you are given a department but no guidance on what to learn first or how to manage. You are not really taught management skills but you are expected to manage that department and the team with no guidance or structure.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Marks and Spencer offer a lot of training courses for how to inspire and motivate teams which helped to greatly improve my leadership skills. It is hard for managers to invest in you as they are always busy and it is hard to get one on one time with them.
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?
The future opportunities are very restricted due to the current business news of redundancies. However, if an opportunity arose it would be very appealing.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene was minimal however the other placement person I was with I got along well with and it was nice to have someone to talk to and share good and bad experiences with.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Cost was ok as I lived at home and was within easy driving distance.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There was not really a nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?