1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have gladly enjoyed my internship. This internship allowed me to learn more about myself as well as learn more about how a large organization operates. I felt like it did not really match my field of expertise, but nevertheless I have learnt more as a result and I was able to take a lot of initiatives that further developed my learning.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
My colleagues always provided help for me when I was in need of it. Not only were they there to assist me, but they also directed me to the right people whenever they were not able or available to answer my question at that very moment. Overall, the atmosphere with my colleagues was great and they played a big part in making this a fun and successful placement.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager was not equipped with the knowledge to support me in the projects I was carrying out. The drawback was thus that I had to reach out to other people to get my questions answered. Nevertheless, he guided me and helped me prioritise tasks whenever they were piling up.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
My daily routine varied greatly. It started out very slow with my manager being away for two weeks after one week into my placement. This caused some boredom, but fortunately things started to build up. I would not say that I had the greatest workload, despite the small daily tasks I was doing and the project I was working on. I would have appreciated it if there were more weekly tasks and more meetings to attend.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given quite a lot of responsibility, also because I took a lot of initiatives myself and expressed my knowledge over certain things. I was allowed to set up plant wide meetings and assist managers on higher level with matters that concerned the whole department rather than solely the bottom line.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I do not think that there were a lot of trainings in general, and even less that I could apply in my studies. However, I have learned a lot of a large organization and how to manage it. Additionally, I have learned how to effectively run meetings and this placement has surely strengthened my communication skills. These are certainly skills that I will apply throughout my career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
At first, it was a bit of a stressed environment. People had an immense workload and there was a lack of motivation. I feel that that has turned around now, people are working together as an team and team events and workshops have been reintroduced. The standups have become more effective and people come to work with a smile.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There were a lot of IT issues when starting my internship. First of all, it took 3 weeks before my skype was operating properly. Before then, people could only contact me via email. Furthermore, Youtube was my main learning source during this placement, but this website was blocked for the first two months so I had to work at home during the evenings to progress my reports further.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I feel like there was never a plan for taking up international interns into the actual business. At no point in time did I have the feeling that I could potentially stay at the company for a longer period of time. I believe that the company only attracts new blood from apprenticeships and graduate programmes.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Personally, I would not wanna work in such large organization while I am still operating in the lower levels. I would rather go to a small enterprise first which allows me to gain a broader experience and only come back when I attained a management role. Therefore I feel that there is not a future employment within the next 5 to 10 years.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Yes, definitely! Not only did we have a lot of social evenings and great connections with each other, but we also had lot together frequently and intern circle meetings. Some interns were able to organize a lot for other interns. I am very grateful for having done the Paint tour.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
The cost of living was very expensive, I paid 750 pounds a month and food and drinks etc. are all very expensive in Oxford. While I live close to the plant and a bus stop, I am still 15 min from the city centre. Fortunately I live with 3 other BMW interns so we have a great time together. BTW: I don't think socialising and cost of living should go on one axis.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
In my area itself there was not really a nightlife apart from my housemates and me having a good time together. But as I mentioned, we can still go to the city centre. The centre of Oxford has a lot of places to go to and it is very crowded too
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
yes, while you work 37 + hours a week, you will still have time for a lot of fun things out of work. A lot of this "free" time is due to the fact that the working hours are so early, which means you are usually off early as well.