I have thoroughly enjoyed my work placement so far. I am over three months into my placement and I feel that I have been given a huge amount of responsibility. This for me is exactly what I need because I find work-life very dull if what I'm doing has very little application to the wider company. While all the placement roles vary within the company, the position I have been given is extremely varied and this plays to my strengths.
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Having only been at the company three months, I have been put in charge of managing the Friends and Family discount scheme. I am organizing meetings with website development and the finance department to update the website. All my colleagues respect me as an employee and expect you to live up to the same expectations through the quality and precision of your work.
On arriving to Renault, in my first week I was introduced to all the directors in my department which immediately made me feel welcome and part of the team. For the first three weeks, you work with the previous placement interns who complete a handover to make sure you are confident working on your own on their departure. My line manager offered a lot of support and frequently made himself available for me. Make sure to ask lots of questions!
"It's better to ask a stupid question and be a fool once, than never ask and be a fool forever"
The workload varies dependent on who's in the office and what time of the year it is. However, I almost never find myself without a list of things to be getting on with (trust me this is what you want!) I have been set numerous projects as well as the week on week repetitive tasks that you are required to do no matter what position you are allocated. Saying this, I have never felt out of my depth doing any work. There have been very few days I have had to stay late, however, you are expected to complete all your work on time.
While I can only speak for my role within the company- I feel that I have been given a lot of responsibility. Third month in and I have already been assigned a position working with the Eden project, being the point of contact for them. This gave me the opportunity to meet the directors of the Eden project, build relationships, but most of all receive a personal tour around the Eden project! This was hands down the highlight of the placement so far. Don't expect that you will be given exactly the same responsibility but if you're willing to put yourself out there and ask for opportunities - the managers are very supportive.
Having studied Environment and Business I have no doubt the work I do at Renault will be helpful for my degree and beyond. I believe that the best way to learn about business is to actively work in one and then later you have a reference point when studying business in class.
Working for Renault is the ideal transition from University because you work with 26 other interns all your age. This means there isn't quite as much of a culture shock. The atmosphere in the office is friendly and relaxed. You are of course required to complete all your work and after 6 months, an intern is expected to look at how he can add real value to the company.
The work placement was well organized and the first three weeks involved lots of inductions. Beyond that though i felt that after the three week handover - you were expected to be independent. Don't get me wrong, your manager is there to answer any questions but there is an expectation that you are ready to take charge of your role.
The company had a number of group inductions over the first few weeks. As well as that, they pay the previous interns to teach the new interns (us). There are no end of resources available to interns if they want to learn more about the operational aspects of the company. But beyond that, there isn't much in the form of courses and additional training after the initial three week handover period.
I feel that this is an objective question that is more dependent on the desires of the individual as opposed to the company's performance. However, assuming someone wanted to stay on at the company, I believe around 2 or 3 of 26 interns on average apply and are excepted each year as graduate employees.
There were 26 interns working in the Renault office and everyone has made a huge effort with each other. I hosted a few barbeques when the World Cup was going on and almost everyone turned up. I am living at home this year during my placement because i am fortunate enough to live only 5 minutes from the office. This is a different story for the large majority of the interns who have moved into shared houses with other interns. Everyone seems to be getting on though which is the most important thing and I always look forward to the frequent water breaks that break up the day.
For me i lived at home so i paid considerably less than most (unlucky guys). Most people live in Watford, Uxbridge or Rickmansworth which are all no more than 20 minutes drive away. I believe on average, people pay around £500 a month but this varies dependent on the size and quality of the house.
London is just on your doorstep and Watford offers a huge selection of bars and of course, Pryzm! There are no shortage of things to do. In Watford, there is a huge shopping center where the vast majority of us have spent almost all our wages on going to the Cinema, drinking and buying clothes.
I was unbelievably please to hear that Renault had a football team. In the first week of arriving, i was playing with the team. Having played Sunday league all my life, it was great to kick things off again. As well as this, tennis has been organized weekly as well a rounder's match between all the interns.