I enjoyed my placement year. It has given me an opportunity to gain new skills and get more clear vision of my career path. I have been able to explore different sides of the business to gain better understanding of the complexity of it. The company offered a lot of training opportunities, which have helped me to prepare for my final year.
I felt fully supported by my colleagues. The atmosphere was really welcoming and I was felt like a part of the team. The team was quite busy at times and therefore my contributions were important. I felt valued and my ideas were heard. Sometimes I was given very intern jobs, as no one else wanted to do them.
In the beginning I had 1:1 with my manager every week to track my progress. The managers supported me if I wanted to attend any training or other activities organised by the company. Also, everyone in the office was really helpful if I needed any help. I was really fortunate to have a really lovely manager.
I was very busy throughout the year, especially the month ends were really hectic. My team always had pending task, however those were not always the most intellectually stimulating tasks. I enjoyed being busy as it made me get the most out of my placement, and I never had a moment where I had nothing to do.
I was not given much responsibility during the first six months of my placement. However, as expected the responsibility I was given increased throughout the year. Later on the year. I was responsible of my own projects, and my manager gave me free hands to execute them as I saw fit.
I learned many valuable skills that will be helpful in final year of university and later on in my career. The placement year has really enhanced my communication, presentation and excel skills. These will be useful in all areas of business. I have also gained a great amount of finance skills during my placement, which will give me an advantage when applying for graduate positions.
The atmosphere at the office was really warm and welcoming. It was easy to get to know everyone and they were always willing to help despite being busy. VFS organizes pizza Friday every month, which is a fun way to interact with your colleagues. They are also very supportive with your training, which allowed me to attend multiple training courses.
The welcome week was well organized. We were informed where to be and for what time. The first week covered everything you needed to know about the company; including dress code, recognition schemes, etc. We were introduced to everyone immediately, and they took time to show how to get around the building. My computer set up and all my accesses were already there when I started on my first day.
The company provided multiple training opportunities, and interns were encouraged to take part of them. I was able to attend 4 day communication course, 2 day presentation training, excel training and multiple others where you learned about the business and the industry. Also if you seek to sit with different teams, your manager tried usually to accommodate that.
Volvo Group does not have a graduate scheme or roles that are just for graduates. Some of the previous interns have come back or worked part time during their final year. The company’s hierarchy is very flat, so it does not provide many progression opportunities. Also, the location does not appeal everyone.
There was an excellent social scene and I felt we were given many opportunities to integrate. We were introduced to the other interns before the first date, which made the first date much easier. You also mainly spend the first week with the other interns and get to know them. Many of us relocated to the area, so we often met outside of work as well.
The living costs in Leamington are very low compared to big cities, and there is many student accommodations available. Leamington has all the big supermarkets so it is easy to choose which one you want to shop in. In general the cost of living and socialising is low. The public transportation in Leamington are is very limited.
The nearest place to go out is Leamington spa, which has a few night clubs and multiple pubs. Also Birmingham is not far away if you are looking for a bigger scale. Saturday nights are usually quite busy in Leamington, and there is multiple pubs that play live music. The average age on weekends is slightly older.
There was many opportunities to volunteer outside of work during the placement. The department organised quite a few social event in the pub after work where everybody was invited. I also went to the movies and ice skating with my team. You are informed of other activities via email as well.
Placement Year (10 Months+)