Deciding to do my year in industry at Volvo Group was a brilliant decision. By being in the workplace, I was able to apply and question theories and ideas I had been taught at University. The year gave me the opportunity to improve on my weaknesses in a safe and supportive environment. Furthermore, I have been given the opportunity to explore different functions, likes and dislikes before applying to graduate roles.
I felt greatly valued by my colleagues. I received constructuve feedback throughout my placement. This helped me learn from any mistakes and consider other ways of completing tasks. At no point was I treated any differently from the other members of staff. I was encouraged to share my opinions in team meetings.
I was given a good level of support. Enough to ensure I knew what I was doing and could ask questions if needed. I felt my line manager and team had enough experience to teach me a wide variety of skills and knowledge. I also had significant support in completing university tasks during work time.
Although I was not initially busy, I began to get involved in projects and assist members of each function. After a couple of months I was assigned my own projects to manage throughout my year in industry. My workload varied from day to day and week to week; this was especially the case if I was visiting suppliers or dealers. Some weeks flew by!
My level of responsibility grew throughout my time at Volvo Group. I was supported throughout but was encouraged to make my down decisions and to challenge other members of the team. Sometimes I did not have influence over decision making; however, often this was because I do not yet have the business knowledge to make such decisions.
I had the opportunity to go on intermediate and advanced excel courses, as well as a presentation skills course. My organisation, prioritisation and time-keeping skills have been strengthened during my time at Volvo. These are incredibly important not only for work, but will ensure I work effectively throughout my final year at university.
Positive and friendly environment. The office has a 'Swedish' culture whereby it is very relaxed, open plan and people are encouraged to talk and engage with one another. Managers aren't segmented from their teams and interns are treated in the same way as all other employees, regardless of their place in the hierarchy.
The internship was well set-up by HR from the beginning. Since my placement began this has been improved further, with the new interns being invited in for a full day before they start. An induction checklist is given to each line manager and quarterly review meetings of each intern are mandatory.
Volvo Group ensured that all interns were invested in. The induction week was informative and encouraged learning. This theme continued throughout the year - everyone was encouraged to sign up to training opportunities. These included a range of Microsoft training, presentation skills and many more. I was treated as well as a full-time, permanent employee.
The Volvo group does not currently offer a Graduate Scheme. The company also does not seem to be hiring a large number of new staff members. Within my team I do not see any possibilities for advancement within the near future. This placement would be good for someone who isn't looking to settle for a Graduate job straight away and wants to try new sectors/roles.
Socialising with other interns was initially good as there was a large group of over 20 of us. However, as many interns lived at home, in and around Birmingham, often people were keen to go home instead of socialising after work. However, I have been able to make a couple of close friends from my time at Volvo Group.
Cost of living in leamington is on the more expensive side of 'student living'. Warwick is also expensive with very few low-cost supermarkets close to Volvo Group. There are a couple on the outskirts of Leamington. However, I don't feel this impacted significantly on the cost of socialising, as most pubs/clubs/bars are still reasonably priced.
I stayed in Leamington Spa. This has a good range of bars and a few nightclubs - there are also a few in Coventry. In Warwick the nightlife is very limited, with mainly pubs and cafes. It was also difficult to enjoy the nightlife with the other interns as many/most would drive from 'home'. This would normally be in and around Birmingham.
There were very few opportunities to get involved with activities outside of work. There were
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Business Management, Customer Service, Market Research, Marketing, Purchasing and Supply