I found the year pretty tough. This was mainly due to having so much fun at University then having to go straight into full time. However, I did find the placement very enjoyable at times such as completing projects and working with others. Overall, I would say it was very tough at times and I found myself not enjoying myself but I am glad I did a placement because I learnt a lot and will enjoy 3rd year more at University.
I would say I felt valued by most of my colleagues in my team as they would always help me out and make me feel like I am apart of the team. However, I found that outside of the team, I would get ignored by people via email because I was student. Also people would dump admin work on me that they did not want to do but knew I would have to do it.
The support from management was really good. When I joined, I was given 3 months to settle in which made me feel very comfortable and allowed me to settle in. Even far into my placement I was still given support on things that were new which made me feel very comfortable within my role. Overall, I am very happy with the support I was given by my managers, the only thing I would say is that sometimes I felt a little forgotten when the manager was busy.
To be honest, most of the year I was very bored. Many of my daily tasks were discontinued after a few months of starting due to team movements. My management also changed 3 times over the year which meant I never really settle with a manager even though the management was good. To be fair, I could have challenged myself little more by asking my manager for more work but I did not want to be a burden.
My responsibilities were rather impressive as I was in charge of the budget for the team and the merchandise for Aftersales which meant I had to keep on top of money and stock all the time. I also was the head of the Online Service Booking which meant I got many inquiries on the system and how to use it etc. This was really fun and although I was not that busy, I did feel important because of these responsibilities.
I believe I applied a lot of my study work into my placement and now I feel I will never forget these things. As a result, going back to University I think what I have used and learnt on placement will massively help on my studies. Getting up every day early for example will make attending lectures a breeze. In addition, I have set a goal of achieving a first in my degree which I did not think I could achieve after 1st year.
The atmosphere was really amazing! Very relaxed and happy. I never felt under pressure to do anything and felt I could ask for help whenever I needed it.
Not too well to be honest! My management changed 3 times and I feel I was left in the dark a little bit. This was very frustrating for me as I had no work to do and no one to direct my projects to. However, I do believe I just got unlucky due to team movements. My student friends all seemed to have a more stable management so I can't say that everyone had the same problem.
Toyota invested alot of money into the students. We got 3 stages of Excel training alongside Outlook training and Publisher. This was so helpful and I really appreciated the extra help! I was very impressed with how much the company invested into us. Toyota also set us up with social events to break the ice with the students which was really nice. In addition, we also had a placement officer who we could speak to if we had any problems which was nice.
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
Personally, I want to go into a new job as I like new environments and new opportunities. There is a Toyota Grad scheme which looks very interesting because you get rotated around the business over a 2 year period which means you get a lot of experience. The salary is also really generous which is obviously very appealing to everyone in the student group. However, only one internal students gets hired from the group making it extremely competitive.
The student group was extremely social which was nice! We would meet up most weekends and do activities in around Epsom. This was a really nice part of the placement and made us all feel very comfortable in the office. My team was also really social, we would often go to the pub at lunch on Fridays which was something we always looked forward to. In addition, we had tea breaks everyday which was a nice break.
I lived at home during my placement so I cannot say for living costs. Although, from what the other students have told me, the rent is pretty expensive. The socialising costs were fairly expensive but there is an ASDA right by the office which is nice for a cheap lunch. The pubs in Epsom are unfortunately pretty expensive so we often would chill at peoples houses and then go out. There is a Wetherspoons in Epsom which was nice!
Epsom is not a great night out. There is two clubs; Fever and Boogie lounge. We never went to Boogie Lounge because it was renowned for being really small and just awful for a night out. We went to Fever once and it just wasn't that great compared to University nights out. However, Clapham Junctions is a few stops away on the train and that offered much more for a night out so if your willing to go the extra mile then its worth it.
There were many clubs and activities you could join after work. There is also a sports and social club which you can join by paying £5 a month and you get the events for free or a discounted price. Drinks also came free at the events which was nice! I joined cricket and found that really enjoyable. Other students joined football and tennis and said it was really fun so there are plenty of opportunities.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
1st July 2020