To analyse and report on the performance of the VWG accessories and merchandise product range. Making recommendations to the team for future actions, and assisting with the implementations of these actions.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my year with the Volkswagen group, I received some great opportunities and took part in many social & sports circles. There was a very friendly culture within my department, which allowed me to settle in very quickly. Making friends around the business also makes your job a lot easier as you know more people that can help you if you’re stuck!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My line manager and team valued the work that I did, and my opinions within discussions. I was tasked with various peices of work that were business critical, something that my team would have found difficult if they didn’t find me valuable and reliable. I felt comfortable every day at work, and it made my experience a lot more enjoyable!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager was excellent in this area, and clearly better than others. This guidance and support seems to depend on the experience of your manager, and how long they’ve been in a management position. My manager and I scheduled monthly feedback 1:2:1 sessions, completing and setting multiple objectives for me to work towards.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was rarely overloaded with work, and due to the nature of my role, I had few strict deadlines. I could have made myself more busy by asking for extra prices of work, and this is something that I would do in the future to get the most out of the placement. This area is also very role dependant.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Referring to previous answer, I was given great responsibility on a number of peices of work. My team allowed me to complete these on my own, with full trust in my ability. I found these the most enjoyable areas as the added responsilbity encourages you to work that bit harder. I think building a positive relationship with your manager is critical to this area, as without one, they may struggle to place trust in you.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
My main issue before joining the Volkswagen Group was time keeping. At university I was in a poor routine. While working, you are unable to just skip days as if they were lectures, so it threw me in at the deep end which is something I needed. My work ethic and time keeping still aren’t where I’d like them to be, but they have come on leaps and bounds over the last year, and it’s deffinately something that will help me in my final year.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was good, with people enjoying their work and collegues. There are some great little things that enable this, like free hot drinks and occasional team lunches etc. I do think there are definitely areas the group can improve on regarding facilities, and this will only serve to improve the mood of the company.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There was a clear structure and timeline regarding the placement, and this was instructed by my line manager. It allows you to set goals and monitor your progression. I do know of peers who’s managers were not on top of this structure and failed to implement it, so I think it is again dependant on your line manager as to how well it works.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was able to take part in many training days, ranging from Excel training, to personal performance. The group has a great range of courses that any one can take part in. I also recieved a lot of help and training from colleagues who took time out of their own schedules to help me.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There are great opportunities for progression, with the ability to move across multiple brands and functions. I do think that many memebers of staff resent placement and graduate students for this, as there is a view that students are being trained to take over thier own progression opportunities. I think this is something that needs to be addressed within the group.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I took part in many sports clubs, and this enhanced my experience greatly. I played in multiple football societies, and there is a subsidiesed golf society within the group that is brilliantly ran and I emplore them to continue to fund it. There is also a massive student community so you’ll be sure to find people with the same interests as you outside of work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Compared to my home in the midlands, Milton Keynes is definitely more expensive in terms of housing and general amenities. However, it’s definately not overly expensive, and with the salary the costs will be managable. I was able to save money during my year, but this will of course range from person to person depending on expenditure.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife is not brilliant in Milton Keynes. There are the usual chain bars, but not much in the way of clubs. There isn’t really one area where all nightlife is centred, and this is slightly frustrating in terms of getting between establishments. Nearby Northampton and Bedford do have bigger university communities and nightlife areas, though.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As previously stated, there were many sports nights for football, golf & netball in particular. There is a large cycling community at the group, which is also a great thing to get involved in. Different teams and departments with socialise in different ways and amounts, and this is something you can influence as much or as little as you’d like.