1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My placement year at Renault was one of the best decisions I made. I was able to develop my knowledge and skill sets throughout my placement and was given a lot of responsibility to carry out my tasks. The work was hard but rewarding and has put me in great stead for my final year at university.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues were very encouraging and made me feel part of the team from the beginning. My work was constantly praised by everyone around the company, not just my manger, and I was able to see the value of my work.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Renault provided a great support network, whether that was through my manager and wider team, the HR department or by colleagues in other departments. Everyone wants to see you succeed and grow as an intern and there is always help if you ask for it. My manager and I set targets throughout the year to track my performance and progression.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Every day was a new day at Renault and I was involved in a lot of different projects across the business, as well as my daily tasks. There was very rarely a day when I had nothing on which was great as it allowed me to learn a lot and gain valuable experience as well as making a difference for the company.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Due to the nature of my job and the work I produced, there was a lot of responsibility and trust open me. Although this may seem daunting at first, it encourage me to work hard and gain the trust of those around me. At Renault, interns are a vital part of how the company works and you can easily see the impact you make.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I developed at Renault won't only allow me to succeed in my final year at university (arguably more than those who didn't take a placement), but they are transferrable skills I can bring towards graduate roles. I think this is invaluable as your understanding and skillset makes you more employable and distinguishes you from those who didn't take an advantage of a placement in their degree.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office often changed depending on the time of the month and which month you were in. During peak months of March and September, the office can become a hectic place, but also a great place to learn. Most departments tended to keep to themselves outside of cross-departmental projects, so you mainly stayed within your departments. Whether you department was 'fun' or not depended on the personalities present. I enjoyed my department as we were able to have a laugh whilst working hard.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The application process was easy and Renault were very accommodating to the fact I was on a study abroad programme throughout the bulk of the assessment period. The signing of the contract and further paperwork was also efficient. Although Renault gave us a guide to housing, I felt this could be better. For example, many of us found housing much cheaper than what was advertised as the 'norm' by Renault.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company had a structured performance programme to be done between you and your manager. This consisted of setting targets at the beginning of the placement and then again in the middle of the year. I had three performance meetings throughout the placement and an exit interview with the HR department.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Information regarding the graduate programme came from my manager of the other graduates within the business rather than from HR themselves but if you asked then you were given a wealth of information. The graduate scheme on offer was of keen interest to me and I will be applying to it when it opens.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Everyone was easy to get along with and approachable. There were twenty plus placement students in various different departments so it was easy to make friends and everyone in my placement year stayed as one big group. Renault also held social events which you could get involved with which was great.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Living down near London meant there was a higher price to pay for socialising. I lived in Watford and I loved the area, despite being a little expensive. I had the football stadium next door and ten minute drive to the city centre which is undergoing a lot of development. There is also great transport links to London through national rail or underground.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There were a few good bars around Watford, where I lived, and Pryzm being the major night club (amongst others). It was relatively easy to get into the city centre for a good night vibe. Due to the easy nature of getting into London, that was also an option but it could become expensive.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Many of the activities that occurred outside of work were organised by fellow interns or graduates. I participated in the football which was organised by Renault against other companies. Other than that, it was the interns putting forward options, such as a five-a-side football team to play on Monday nights.