Commercial manager. Working in stores and learning the role of a commercial and store manager.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
This is a very flexible placement. There is a slight lack of structure but this can be seen as a positive. The company will always try and accommodate your needs and therefore the scheme is an enjoyable one.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Throughout the placement I had mentors and several managers. Most of the colleagues that I've worked with have made me feel valued. The role is a very respectable and responsible role within a store hierarchy and therefore being valued is integral to the role.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
In each one of my attachments within the placement I have always had a line manager and there is a graduate point of contact in every region. Support and guidance is always available, however it is my responsibility to seek guidance and support.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There is always something to do. If you are not careful you could overwork yourself. Everyday is different and presents new challenges. It is very much up to me to manage my time and ensure that I have the correct working life balance.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
There are loads of projects and opportunity throughout the scheme where I hold accountability. Sometimes you could be covering annual leave and be in that role for a few weeks. One of the tasks that I done was recruiting and interviewing temps! Therefore you are given 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?
In terms of life skills and defiantly people skills this placement has been eye opening and has taught me a lot. I have picked up and developed a lot of skills that will come in handy in my degree and future roles.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The relationship between colleagues has generally been very positive. The atmosphere fluctuates from intense to peaceful and fun but that is understandable given the nature of the role. Everybody is professional and friendly.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
In my experience this has not been the most organised placement. There are times where you are left to your own intuition and have to function independently. Store/office moves and new roles come with very little notice. Even though I was based in the Meadowhall store I was told that ill be doing an attachment in Crystal Peaks and I was only given a few days notice and wasn't told about this at any point before.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The mentoring is good. There are a lot of workshops that help you develop. There is also a lot of feedback and regular reviews to track your progress. The workshops are clearly a high expense to the business and therefore it is clear that M&S invests in development.
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?
Marks&Spencer is a huge British retailer and therefore naturally the scope of roles is extremely big. Progress is very realistic and regardless of your skills and preference, most likely there will be a role that will suit you.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a good social sense especially amongst grads and placement students. There are group chats and workshops that are a great opportunity to socialise and organise gatherings.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived and worked across Sheffield. The cost of accommodation, living and socialising was fair and the salary was adequate to live comfortably.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Sheffield has two universities and loads of students. There is a plethora of nightclubs and bars. You can go out on any day of the week!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Working 44h+ every week gives little opportunity to get involved in activities outside of work. Marks & Spencer's do not initiate or promote any activities outside of work and therefore it really is up to me to get involved.