Working in the Product team in the Commercial Departments of Crystal Ski. This role focussed on the strategy of destinations and the product that we offer to customers. The role looks at the accommodation, ancillaries and general set-up of a destination where we send customers to.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I had a great time at TUI and did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. The work can be difficult and there can be lots of it, but that's what makes it so good as you are pushed to enhance and develop a wide variety of skills.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I truly felt like I was one of the team fairly early on in my role. I felt that the people I worked with trusted me to get tasks done. I would also get honest and constructive feedback from my team which helped me develop over the course of the year.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given a lot of support and guidance by management. Crucially, I was able to talk to various people in management roles, not just my immediate manager, which meant that I was able to benefit from different viewpoints, knowledge bases and skillsets. I had weekly one-to-ones which meant feedback was frequent.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was generally very busy on a daily basis, especially when we were in the main ski season. I doubted that I would be busy at other times of the year, but the workload always seemed to keep-up, and I never found myself having the time to stop and think too much. It really helps constantly having something to do!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
My level of responsibility grew as the year went on. I believe that for the average placement student, my responsibility levels were quite high. It was great being given more challenging tasks as the year progressed and it showed the management did trust the work that I did, and my general end product.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I think that the experience of having a real office job is one of the most valuable things to come out of my placement year. I feel that my skills have developed greatly and have put me in a great position going forward in life. While many of them won't directly impact my degree, a lot are generally invaluable life skills.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There was a great atmosphere in my office generally. There are a lot of fun people and people to interact with on a social level. When the busiest times come around, there is a push on ensuring that you're working hard, but this is an important atmosphere and ethic for ensuring that the office is productive at peak times.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The TUI placement scheme is brilliant. It is run by people that care immensely about everyone in the scheme, which is great to be part of. The projects we have to undertake are given a lot of support, and outside of projects, there is a lot of emphasis on developing, and there are always people on the placement scheme to talk to.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
TUI invests the right amount of time on developing its placement students and does not overdo it. I felt like I was given a good amount of time and resources committed to my development, and it there is a genuine ethos of developing placements and trying to set them up well for the future.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I have enjoyed my time immensely with TUI and I've had honest conversations throughout the year about my future prospects, and I know that it is a place where I love working and will return to, which is incredibly satisfying. I feel like I have achieved the ultimate goal of what someone can possibly gain out of a placement year, and that's what they try to ensure for all placements.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I was based in a different office to the main TUI office in Luton, but this wasn't much of an issue generally. I attended as much as I could with the other placements, and there is a great social atmosphere in the Crystal office anyway, so the distance from Luton did not cause an issue. The Crystal employees are great to socialize and go for drinks with after work.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
It's Surbiton and it is expensive generally, but there is a Spoons across the road from the office which is ideal for cheaper prices. Cost of living is fairly high too, but this is something that you expect before you start living there, so it wasn't really an issue. Just make sure that you are smart with your money.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Once again, it's Surbiton and it's good for pubs, but you'll have to look a bit further afield for clubs and things. Waterloo is 15-20 minutes away which links you easily with central London, which is very handy. It can be difficult getting back in the early morning, but it's not too bad.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was a good amount of stuff going on, and the people in the office try to engage you in clubs and activities, especially through the Summer months with events like rounders. The office is not huge so it's not endless activity, but there's certainly enough to keep you entertained.