I thorough enjoyed my placement year at Renault UK. I quickly settled in and became a valued member of the team. Undergraduate placement students play a huge role within the company which makes the atmosphere in the office fantastic. I had the opportunity to attend meetings and events all around the country with my team and also other interns that have become valued friends.
I felt valued from the moment that I arrived at the company. The role I was placed in was hugely important and allowed a number of key contacts within the company to come directly to me for information. Although I had very little experience when I started, I soon became very knowledgeable through being in a position of such responsibility.
When I joined the company, I had a 3-week handover with the previous intern. This was vital as it allowed me the opportunity to work side by side with them and experience exactly what I would need to be doing following their departure. I was also provided with plenty of support and guidance by my manager who I could go to if I was unsure on anything.
When I first started, I found myself quite busy, however as I became more familiar with the job I was able to pace myself throughout the week. This allowed me the opportunity to look into particular processes to see if I could make them more efficient. The hard work in the short term benefitted me in the long term as I was able to develop the original role and take on further responsibilities and get involved with other projects in different teams.
Renault entrust their interns with a significant amount of responsibility from the very first day. For example, following my handover, I found myself providing bespoke data for an international business contract within the first week! The roles that the interns are given are real and important jobs which makes the experience absolutely fundamental. We have the ability to make a direct impact on the performance of the business.
It was fantastic to see exactly how such a large business operates from the inside. I study accounting and financial management at university and this placement has been able to provide a number of modules with the real-world context that I needed to understand particular models and theories. A large proportion of my role in particular was reporting based and I found that this was able to shape my module selection before proceeding into final year.
This was one of the best parts of the job! The atmosphere in the office was brilliant. Last year, Renault employed about twenty five interns and we all became the best of friends. This made life in the office a happy and enjoyable experience. There are also a significant number of graduates working in the office who are slightly older, but it was great to see how they had progressed. I felt that it was a relatively small head office, however because of this everyone knew everyone and it was very easy to work and communicate between teams.
During my recruitment and placement year I felt that it was very well organised. I think this was the case because Renault have fantastic experience interchanging their student recruits every year. When we first joined, we were provided with a timetable detailing the activities and events that we would be attending over our first three weeks. Throughout the year, we all became very familiar with the processes and were able to make our own decisions; organising our own meetings, events and training.
Renault invested in the interns hugely. During our handover, they pulled out all the stops to get us up to speed with the company. We had experience days testing all the cars, including a track day at Goodwood to test the RenaultSport range. In the office, microsoft excel training was provided along with regular legal and product training.
They're brilliant. You can see that through the graduates that work there now. It's encouraging to see students move up through the business that started on an industrial placement or graduate scheme. Renault truly invest in their staff so its paramount to make an impression whilst you're there for a short period on placement. The year flies by!
The social scene was great. Renault's office is next door to Nissan and RCI (Renault Corporate International Bank). All three businesses recruit a large number of interns every year and the HR teams do their best to introduce us all to each other. It's a very young scene at work and you'll make life-long friends.
The cost of living was ok. Located just outside of London, you escape the notorious 'London' rent prices. Many of the interns lived in Uxbridge which we found out was a university town. This meant that there were plenty of bars, pubs and food places that were affordable (or more affordable than London).
In the exact area we worked, it wasn't great. However, before you start the job, the HR team get in touch with all of the students and recommend the best places to live. This normally results in you living very close to each other which meant that when we went out we would go everywhere as a group. I would highly recommend living south of Maple Cross where the office is located. This means you can hop on a tube and go straight into London for the nightlife!
There were lots of activities organised outside of work hours. Rugby, football and cricket teams train and compete regularly against local teams. We managed to organise a big rounders match one night which was great fun. Other than sports, there was regular yoga and pilates meetings in the office and social occasions organised.