I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at TUI and would highly recommend the placement to any prospective students who want to get commercial business experience in a large international organisation. I had a high level of responsibility, took advantage of numerous development opportunities and was also able to go abroad three times as part of the scheme.
I felt completely valued by my colleagues. I had the same level of responsibility as any other Product Assistant and therefore had an integral role in the Product team. I felt my colleagues had complete trust in my decisions and this consequently improved my confidence in my own abilities too. I also received lots of feedback throughout the year which made me feel as though my colleagues were invested in my development.
I received lots of support from my line manager with weekly catch ups, anonymous 360 feedback sessions and a mid and end of year review. I also received lots of support from the placement scheme leaders with monthly 1-1 catch ups as well as monthly group meetings. I was able to raise any issues or worries about what was currently going on and was encouraged to regularly give feedback about the scheme so it can continue to improve.
On a daily basis I was extremely busy and never once felt bored or like I didn't have anything to do. I had a high level of responsibility which kept me busy and on top of this, I completed 3 different placement projects throughout the year. This meant that at certain points in the year, my workload was much greater but this consequently helped me learn how to prioritise and improve my time management skills.
I was given a huge amount of responsibility on placement. I was responsible for the holiday programmes in Tenerife and Bulgaria. This involved planning and pricing future seasons, ensuring accurate content, answering customer queries and monitoring quality performance across my resorts. I was also responsible for paginating 4 brochures and took on additional responsibilities as a colleague engagement rep and continuous improvement champion.
The skills I have developed will be extremely beneficial in my degree and future career. I am particularly proud of the presentation skills I developed and will be able to utilise these when presenting as part of module assessments and when presenting to large groups in the future. Other useful skills I have been able to develop are communication, problem solving, time management and leadership.
The office was an extremely fun place to work with regular social events, development opportunities and talks from senior leaders in the business which ensured everyone was aware of updates to the overall group strategy and commercial performance. The office was very inclusive and relaxed with no set dress code - just 'dress for the day.' Exciting things were always happening e.g. a visit from John Barrowman due to his role in the latest PR campaign.
The placement was very well organised with set times for projects, events and development sessions throughout the year. I knew exactly who to go to for help and felt as though the people who were running the scheme were heavily invested in it's success. The year ran very smoothly, making it all the more enjoyable.
The firm was extremely invested in my development. I was able to complete 4 half days in any other area of the business that I wished. Specific sessions were put in for us to develop key skills e.g. creating a PDP, presenting and a strengthsfinder exercise. I was also able to chose a mentor within the business which opened up networking opportunities and a chance to build upon on my CV and interview skills.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
I would happily go back and work for TUI as I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I have been offered a full time job upon graduating and this is something I will consider in my final year as well as looking for other opportunities. I loved my time at TUI but want to take risks and continue to challenge myself by seeing what else is out there.
There was a great social scene amongst the placements and other colleagues around the office. Everyone made an effort to include placements in socials and events after work. It is also very easy to make friends with the other placements as you will often live with them and work closely with them on the different projects.
The cost of living was okay as Luton is less expensive than the surrounding areas of Harpenden & St Albans. Living close to work and walking everyday also saved on transport costs. The cost of socialising was much higher due to the close proximity to London. I found I spent a lot of money on transport to and from socials and drinks!
Luton does not have a good nightlife and I never once went into Town at night. Nearly all socials were in either Harpenden, St Albans or London. The Thameslink trains run through the night so it's really easy to go out at night in these areas, it's just a bit more expensive.
I didn't really get involved in activities outside of work. I know some people joined local sports teams but this wasn't actively advertised. The colleague engagement team did organise discovery days throughout the year e.g. volunteering in the local area, but I was never able to get a space on one of these.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
29th July 2019