1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Very enjoyable and diverse placement which really pushes you to learn and throw yourself in to multiple events, work streams, visits and many aspects of the business. Has the benefit of working in industry for 6 months also which is hugely beneficial and enjoyable. Requiring a different style of work and learning.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Felt very much a part of the team. As it is such a large organisation it is difficult to feel completely like one family, however within categories and business units there is a good family feel. This led to me volunteering for projects to help the team and wider team out further.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Support and guidance was usually very good. Sometimes a bit more support, especially around moving to supplier time, would have been useful as it made an already busy final month even busier and added a large amount of uncertainty. Especially as I was required to re-locate and find a property to live in.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Days typically were taken up with supplier visits, project work, meetings and wider business meetings. The work was diverse and enjoyable and there was never a moment that I was left with nothing to do. Towards the end it got extremely busy, mainly due to the nature of my project and re-location.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
Th project I was given was largely left for me to research, carry out, and present, having to arrange and organise cross category. On some occasions I was the single representative from the company at a product launch or meeting. This was a great learning, and aided my organisation and problem solving abilities.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I was fortunate enough to attend training in areas of interest which have aided my final year studies and will certainly aid my work in the future. Also I gained transferable skills if I ever wanted to work in another industry or organisation. The chance to work in all areas of the supply chain also gave me insights that will help me in whichever part of the industry I plan to work in in the future.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
As the business was in a tough time and there was a large amount of change occurring at times it was challenging, however most of the time there was a buzzing atmosphere, particularly around Christmas time. Everyone was friendly and it was a very open and comfortable office which was set up as a hot desk environment.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement was mostly fairly well organised, however was let down by the uncertainty of the supplier placement. My project took a while to really gain traction which led to a very busy and intense final month. It would have been helpful to have known where my second part of placement would be based so that I could begin to sort things out earlier.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The company were very good at investing in me, enabling me to travel nationally and within Europe to visit suppliers. I learnt a huge amount from these visits. The company also paid for training and corporate away days which were good for team building and extra knowledge for my day job.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I would consider working for Marks and Spencer again, however the final meeting I had upon return from the supply base was upsetting and disappointing.
Myself and the other placement student were set up for work within Marks and Spencer, only to have a reversal on this and a different outcome decided. This was a demoralising end to what was an otherwise great placement.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I made friends with the other placement students however there weren't any arranged socials or meetings for us all to enjoy. This meant that we would arrange these ourselves once we had found out who else were on placement. This could have been better from M&S especially at the beginning.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As the first 6 months were in London the cost of living, transportation and socialising was extortionate. The second half of placement having to re-locate at short notice was also expensive. Help with these could be much better as I was required to borrow money from parents to make it into work on some occasions.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
I didn't have enough money to experience the nightlife in London, however as it is in the city the nightlife is fantastic. Many great bars and clubs as you would expect, however they were expensive. Drinks with work colleagues near by the offices was also good with good transport links home.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
As I was commuting, I would get home at around 6.45 on a good day. If the trains experienced problems I would not reach home until 8.30pm on some occasions. This limited the activities I could do outside of work. There were also no activities that the company organised outside of work that I was aware of.