1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed it, it was great to be able to learn so much about the business, especially by being able to work directly with a range of teams. When I was busy I definitely enjoyed it more than when I was sitting around, which thankfully wasn't too much overall. I enjoyed it so much that I would like to do the grad scheme next!
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt really valued as everyone treated me like any other member of the team, instead of 'the intern' - I wasn't making teas and coffees, but doing real work that the buyers would otherwise would have had to do themselves. Whenever I asked a question about something rather basic everyone was always keen to help me develop and learn.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Overall I spent more time working with a buyer other than my manager, but both this buyer and my manager, as well as the rest of the prepared foods team was nothing but helpful and eager for me to learn as much as I could. Questions were always answered quickly and explained easily and I felt I always had someone to turn to.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This varied, I didn't really have one set task/project to do across the 10 weeks so was always doing odd jobs or tasked with doing rather general tasks. However all work was interesting, no matter its scale and made sure I wasn't bored. The time spent without anything at all to do was limited as if I had no immediate deadlines to meet I was more than able to talk to people across the business and learn more about it.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a series of small tasks across the 10 weeks. Each needed to be done before a given deadline and were important for the running of the department. However there was no massive sense of responsibility overall. I would have appreciated taking on a larger project across the whole time that had with it a great deal of responsibility.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
In my degree, I think it will vary. The communication skills I have developed will certainly help with dissertation interviews and I'm sure more benefits will reveal themselves to me as I go into my next year of study.
Beyond my degree this experience will be absolutely invaluable - the vast range of skills and real world experience I think will help me in most places I go.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Excellent. Flexible working conditions mean we could work at home on Fridays and if you want to arrive earlier and leave earlier that is more than ok. Noone would ever give you a dirty look for leaving before any certain time. Every single person was so nice and friendly and that made it a really welcoming office.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Very well organised. We had 2 days of induction at the start which were clearly communicated to us. Throughout the 10 weeks there were regular communications from central organisers and we were already kept up to date on everything going on and always had someone to turn to if we had any questions.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had to do extensive online compliance training which took a very long time to complete. In terms of personal skills, these were more developed through the work than through any specific training. Had there been this sort of training it would have been useful, but I wouldn't say absolutely necessary.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Incredibly appealing. After experiencing working for Tesco as a buyer through this internship I would absolutely love to be offered a place on the graduate scheme. Its such a nice place to work and the job is so interesting that I'd love to stay on. There's loads of room to move around within and after the scheme that you can always be doing something new.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes we had lunch every day, went to the pub and had meals out quite a bit. The graduate and apprentice society organised lots of great events that meant there was always something on. Its really easy to get to know the other interns and grads. Couldn't have asked for more in this area.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Definitely high. The local area is very expensive as its so close to London and it was incredibly difficult to find somewhere to live for such an awkward amount of time - 10 weeks. Tesco didn't offer any support here, but some definitely would have been appreciated if it had been available.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Very poor in Welwyn - 2 bars and no clubs, but nearby towns are apparently better. You're also only 30 mins on the train from London so you can easily do something there.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
My team played football weekly at the onsite pitch but apart from that not particularly.