Working at our Head office in Skipton, North Yorkshire, this is a great opportunity to gain a real insight into the role of an HR professional, in a busy, faced-paced environment. Working with a supportive team around you, the role will equip you with skills that will stand you in good stead to tackle your last year at university and a career in HR in the years thereafter.
During this year-long sandwich placement, you will undertake various job roles related to the welfare of our employees. This will include liaising with employees across the business – ranging from site operatives to directors, providing support on all HR related matters. Additionally, you will; manage new starter induction days, process benefit administration, keep records of absence and monitor the return to work and absence trigger process in line with our company absence policy. You will also contribute to important HR projects by conducting research and data analysis which will be used to support your proposals.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It has really given me a good perspective on what it's like to work in the working world. I have been given man interesting tasks, had deadlines to meet and had a lot of responsibility rest on me. I feel apart the team within the department I work in and every day I'm continuously learning something new.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt welcomed since day one. The handover with the placement student before me lasted a month, it was really helpful and the effort they put in to help me was much appreciated. I still refer to my notes 6 months into the placement. There are so many other placement students, graduates and apprentices that work here- JNB has a young workforce so it's easier to have a good friendship with your colleagues as you're all at a similar stage in life.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Everyone is approachable in my team, I could always go over and ask them when I had questions or I would put it in an email to them if they were busy and they would come over to me when they have a spare moment to discuss what I was struggling on.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I always had work to do, with having deadlines and continuous work due in every week and reports due in every month, I was always working towards something. My workload slowly increased when I got more used to working for the company and how everything works but everyone shares their notes in the department.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was giving a lot of responsibility with having my own jobs and tasks to manage. If I didn't complete these then they wouldn't get done as they were my responsibility to complete. When I go on annual leave it's my responsibility to make sure another colleague has all they need to complete my tasks in my absence.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I will be completing a HR module in my third year so I believe this work placement will help me greatly in this because I will have so many practical examples to compare to my academic studies and theorists. It will help me look at the real world issues rather than sticking to the academic rights and wrongs.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There is definitely a friendly culture here, with having dress down Friday's and a young work force it isn't a strict environment but still presented in a professional way. With it being a family business you don't really feel there's a hierarchy, I frequently have conversations with the directors and managers of different departments because everyone is so approachable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Once I had secured my placement and set a join date it was in my hands, the university didn't really keep in touch on my placement I just emailed them when I had some questions around assignment deadlines. Within the company they gave me a placement handbook where I have to write up my goals for working here. It was never really reviewed on time but when working full time it's hard to find the time!
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The handover was definitely the most valuable training. This is where I learned all my jobs that I will be completing for my time at the company. After the handover and I was officially the placement student there wasn't much training again after that. I would ask and be taught on the spot for simple things but actual training days at the office I wasn't invited to attend.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I'm striving for the graduate scheme so it's definitely appealing. It's a great business to work for at a young age or for your first 'proper' job. It's well paid and in a good location. The fact they offer the graduate scheme whilst you are still at university you have that job security for when you graduate.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There aren't that many placement students so we are all fairly close. We have the responsibility to organise tuck shop in the canteen area, where we have to go and buy the products to sell and count up the amount of money owed. This money goes to an event of our choice for everyone in the office location to attend.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
A few placement people moved to Skipton area, I was one of them. It is fairly expensive living in Skipton but I would have had to commute from Leeds so I'm saving time and money in the long run. Others that live in Skipton I tend to car share to work with and go to the pub after work with, everyone get's on.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There's only one club so there isn't really life at night in Skipton. With working full time people are too tired to go clubbing anyway however, at the weekends placement students usually go back to their University City for a night out. Skipton is just a couple social drinks after work then off to bed for work the next day kind of nightlife.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
I believe there is 5 a side football that employees can attend. Other than that it's just events organised at work by friends. The money raised from tuck-shop is going to pay for a big event for everyone at the office and we had a work Christmas do so there is a few activities to get involved in.