Ensuring that the section you are assigned to is making as much money as it can, trading safely and legally and delivering good customer service.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was enjoyable, the people that I worked with were really welcoming and friendly. The tasks that I had to carry out could be quite boring as your spend a lot of time doing a customer assistants job, stacking shelves and tidying clothes. Despite this, I did not dread coming to work during the internship as you know that it will look good on your CV.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt very valued by some colleagues, yet others were quite dismissive and did not understand your role and why you were there. But, there were some really helpful people that wanted to help you too develop which was great.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
After two weeks the person that I was reporting to left the business which left me without a line report for a week before someone picked me up. My new manager was quite occupied and did not have much time to give support and guidance. It would have been better if they did not assign me to someone that was leaving. The best thing to do is to use other colleagues that you have formed a relationship with for support and guidance.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There was always something that you could be doing as a store is a live environment, even if it is just tidying, on a till or stacking shelves. Sometimes it did not feel like all the tasks you were given, or were doing for very constructive for learning about the business or learning transferrable skills but you were definitely busy.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was not given much responsibility or ownership of tasks during my placement. I think this is definitely an area that it would need to be improved for next time. You do not spend very long on each department so when you get to know one thing and are ready for responsibility you are moving in a week.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I think this internship gives you a really good insight into whether you would want to work in retail or not. I learnt a lot about building relationships with people that you are working with and how important it is to speak to people, remember people's names etc when you are a manager.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office was good. It was a team of managers that worked well together. They did not tend to work collaboratively but they all supported each other if they did need it. People tended to deal well with stress and it did not get too heated in the office.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
It did not follow the plan that we were given at the beginning unless you ensured that this happened. For instance if there was a day at another store you would have to arrange this for this to happen. This meant that you could own your own time more than if it was organised more.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company did not invest in you. In the plan for the internship there was a day set out in which you would go to learning and development and this never happened. If this was in the plan, it felt as though the business deemed it important to do for your development. When they took it away it seemed that they did not value their interns.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Future employment prospects are not necessarily a definite with this company because they are changing the structure and what the graduate scheme looks like. They are changing this to be inline with the future of the company. There might be good career prospects in the future, but nothing can be certain yet.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The fellow interns were really supportive and met up occasionally throughout. There was not that much of a social scene in the store as most people were older and had their own families. However, people tended to be sociable in work time, on a friday someone would bring cake to the meeting.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I did not live in the area, I lived at my student house in Leeds which was cheap and I was paying for anyway. But the cost of socialising in the area was fairly expensive but there was not much socialising so it did not matter too much. Restaurants were expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There was not a nightlife in the area that I worked in but this does not seem to be very relevant. It is a time where you are on a placement and I was living on my own so I do not think that this is a deciding factor for a work placement.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
No there was not any opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work. You worked long hours though so I am not sure whether this is something you would have wanted to join in with anyway. Again, it does not really seem like an important factor for an internship