As the Retail Key Accounts Intern you are responsible for supporting the Key Account Managers on day-to-day tasks. The tasks provided are varied; varying from the admin duties, such as photocopying and answering the phones, to more complex tasks such as excel spreadsheets and analyzing the retailer websites.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My university placement year at BSH was a very enjoyable year in which I gained valuable experience which I will be able to take with me for my final year at university, but at the same time it has provided me with knowledge and skills I can use in the future going forward when applying for post graduate jobs.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
On first arrival everyone at BSH is very warm and welcoming and it enables you to feel comfortable within the working environment. The support which was provided within my department was wonderful and you were made to feel included from the start and this is something which could be said across all departments.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
The support provided throughout the year was exceptional - working for BSH enables you to feel valued within the team, and they were always there to help and offer support with the tasks and projects you were working on. You were never made to feel like you weren't able to ask questions or clarification which enabled me to grow as a person.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
The workload throughout my placement year was manageable - obviously there were times when it was more busy than others, but on average there was always tasks which needed to be completed, and there was never a day where there was nothing to do. You were always able to talk to your supervisor and tasks could be allocated where required, if you took the initiative to ask the question.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
For an intern position, I would say I was provided with a reasonable level of responsibility. There were a number of tasks I was allocated to at the start of my placement which I was responsible for doing on a weekly basis, for example the Sales Out Report and the Forecast Report. Having these tasks allowed me to gain confidence, but at the same time enable me to think I was trusted within the team to carry out the tasks.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I believe that there are a number of key skills in which I developed which will be invaluable going forward in my future life. Not only was there a number of training courses provided which I will be able to use in the future but also other skills such as time management and organisation which I have developed further since completing my placement year which I will be able to apply especially during my final year at university.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office is always very warm and welcoming. It never felt like it was an intense situation which was a nice feeling, as you never felt on edge or pressured into behaving in a certain way.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Initially, there was a slight lack of organisation in the ways in which the recruitment process commenced. The way in which BSH operates is that they wait for the deadline to close before communicating with applicants so if you were to apply when the position opened, you would be waiting months before hearing anything back which can make you think you have been unsuccessful at first.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
In the first week of starting my placement, I went on 4 different training courses which included product and brand training. This was an excellent starting point to the placement, as coming into a company where I had no prior knowledge on home appliances, this helped me to gain a basic understanding of the product portfolio in which BSH has.
There was also a number of personal development training courses which interns attended and these were beneficial in helping to build on the skills in which we already have and also how to develop these further.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Having spent my year on placement at BSH, and meeting graduates who had come back following their work placement year, it is definitely an option I would keep open. It is a great company to work for with a prominent position in the home appliances industry, so I wouldn't say I would rule it out completely.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
With BSH providing accommodation with those students on placement it helped for all of the interns to feel like a community. It was nice to have that support network among other interns, and we were able to do activities aside of work which helped to build the friendship between us. The relationship between the fellow interns definitely developed from a professional friendship to a social friendship for the future.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The housing provided is with walking distance of the offices, which made it very convenient going to work, but at the same time there isn't much going on in Wolverton meaning in order to do things and socialise you would need to go into Milton Keynes. This obviously increased the cost of going out but it made it more enjoyable than staying in.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Wolverton as a place has no nightlife, or evening activities aside from the local pub. As a result, this means that you would need to go into Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes has a range of bars and restaurants within different areas, so there is always something to do there but it does require a little planning among everyone.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Outside of the working day, BSH provides a yoga class and a keep fit class once a week which anyone in the company can participate in - free of charge. It could be considered a limited range of activities, but if these would be of interest to you then it will be great.