1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement year with ALDI.
I have learned extensive amounts about the corporate world, alongside developing many personal skills.
The year is very diverse, gaining exposure to various different departments. This was very useful as I was exposed to areas of the business I had no previous experience in.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Being a placement student I expected to be a less vital part of the team, however that was absolutely not the case.
My opinions and decisions were valued, I engaged with colleagues nationwide, from the regional team of Area Managers, to Buying Assistants in our corporate office.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My mentor has been absolutely brilliant, pushing me to achieve my best.
In such a fast-paced environment it has been really helpful to have an experienced colleague to support me.
I have definitely been challenged by mentor throughout the year, which I can only be grateful for. Regular catch-ups ensured I was always on track and happy in my role.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
There is never a quiet day at ALDI, and no two days are the same.
Being a General Management placement student I have been lucky enough to gain experience in both the Area Manager role and in office based departments such as Trading and Logistics. This meant that there was always something to get your teeth into, whether that meant sitting in on a group interview with your mentor, or learning about how we place regional orders with the Trading Assistants.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
It's no secret that ALDI has many benefits, but you'll work for them!
Over the course of the year I have placed hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of orders, covered my mentors area for days here and there and co-created a project that will impact all 80 stores within our region.
You truly are given an immense amount of responsibility, which is really refreshing at only 21 years old being trusted to make an impact on such a large company.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Working 50 hours a week in Stores has definitely prepared me for the long days at the University Library.
And being alone covering my mentors areas has definitely improved my organisation and discipline.
I am now an expert in programmes such as Microsoft Excel, which I may not have had the opportunity to develop should I not have completed a placement year.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Independent project work can be challenging when you need information but aren't sure where to get it from. Spending a small segment of time learning about the different departments definitely aided my ability to network with my office colleagues, and approach them freely as and when I needed help.
It's a corporate environment, and work is taken seriously, but all of the Office staff and Area Manager team have been really helpful and supportive throughout my time here, even the Directors are incredibly approachable.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
A plan is all well good providing there is no unexpected change. Well in a company as large as this, the only constant is change.
Working for ALDI you will need to adapt to the needs of the business, that may mean travelling 2 hours to cover another area last minute, which when you understand the necessity behind it, won't be a problem.
My placement has differed from my training plan throughout the course of the year, but it was nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing you shouldn't grab with two hands.
I was lucky enough to be needed for a Trading project over the Christmas period and the skills and connections I made during this time was invaluable.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
In the first week of our Placement year we were straight in for a health and safety course, learning the in's and out's of First Aid.
More specifically to my role in particular I have been lucky enough to participate on seminars regarding Payroll and Inventory, both of which included transferable knowledge I will be able to apply in my personal life, and university degree.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The General Management placement links closely with the Area Manager scheme, and so you learn a lot of the content trainee Area Managers learn, putting you in great stead should you wish to reapply to become an Area Manager.
My Mentor is currently on an international secondment to the UK from Australia, so that just goes to show how appealing the roles really are.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I was in a cohort of 4 placement students in my region. All of whom were my age and studying similar degrees.
This really helped as there was always somebody to turn to on a difficult day!
The time we spent together at regional office was really enjoyable, as we often met for lunch.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
This placement is commonly split up amongst various locations and so it is impossible to rate this answer based on one place.
With a region spanning 165 miles top to bottom, you really could be placed in any demographic.
I found regardless of where I was there was always close links to reasonably priced accommodation and amenities.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
As with above, it is difficult to comment on the nightlife, when the location you are in could be a totally different one to my own.
The regional office is situated in a large town with plenty to get up to. My colleagues were really great at introducing me to the local area.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Working in a different location from my fellow placement students it was difficult to arrange to meet up often, and you aren't directly involved with the activities the Area Manger team are involved with.
You have a great team of store colleagues, however the level of expectation with our role means it isn't always appropriate to engage in their out of work activities.