sales trackers update and maintenance
developing trade press articles
developing trade press adverts
developing planograms for range reviews
supporting the larger Category Development Team
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I enjoyed my placement at Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) extremely much. JDE has a wonderful culture where everyone is extremely friendly and even the most senior people are down to earth, always open for a conversation. I particularly liked the fact that I had a real job throughout the whole year and can say that I was given real responsibility. I felt supported and valued by my colleagues and was encouraged to propose my ideas
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt extremely valued by my colleagues. I can say that people in JDE are very open to give you navigation on any work/personal life matter when you need it. The environment was extremely supportive, not just in my team, but also outside of it. I had multiple situations when I reached out to people I wasn't working directly with and they were always more than happy to help.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I had an extremely good relationship with my manager. I was always supported by him and worked in collaboration to develop my personal development plan from the very start of my placement. This helped me to track my performance and have the feeling of actual achievements. What worked out specifically well was the fact that my manager believed in the philosophy that both the company and I as a placement student had to get out what we wanted from the year. This mindset enabled me to get involved in activities not just in my team and as a result I managed shape my placement in a way that went above and beyond my day to day role.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My day to day role involved trackers updating and maintenance as well as supporting the members of my team. I was busy on a daily basis and always had projects to work on. I was left to plan my time depending on the workload and was always open to ask for more if I had the capacity.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
JDE is a company that values every placement student and gives them a real job. The first three months were a period for getting my head around the systems, analytics programs, etc and after that the level of responsibility I was given was gradually increasing. I often had situations in which I was leading projects on my own and communicating with agencies on preparing some trade press materials.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I received training mainly on using the different tools and systems in the beginning of my placement. After that as the year progressed I was lucky to attend a couple of more trainings that were marketing focused. I would say that those increased my awareness about how the industry works and equipped me with some frameworks which will help me in my further career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was quite positive. In the office where I was based there was an extremely nice coffee area where you could always go and interact with others over lunch/coffee. I enjoyed people's attitude and found it to be very relaxed and supportive. I think this is key for a healthy culture!
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was organized quite well. I had two weeks of handover which I spent with the person in my role the previous year. This helped me get up to speed much quicker. Then the first three months were time to get used to the whole environment. Thanks to my manager and my communication with him I had a strict process for 3 month, 6 month and 12 month review which helped me extremely much in reflecting on the results from the year. It was great to see how JDE were extremely open to hear some feedback and implemented some of the intern ideas when they welcomed the new intern cohort.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I had the luck to participate in a couple of internal trainings that were organized for all associates. Additionally I was given the chance to attend to a few external meetings/conferences which further developed me by giving me a different perspective. I would say that every time there was a certain training the interns were kept in mind and given the chance to join those. There is room for improvement when it comes to trainings that can be tailored only for the needs of the interns. I am sure JDE will work on introducing those.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
JDE is a wonderful company where one can learn a lot as the level of responsibility given is huge. It is also a company where everyone is willing to help or give you advice if needed. This makes it very appealing.
A slight drawback can be the location of the offices from someone who is office based.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
There was a fair social scene with a number of company events.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living and socializing was manageable for someone on an intern salary.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
During the placement I was living in Maidenhead which didn't have such an outstanding nightlife. However, Reading (a student city 10 mins away on the train) has a good scene for anyone who wants to party.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were opportunities to find activities outside of work. Those are dependent on each individual and how they like spending their free time. Maidenhead is an area with fair amount of potential sports activities. In addition, London is extremely close which always helps in finding interesting things to do.