1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the placement with Aldi. It provided me with a lot of opportunities in several departments within the company. Store time allowed me to develop my leadership skills and gave me a lot of responsibility. The second part in head office gave an insight into departments such as trading, property and logistics which gave me a great overview of the company.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The project work you are given at Aldi allows you to make real changes to the company. Members of higher management such as Directors give you a lot of time to present you findings and genuinely use the information to improve the company.
In store, I felt extremely valued by my team who helped me develop my skills and respected me from the start even when I was relatively inexperienced.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
In store I was given a structured training programme with a detailed outline of what I needed to cover each week. The store manager and area manager were extremely helpful with my training and dedicated a lot of time to help me.
In head office you are assisted when needed but are given a lot more freedom to complete project work in the way you want.
Overall, on criticism would be he level of feedback I received. At some points I felt like I wasn't receiving enough which affected my development.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In store you are extremely busy. Aldi is a very fast-paced company with rigid KPIs which must be met on a daily basis. In store you are trained to an Assistant Store Manager level which gives you the opportunity to take responsibility for a lot of different aspects of store operations.
In head office you are required to meet deadlines and are given projects with a wide scope, sometimes 50 hours a week didn't feel enough!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Overall I was given a lot of responsibility during my placement. In store I was given the opportunity to run shifts and lead a team of up to 15 people. In addition to this you are required to order stock, manage the safe, complete the rotas and open/close the store.
In head office you are working on very topical projects which can lead to he company influencing operations for the better.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The biggest skill I obtained at Aldi was attention to detail. Aldi is extremely thorough in everything it does and this will help me when writing university assignments. Beyond university this placement has developed my leadership skills, resilience and overall knowledge of he working world. I now feel like I will be prepared for anything when going into my first job after university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone in the office was very friendly and helpful during my time in head office. The atmosphere could be described as corporate as everyone is extremely hardworking and the office is often quiet. Although quiet, everyone works cooperatively and is always there to help you. Meal times are very sociable and everyone sits together.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was extremely organised. Throughout I had a plan which outlined what I was doing for every week of my placement. In head office before every department you meet with the relevant director who outlines what you need to complete and when you need to complete it by. If anything changed with the plan you were updated accordingly.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company gave me a lot of time to train, especially at the start when I was in store. The store manager set a number of hours aside for me every week to help me develop my skills and store and learn new aspects of the role. I was also invited to attend a personal development course which was really helpful.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The future prospects within Aldi are very appealing. throughout the year you can an insight of what you would be doing if you join the graduate scheme. You are shown all aspects of the area manager role (graduate programme) over a number of weeks throughout the year. You spend time shadowing an area manager, as well as carrying out area manager responsibilities.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Due to differing shift time, early and late starts, the social life with fellow IPs wasn't great. Over the whole placement we managed to meet up twice outside of the workplace. However, when in head office we managed to eat together everyday and go different places for food.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
During my placement I lived at home which I would highly recommend. Due to the long hours across the week having help at home was essential. Doing 50 hours a week limited your time to socialise but due to living at home it gave me a lot of opportunities to meet up with old friends.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
All the IPs across the region went for a 2 day event at a hotel in Manchester. This was a really good opportunity to meet different people and learn about the company as a whole. However, apart from this we didn't have much opportunity to get involved with activities outside of work.