I've really enjoyed my placement at Toyota GB, as from day one everyone was really welcoming and would introduce themselves around the office. In particular as time has gone on I have looked at my team more like family than work colleagues. Another great bonus to the placement scheme at Toyota was having 20 other students in the same boat as yourself. All of which became great friends, and I will stay in touch with them far in the future. I was also lucky enough to travel to Cologne with some of the staff for a European 7- aside football tournament against other Toyota countries, from which we came home victorious! There where also many events throughout the year, including best companies day, which were all great fun to take part in!
As mentioned previously, my team became to have a family feel and I will miss them when I return to uni. In particular one of my team members felt like a big sister and someone who I could trust and go to for advice, whenever needed! Throughout the business, everyone is very supportive and will always listen to your opinion and help you out when needed. When you have done a piece of work, they are always quick to give good feedback and praise as well. Furthermore, people from all over the business would come to me as the subject matter expert of my area, looking for advice and my input on their project, which made me feel valued.
My team were really good at giving me support and advice whenever it was required, and would always make time in their day to help me. My manager would always give me a hand if it was needed but would challenge me to think about it first, so as to support in my personal development. Furthermore, we also had regular 1-2-1's to discuss projects and talk about what I could do to improve. I also attended many different training courses which really helped me improve many different skills.
My days would vary quite often by way of the tasks that I was doing, but I was always busy! I was put in charge of the Toyota survey programme. So as the subject matter expert, there was always BAU tasks to do regarding this. As well as BAU, I would be analysing the survey results and other data that we captured to try and create a story out of this. We would then work to turn this into insight to share with the rest of the business, which I would be working on. Furthermore, I would also be assisting my team in some of the many other projects that we were involved with.
I was made the business owner and subject matter expert of the survey programme, which carried a lot of responsibility. Centres in our network rely on this in order to find out what their customers have been saying and how they can improve their customer experience. As well as this, the rest of the business had a large interest in the results and analysis, as Toyota is a very data driven business. We would use these results to drive change. As well as this I was given roles with significant responsibility in some of the projects we were involved in.
I have learnt lots of skills, both in the way of personal skills and functional skills. I'm sure that I will use all of these in the future, wherever my career might take me. Learning basic skills, like how to speak to colleagues, chair a meeting, take notes, send out reports and more, will all be very useful come next year at uni and further. Furthermore, before I started my placement I didn't really know what area I would like to specialise in. but since working in the data and insights team, I have considered data analysis and insight creation as a direction I would like to take my career. I now also have a wealth of skills from this which will support me in this choice.
The atmosphere in the office was very friendly and welcoming. Everyone would say hi when passing in the corridor, no matter who you were and who they were. There was a close feeling amongst the team, which was helped by team 'away days', which were days/ evenings where we would do something outside of work to build relationships. Having good relationships was important as this helped with the office 'banter' within the team. As a close group of students it was also really good to know you weren't far away from one of your friends too. The fun events, such as best companies day and Christmas party were also really great fun and were great fun to be involved with.
The placement was very well organised. In the first couple of weeks we had meeting with each department in the business to introduce us and find out more about what they do. There was also some great training that was organised for us, such as email and excel training. Essential sklls that I went on to use all the time. As well as this training, we could request further training throughout the year and they would put on sessions for us.
Similar to the previous answer, we had many different training events set up throughout the year, so we could work on improving skills that we needed. Some examples of this were excel and email training. If we felt required we could also request further training and they would put on sessions for us, such as presentation training. Furthermore, we all had to do a personal project (PDCA) which aims to teach you a good way to approach a project and useful tools along the way. I felt this really helped with personal development.
I have really enjoyed my placement at Toyota, so I will definitely be applying to the graduate scheme. The graduate scheme interests me, particularly because I now know what a great company Toyota is to work for and this is something I would like to experience again. Furthermore, the graduate scheme consists of you doing 3, 6 month stints in different departments, which will give me great exposure to the rest of the company and other jobs which will help me make a decision as to what to specialise in, in my future career.
Fortunately there was 21 students on the placement and we all got along really well and became really good friends. I will stay good friends with some of them for a long time. Some of the students lived together, so we would go and hang at their house some time. We would regularly meet up outside of to either go on nights out, have house parties or do another activity, such as the driving range. Some of us even joined the same football team for the year.
Luckily for me I lived in at home for the year as my family lives in the area, so the cost of living was very cheap and I have been able to save some money! The cost of a night out would vary, depending on how much you drink. The prices of drinks is fairly standard (slightly more expensive than uni prices, but cheaper than London). The closer you get into London the more expensive your night out would get, with drinks costing more as well as the travel.
The nightlife was good. There is a couple of clubs in Epsom (One much better than the other), as well as many other bars and pubs that you can go to. You could also get a taxi/ train into Clapham, Guildford, Kingston or even into London as it is not too far away, where the nightlife is endless. As there were 21 of us on placement we also had a lot of house parties which were good fun too!
There were many opportunities you could get involved with. There was the sports and social club, which had lots of different events that would run weekly and on an ad hoc basis. There was a kick about every Monday night, as well as a football tournament in Cologne against other Toyota organisations that I was lucky enough to go to. In addition to this there was also cricket in the summer! There were also discounted tickets to the theatre as well as the Epsom Derby Race day, as well as many other events that were run!