1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The teams I worked with throughout my placement year were all so lovely. I was welcomed into every team and shown the ins and outs of the different departments. It was also great meeting the other placement students from across the country at our meets and during the 2 week head office experience.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt extremely valued by certain colleagues during the placement year. I would say it’s hard to feel valued in every department you go into because in a lot of them I was there for only a few weeks so was largely just there to learn. When I did my project towards the end of the placement I got a good amount of feedback.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My regional training consultants were really supportive throughout the year and they were a solid point of contact for any issues or questions I had. I felt some of the busy working environments I was working in meant I had to ask for support a lot more but it was always there from someone.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This really depends on which department I was in. During my time in store I was rushed off my feet most days which was actually a really great feeling. In some departments like admin, it was more spectating and learning from that which made me feel less busy. Realistically you can always ask for more work/experience so it depends on how willing you are to do that.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Again, you get what you ask for. In store I trained to be a shift manager which included a fair amount of responsibility such as placing store orders. I found I was given a fair amount of independent work which was a lot more than I was expecting from my placement year so for that I’m grateful.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I feel like I got a really comprehensive view of one of the worlds largest retailers which is so invaluable for a business student. Seeing so many different departments in such detail, as well as being able to attend senior meetings meant I learned so much amount how the business functions from HR to logistics to Head Office, to sales.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
I’m the Regional Distribution Centre the atmosphere in the offices was really positive. There was a great culture and I really felt like part of the team. I would say in stores and the warehouse it really depends on the store/department largely due to the differing management, but I always felt like I was in a positive environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The year was mapped out to me in the form of my training plan and on the most part I always knew where I was supposed to be and at what point. There were a few hiccups with training course dates and a lot of moving around of meetings - but I think this is standard in such a live, fast paced business environment.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I was incredibly impressed my the amount of investment from LIDL. I was sent to head office in London for two weeks where I was able to experience what happens at HQ. I have attended numerous training courses of a high standard and have always taken away something valuable. I have also had many conversations with management about my career with many offering me quality advice.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The graduate scheme is definitely appealing in terms of the quality of training I know I would receive and the benefits that come alongside it. The only negative is that it seems as though it is largely focused on sales/logistics and if I wanted to go into a different sector of the business I feel I would need to gain experience elsewhere before rejoining company. That said, I would definitely consider working for LIDL in the future.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
When we were together in head office and our other meets it was really good fun. This was only 4 times in the year (one of these times being for 2 weeks), so I wouldn’t say there is a great social element to the placement because you tend to live quite far away from your colleagues.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Very reasonable. During the 2 weeks in head office it was quite expensive but we were given a food allowance which was put on expenses and given back to us. I live relatively close to the regional distribution centre so there weren’t many added costs involved in my placement year.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Again, I live in this area anyway so am well accustomed with the nightlife in the area which I’ve always found has been pretty good. I would say you’re quite busy throughout the year so probably won’t be too focused on the nightlife- especially if you have a 6am start the following day!
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
No. I didn’t take part in any outside of work activities during my placement. I know there were some opportunities with the NSPCC fundraising but nothing I was able to attend. Having said that, the teams all seemed really sociable and I know that sort of thing would get a lot of enthusiasm from the teams. Had I expressed interest in it or taken it upon myself to organise something I’m sure people would have been on board.