I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at J&J - I had so many great opportunities and the company really values its placement students.
I was given so much responsibility as a placement and really felt as if I added value to my team and the wider organisation in the projects I was involved in.
I had two great managers - they were really supportive of all the projects that I was part of, and also actively encouraged my involvement with other functions and teams across the business, which meant that I was able to build skills in other areas.
The team that I was part of always ensured that I had a good amount of work that I felt comfortable with. Naturally within the business year there are going to be times that are busier than others, but as long as you communicate when you do feel overwhelmed/don't have many projects keeping you busy, your team will be accommodating and support you. I was also involved in the eCommerce team which is a super exciting part of the business to be in, and there are always things you can get on board with - especially during a global pandemic!
I honestly felt as if I was given a lot of responsibility within my team. I believe I had good visibility across the business - interacting with senior level stakeholders throughout the year. I also led a summit in Switzerland and was given a great deal of responsibility here. I really think it's about putting yourself forward for opportunities that come your way and making sure your enthusiasm shines through - this is definitely recognised at J&J.
I really feel as if I've developed and learnt invaluable skills at J&J that will help me progress with future opportunities.
Initially, I was positioned in a building on the site that was quite empty and relatively quiet - I prefer to work in a lively environment and so I communicated this to my manager and I moved position to another office on the industrial park. Here, it was super lively and really good fun - filled with really inspiring individuals and regular office activities.
I don't think the onboarding process was as smooth as it could have been (I think I received several very different job descriptions for the role I applied for). I also think that the management of the local and regional placement positions could be improved - I think I felt a bit left out of lots of the local placement activities having been positioned in a regional team.
There were lots of opportunities to sign up to personal development workshops, and the team I was in definitely invested a lot of time in ensuring I was focussing on areas of development that I had specified.
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
I've thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at J&J and really hope that I will be able to return in the future.
My placement cohort was definitely very sociable - partly down to things that the company organised for us, but also due to our own proactivity to organise social events outside of work. This was definitely made more challenging for us this year having experienced a global pandemic, but we found ways around this and still made the most of our time as the 2019/20 placement student cohort.
Maidenhead is relatively expensive to live in (although I lived with a friend's mum and so had significantly discounted rent), however you can find really nice places to eat and drink that aren't crazily expensive.
Maidenhead isn't the best for nightlife but it definitely depends on the group of people you go out with! Also, London/Reading are both really close and so you can hop on a train and experienced much better nightlife there!
I think this was mainly down to each individual to look into - it depends on the type of person you are, whether your proactive about finding things to do outside of work, and also whether you can find people who want to engage in the same activities with you.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Design, E-Business, Graphic Design, Internet/e-Commerce/New Media, Marketing, Media, Sales
3rd July 2020