1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Great working hours and weekends off. As a first job its very nice to have the flexibility, especially half days on fridays. Working alongside logistics partners and getting involved in numerous projects, plus having some of your own projects definitely teaches you time management and working closely to deadlines to achieve set targets and milestones.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I was treated well and there is a culture of respect and enough attention is given to you. Your opinion is valued and you are asked to share your views on different topics that your department is involved in. Your team encourages you to ask questions and that fresh pair of eyes is always positive as they can bring new ideas and see things in new lights. However, it can take time to earn the respect of your collegues.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Management closely works with you in order to complete projects and meet deadlines. They are very supportive in both their expectations and task set. You can count on them for any support that is required or ask any questions related or not related to the job. You are also given a lot of freedom.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It varies massively. I can go from being very busy to being reletively free but overall the balance is good. I also have a weekly task routine and additional tasks required depending on the situation. Task are shared by the team members and you can always find support if required or when the task get too much to cope with. But there have been times when I have been very free, such as on shutdown.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given quite a lot of responsibility with certain projects and the ability to manage my time as i see fit. The tasks i was assigned often meant that I was relied upon to carry out these tasks in a timely and efficent manner and failure to compleet them to a good standard would have been to the detriment of the project.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have certainly developed skills while working at BMW. As my first proper job, i have garnered a better understanding of time management and how to ensure i can complete all my tasks in a timely manner. I have also gotten better at excel as well as many other more specific programmes such as pack assist and SAP.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
It has a nice atmoshpere. I have a good relationship with the memebers of my team which contributes to the overall feeling. The office itself was airy, light and open-plan, which made a nice environment and made the year more enjoyable. Everyone was pleasant with each other and it was easy to see / meet other people if you wanted to.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Quite poorly. I didnt receive my contract until I started and had vritually no handover as my predesessor took his last 2 weeks as holiday. The build up was not great and I got no help from the company or any staff memebers with regards to accomodation or dress code etc...
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Nothing specific, but I visited the other BMW plants in the UK to see the body pressings, Rolls-Royce plant and engines plant, which was good to see. I attended a few training sessions on various programmes, such as unreal and i did learn a lot in my role while working for MINI.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There are prospects however, the number of placement students far exceeds the number of graduate scheme roles available and it is common knowledge that the plant is not likely to hire many new staff in the future. I think I would be in a better place to get a graduate job but would have to apply and do the whole process again. I am not local though, so would explore other options, but this is a personal choice. Previous interns have returned to my department.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Really good social scene with the other placement students and apprentices as well as interns and student in Oxford. It was amazing and far better than I had expected before starting my role. There were weekly socials at local pubs, several bar crawls, as well as other events such as go karting. There are a lot of other students on the Plant who are easy to meet and really friendly.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Oxford is a very expensive place to live and rent is a big expense for me. Food and drinks in restaurants is also very costly.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Oxford is a good city to go out in, plenty to see and do. There are a few clubs which are pretty good, however they are quite expensive.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Finishing early on Friday's was fantastic as it left loads of time after work to get involved in activities. You could easily have done after-work sports, go for a meal, go shopping etc. after work and even do something on Friday's. So that was very positive. It was also nice that we both start and finish early rather than the traditional 9-5.