1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have significantly enjoyed my placement with Lidl. I have had the opportunity to work in several different departments in Lidl from Sales to Logistics to Head Office. Therefore, no day has been the same and I have met various new people along the way. The placement has been challenging and I have definitely been out of my comfort zone at times, so do not expect the placement to be easy. Nevertheless, I have found my placement to be rewarding and I have enjoyed my time with Lidl.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I have always felt valued by my colleagues throughout my rotations within Lidl GB. My opinions have always been welcome and I have always felt comfortable when giving them. Many of my colleagues have given me a significant amount of their time to help with my training and development.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I have always been supported by my managers during my placement. Each manager of the different departments has given guidance and support and my placement supervisor has provided essential guidance throughout the year. Management do not tell you how to do everything and will not hold your hand throughout the placement but they are always available should you need.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
As the Lidl placement is rotational I have been in some departments which have been busier than others. For example, when working in store I would be significantly busy and often would only sit down during my breaks. This reflects the nature of retail and often quieter days are appreciated as I was mostly very busy.
If you are looking for a placement with Lidl then definitely prepare to be very busy.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a significant amount of responsibility during my placement. From working in stores and being responsible for looking after the safe to completing store visits whereby I looked after the new starters to ensure that their training was going to plan. My placement has definitely built my confidence in terms of being responsible and I no longer shy away from responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
From my year with Lidl, I have gained business experience as well as soft skills. Firstly, I have learnt how a discount retailor operates in a competitive environment. I have had first hand experience with KPI's and I have developed logistics and supply chain knowledge. My store experience has taught me how a company operates on productivity targets, highlighting the importance of efficiency. Equally, I have developed skills such as time management, planning, organising, presenting and communicating which will all help me during my final year.
As I have almost finished my placement I feel I need to re-write my CV as I have so much to add.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office is generally good and it is a pleasant place to work. I do find that it can be quite segregated at times and different teams do not interact with each other which I think can affect the atmosphere. Nevertheless, I always felt welcome and I was able to develop relationships with the different teams.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The organisation of the placement has not been great. I have found a lack of communication at times which has sometimes left me with slight confusion of what my next task was. From being offered my placement in January to starting in September I had very little communication with Lidl which made me concerned at times.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company has significantly invested in me. I have had the opportunity to work in various departments and attend different events such as category 4 meetings. I also spent 2 weeks in London whereby this was fully expensed and my hotel was paid for, including over the weekend! This has given me exposure to different parts of the company which has aided my development and learning.
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?
The graduate scheme with Lidl is appealing as I know that it would open many opportunities with the company. Nevertheless, the scheme is tailored significantly towards sales which I have found is not the area I would want to pursue a career in if I come back to Lidl. Despite this, I will consider direct entry roles when looking for future employement.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
As I was the only placement student in my region I have often been on my own a lot. Nevertheless, I have formed a good relationship with the graduate students in my region and we have had many team meals. I have also met up with the other placement students across the country at placement events which was a good time to socialise.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
During my placement I lived in Newcastle so found the cost of living and socialising to be very cheap, especially when compared to my friends placements in London. This has given me chance to save a significant amount of money during my placement year which will help when going into final year.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I lived in Newcastle so the Nightlife was very good as this is a vibrant student city.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Unfortunately, I have found no opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work