1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I really enjoyed the supply chain internship because I was given the responsibility to complete projects with potential to make real change in the business which was rewarding. The culture at Tesco is very relaxed and welcoming and people will always make time to talk to you which made the experience.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Interns are definitely valued because you get given real work to do and your input is important. You are very integrated into your teams because you work with them for 10 weeks and you will go to team meetings, calls etc. where you are treated as equal to other colleagues.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I was given enough support with my manager ensuring we had regular catch ups to check my progress. My only criticism is my manager and team worked out of the country a lot so I was often alone in the office but there are always other people to ask for help if I needed it.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was almost always busy because I had ownership over two projects which took up my time. There were inevitably lulls in my work but I just told my manager and we worked out the next steps for my projects or other work I could do. There was also opportunity to go on supplier visits and team days and so on which took up some time.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I had two projects which I was doing independently so I was given a lot of responsibility. My manager let me get on with the projects how I wanted to and didn't get to involved in the details e.g. making calls with suppliers. Whilst this was slightly overwhelming at times it meant I had ownership over my work.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I developed my interpersonal skills because I dealt with a lot of different internal and external stakeholders in my internship which will be useful for the future. I also developed my technical skills on excel which is a valued quality. Also, you can access a variety of skills workshops (the same as 'normal' colleagues) which are great for personal development.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere was friendly as people were always willing to chat or give you an insight into the projects they were working on. The dresscode is very casual and hours are very flexible which helped with a relaxed atmosphere. The campus itself is nice and almost feels like a university campus.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
With the exception of the first week where my manager was on holiday and I didn't know where I stood, the internship was very well organised. The 10 weeks is only loosely structured with much coming down to your function but there are some centrally organised check ins and events.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
As an intern all training opportunities available to full time colleagues are also available to you. This includes training on the tesco leadership skills as well as more technical skills workshops. Many interns get the chance to learn different softwares and systems too which I personally didn't but if I'd asked to I imagine arrangements would have been made.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There seems to be a clear progression from the internship to the graduate scheme or other roles in the company if you impress staff. Even if you decide you don't want to move into roles at Tesco in the future, gaining an insight into retail in general is really useful.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
The internship itself is very sociable because there are around 30 interns in head office who you meet at the beginning and can keep in touch with. There are a couple of intern meals which you can go to. In my part of supply chain colleagues were friendly but tend to drive home to different places so I didn't spend much time out of the office with them.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home during the internship and its quite expensive to commute to welwyn by train because the train from london is about £12 a day. Other interns rented rooms with families in Welwyn Garden City/Hatfield for reasonable prices which worked well for them. The alternative is to live in London which is obviously expensive.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Welwyn garden city is a small commuter town as are nearby towns e.g. hatfield so there is not much nightlife at all. There are a couple of pubs in town but it's not a busy place at all. London is a 30 minute train ride away so that's always an option.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
My function had a netball and football team you could get involved in. There was also a supply chain charity team so you could volunteer with other colleagues locally or get involved in fundraising. However apart from that I wasnt aware of many other opportunities, especially amongst tesco as a whole.