1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed working at BMW. Everyone was kind, the work-life balance is amazing and the work was enjoyable for what it was. My manager actively tried to get me to enjoy my internship and was very kind and honest and tried to expose me to a multitude of projects and jobs as well as experiences.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues were amazing! They were extremely kind and helpful. If I had a problem, they would not hesitate to help me. There was always work to do once I was settled in and some of the managers feel more like friends than colleagues because of how relaxed the atmosphere is.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had weekly meetings with my manager which was quite helpful. I had lunch with my manager as well as my manager's manager. There were a lot of supervisors and managers who I worked with and were able to help me. I also had meetings with other managers and was able to learn more about their journey and experiences of the company, to better guide myself.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
When I first started, I wasn't busy at all. It took atl east 3 weeks for me to work on a substantial piece of work. 2 months in, I had my own project and I was able to take creative control on that as well as another project that was impactful for the company. So at the end it was quite busy but there wasn't a large amount of pressure to deliver. If I did something wrong, it wasn't a problem and this could just be fixed. If there was a delay, this could be rectified.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was normally given a piece of work and I could complete this work in the way I wanted to, however if my manager wanted to change anything, that would be done. Obviously, the final say was down to the higher up managers and supervisors however I was given a sort of creative control and the responsibility to be working on some impactful projects.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I definitely improved my confidence and my interpersonal skills. Also I improved my software skills. What I learnt at BMW will help me through out life. The company is great and has taught me a lot, not just about work but also about life and how to connect with people as well as how to conduct yourself at a leading company.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone was friendly and I made some good friends within the department. No one was my age in my department but there were a lot of interns across the company and in the campus. There were lots of opportunities to meet and get to know people! A relaxed atmosphere and the company had a great work-life balance.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was set up by an external company but it was very well set up however the work wasn't structured and it would depend on my manager and the team that the work had. There were training days and a lot of organisation from HR with HR aspects however the internship was really what you made of it. There were possibilities to work in other teams as well.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had weekly sessions with my manager, I was able to meet other managers and gain a lot of advice from other employees. There was a lot of advice and guidance given from my work cohorts. There was a lot of investment in skills as I was given the ability to learn a lot of things that I might not have known already.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There were schemes such as speed up and the graduate scheme: GLDP however I wasn't particularly interested in a future employment prospect at the company as it is quite far from my home and not the sector I want to work in. There is also the ability to apply to internal vacancies.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There were weekly/ fortnightly socials at local venues which I didn't personally frequent. The interns are all quite friendly and there are lots of opportunities to meet each other. Some interns eat lunch together every day, I ate with my team most of the time. There weren't a lot interns in my department, two including myself however I was able to meet other interns. There were also opportunities to travel across the country and see the different plants which I did with the other interns.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I didn't personally live in the area but as the company is based in Farnborough, it's quite cheap compared to where I live (London). The transport links aren't great so a car or taxi is needed which can be expensive. As food is subsidized at the placement, there's opportunities to have breakfast and Lunch, it can be quite inexpensive compared to other companies.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As I commuted from London, I didn't frequent any of the establishments in Farnborough. I would be surprised if there was a lot of nightlife in Hampshire. However I assume there a lot of pubs open in the night and other restaurants. It wasn't enough to pull me form London.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were volunteering activities which may be included as part of work as well as travel opportunities in the country. Between the interns, there were social activities and it was up to us, the interns to organise activities and opportunities to meet each other. Everyone was quite friendly and willing to get together to meet.