1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed gaining the hands on experience which will help prepare me for my final year at university and future graduate roles, but the BMW Group need to provide support/ help with living costs for students and apprentices at sites (such as Plant Oxford) that are situated in high-cost areas.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My collegues showed their gratitude (by thanking me), after each piece of work I completed for them. This meant I felt valued by my collegues because the work I completed was helping to make a difference within the business. There were ocassions where I was unsure of a definite answer, so support was on hand from my collegues
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was always given support/guidance by my manager when I needed/required it. If there was anything that was unclear, management/my supervisor would advise on the problem or direct me to another collegue who would could provide an answer the problem.
An example of this, is my manager advised me on what I could include/not include in my monthly log reports which I had to produce for my placement year module at university.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Up until March/April, I had a enough tasks to keep me busy throughout the day, however my job involves getting information from other areas of the business. However I didn't get the information as swiftly as I hoped, which meant I could not proceed further my responsiblities. But my collegues were on hand to provide me with other work that I could get involved in, while I waited to hear back from other parts of the business.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a enough responsibility to feel valued by my collegues. The responsibility varied amoungst tasks. Tasks ranged from day-to-day duties (such as collecting visitors/guests from the gate), to more technical roles such as managing an entire project and being the main point of contact for stakeholders who were involved in the project.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I have developed with the BMW Group will help me complete my 'final year project' module of my university degree. As part of my job here at BMW, I work within a small team to complete a series of projects that have been requested by the business. Therefore we use project management tools to help us progress with the projects. I believe knowing the skills for these tools will be required for my own project in my final year. Therefore, by transferring my skills over, could help me spend more time to focus on potential issues that may be raised within the project (such as refining the project requirements) thus improving the overall efficiency.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The general atmosphere in the office was good, collegues had a friendly personality and were approachable if I had any queries. Sometimes I felt it was difficult to get a balance between asking for assistance and using your initiaitve to solve the problem yourself. But that is also part of the internship experience.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
I was very disappointed with the way BMW have organised the placement scheme. They did not provide any support for interns who were situated in places with living in high cost such as those working at the MINI Oxford Plant. Also there were no oppertiunities for interns like myself ( who loves/follows the brand and their products) to get the oppertunity to visit key BMW sites around the world (like BMW Welt or BMW Design Houses). Interns still form a big part of the BMW network, and therefore should be given more incentives to work for the company. I feel I would want to join the likes of Mercedes-Benz or Jaguar instead.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I believe the company has invested the bare minimum for my personal training and development. For example; I was unable to join my team in Germany for a workshop, because of budget cuts within my department. The company needs to spend more on training and development for the interns . On occasions where I needed to, I was unable to work from home (when I was unable to get into work for unforseen circumstances), which meant my work was delayed, costing the company money.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I chose to work for BMW because I loved cars but more specifically the brand and their products, however, I feel that I would rather turn to BMWs leading competitors (such as Audi) and work for them. This is also due to the fact, that at the BMW location I work at, there doesn't seem to be any way of getting a perminant job via the internship. However I am grateful that BMW chose me to work for them when I applied for an internship with them, and I would therefore still be happy to work for them in the future, but I advise that there should be a restructure to the internship programme.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The social scene is very good, we have a social which happens every Thursday, which means you get a chance to socialise at least once a week. Also, the teams in my department arrange team events, lunches and dinners. Oxford is a very nice place to meet, and there is always a good vibe.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living were exteremly high. Most of my income I was getting per month was spent on rent. This meant I had just enough to live on per month.
As mentioned previously, BMW need to provide support to interns who are based at sites which have a high living cost associated with it like the MINI Plant in Oxford. I think interns need more income from the company per month to cater for the high rent costs per month.
However socialising in the area I'm working in is very good, with reasobale access to public transport to the town centre. But the traffic in my area (certainly between 17:00 and 17:30) is very bad.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As mentioned previously, there is a very good nightlife scene, with many pubs/bars/clubs to choose from, you are spoilt for choice. The BMW site is located on the opposite end to the city centre but is easy enough to get to by car and fairly reasonable to get to by public transport.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were a few activities I could get invloved with outside of work, such as a running club, or football after work on a Wednesday. However, there were no automotive/car related activites, which is what I wanted to join, but that is just my personal preference, however there is pleanty of other activites to get involved in.