I have thoroughly enjoyed my placement at VWG. It has given me an introduction on how such a large scale business operates and given me my first professional job experience. We had a lot of opportunities to explore our own departments and beyond, as well as attend different automotive events and come along to field visits. We were very much treated like a proper company employee and not just a placement student.
I felt very valued by my team and colleagues. They were welcoming and supporting - I will definitely miss my team. I felt included in discussions, team events and they relied on my advice for certain things.
I was given a lot of support, especially at the beginning of my placement. I was given guidance and advice on various tasks which helped improve my performance. If there was ever something I struggled with, my line manager (or anyone in the team or wider brand who knew more about the topic) would always find time to walk me through the tasks. I also received a lot of support during a bereavement period and couldn't have asked for anything better.
It greatly varies on what's going on in the department at any given time. There have been weeks where I have been so busy I've volunteered to come in early and stay late (this didn't happen often) to deal with the workload, and there have been weeks were not too much was going on - this allowed my to focus on my involvement in undergrad organised projects.
I was given quite a lot of responsibility - sometimes even surprising amounts but it was great to be trusted with it. Overall, I think the level of responsibility given is accurate - you are expected to figure out most things on your own however there is support available and your work would usually get checked by your manager before it's finalised.
I am very excited to see where and how I will be able to use the skills I have gained. I definitely hope this knowledge and newly gained business awareness will positively impact the quality of my final year uni work and improve my chances of landing a graduate role.
Overall it was alright however you could definitely feel the stress of month-end at times. Due to introducing the SEAT sub-brand CUPRA a lot of workload has increased for everyone in the office, however all colleagues have been nothing but helpful and supportive. Month-end-munch was a lovely tradition of getting together with everyone in the Brand on last Friday of the month and having lunch together, along with being updated on the latest achievements - I think this was a great way to life the morale. It was also really nice to finish early on Fridays and there were opportunities to work from home.
I think it was okay, however it probably could have been better organised. Few of the activities listed in the placement advert I cannot recall happening, and some of the training courses were cancelled and never rescheduled. We also had an expectation to deliver undergrad group projects, however the start was heavily delayed and due to Covid-19 I am not sure they will ever be finished and presented. On the other hand, the first week was very well organised - we had an HR and Health&Safety briefing, got to collect out cars on the first day and then attend courses to immerse us in the new job roles. I think a lot of it is what you make of it yourself - I signed up for courses I felt were beneficial for me, as well as sought out opportunities to take part in field visits.
We were some mandatory courses to attend (introduction, driver safety, Excel etc.) and many other to choose from in MyLearning (your manager had to approve your request to attend so you had to explain why it was beneficial for your self growth). I was happy with the level of opportunities available to me.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
I would absolutely love to return to VWG as I absolutely love how committed the company is to carrying out their duty of care for their employees. I have learned and taken part in so much - and would absolutely love to do more, and the graduate scheme with its rotations would be the perfect opportunity. However, the applications are very competitive with about 6 places for 40 students who have had similar experiences in the business making it more difficult to stand out.
Yes, there were plenty of opportunities to socialise with both undergrads and grads. The company didn't really facilitate any of these though so it was up to you to get involved.
Living in Milton Keynes was more expensive than in my uni city however as it is closer to London it was to be expected. I would suggest looking for houses of 4 to save on rent however as this isn't a uni town, there aren't many that have a licence allowing 4 people from different families living together. Speak to cohort before you to find the best houses. As for the socialising, taxis and drinks were pretty expensive.
The nightlife was a bit bleak with only one nightclub in the whole area (Pink Punters (very very fun though)) but there was plenty of bars and restaurants. There was always the option to travel down to London though as it was only 30ish minutes by train.
There were a limited number of sports clubs to get involved in. Some of my friends were involved in MK Athletics club however I mostly stuck with gym (you can get 50% off annual fee through work which is amazing!). As a general advice you will probably want to get that gym membership as you will be spending most of your day at a desk.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Administration/Secretarial, Auditing/Tax, Automotive, Commercial Law, Consumer Products/FMCG, Customer Service, Financial Management, Marketing, Property/Real Estate, Retail, Sales, Voluntary
3rd June 2020