1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my work placement with Lidl as the placement is rotational, this helped me to develop my skill set in a number of different areas and also learn a lot more in relation to the fast paced retail industry. It has enabled me to develop my skills not only on a work based level but also on a personal level and I have found I have conducted myself in a more professional manner throughout my time with Lidl.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt valued by my colleagues most during my time in sales (store). This is due to there being a more team based environment and as many responsibilities are shared between staff, this meant team work was crucial and therefore I felt as though my work was valued and appreciated to a greater extent in store.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The support throughout the placement has been sufficient. There is a good support system in place before the placement commences, which really helps to settle you into the placement. If I had any queries or concerns, I wouldn't hesitate to contact either my line manager or the Regional Training Consultant who is always there to help when needed.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
It really depends on what department you are in at the time. I found that there wasn't really a structured training programme in Logistics and so there would be times where I had nothing to do and I would have to keep asking for work. However, during my time in sales, I have been busy pretty much every day as there is always something to be done and I had a well structured training plan which meant I was also constantly learning new things.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Responsibility varied throughout the placement. In certain departments there is only so much responsibility you can be given, for example supply chain. But there were times when I found myself having to direct and manage other people if my manager was away so therefore having a great deal of responsibility. In recruitment I was given the chance to conduct telephone interviews and make decisions on whether I thought candidates should be progressed to the next stages of interviews.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel this placement is a great placement to do if you're not fully sure which area of a business you want to be in. Being a rotational placement, you gain skills and knowledge in all areas of business that will assist you in your degree studies. I have developed skills in Team Working, Punctuality, Leadership, IT, Communication and Professionalism all of which I can take forward in any future business endeavours.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was overall positive. Emplyees there seem to really love their job and there was always a friendly, welcoming atmosphere in the office. You never felt like you couldn't approach someone, even the big bosses if you had any questions. Overall, really nice people in Lidl who treat you as a valued member of the team.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The overall structure of the placement is very well organised and you can tell that this is a company that really wants its placement students to gain a lot from working for Lidl. The rotational element of the placement is good as it allows you to see different parts of the company, giving you real insight into the industry. However, the only downside I would say is the time period of each rotation isn't suitable. I think in order to benefit the most, it would have been more beneficial to have 3 months in the office and 6 weeks in logistics rather than the other way around.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There were a number of training and development investments made into my development with Lidl. Before joining a new department, I was always given a good introduction to the department and given a training plan to follow in order to ensure I reached the targets set. There was also opportunity to attend training days with other employees if you felt this was something you needed to improve on which was good. Having progress reports completed monthly also allowed me to keep track of my development.
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?
Future employment prospects are appealing as Lidl are a growing business and are continuing to expand into other countries. They are very well known for their graduate programmes and they also pay extremely well with the added bonus of having a company car as a graduate. However, they do make you work for your money and its not easy sailing so I would bare this in mind if I was considering returning to the company after University.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, there was a good relationship between all the placement students and fellow employees in Lidl. There was a staff christmas party event as well as charity events that I was able to attend. During our time in head office, we had to stay in a hotel with the other placement students, but this gave us a good opportunity to socialise after work and get to know each other and find out how everyone is getting on in their region.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As I was based in Belvedere, Kent, this meant the cost of living was very high in comparison to what I was paying rent wise at University (Newcastle). Unfortunately, this has meant that I haven't been able to socialise in the way I wanted to, just because of high living costs and commuting to work (you will also need a car for the placement as its compulsory). I would suggest making sure you research the place you want to carry out the placement before hand.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I didn't tend to go out in the area I worked as it was quiet and didn't really have much nightlife. I chose to rent close to tube/underground transport links to central London so this is where I would go out most of the time, however it is expensive so it wouldn't be an every week thing.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
This is something I think that the company could improve on as there wasn't many extra curricular activities for example sports teams to get involved in. Most of what I did outside of work I organised on my own accord. I think there could be more that Lidl could do to maybe involve the placement students more often.