Some aspects of the placement were stressful and I certainly felt the pressure, however overall it was a really enjoyable experience, where I felt welcomed by my team and completely supported. There were also multiple team outings which really meant that we became closer and the work environment was an enjoyable one to be in. The long hours took some adjusting to, especially going from a university lifestyle where I could work my own chosen hours, however this did not take too long to get used to.
I felt incredibly valued by my colleagues and felt part of the close knit team very early into the start of my placement. I felt that any contributions I made during team discussions were genuinely listened to, and that I was completely including in everything going on, from office restructures to nights out. I also think that the independence I was given in the placement as well meant that by opinion was valued, and I genuinely contributed to the team.
One of the key things I appreciated about my time at Randstad, was the support I felt from my team and from my supervisors. Whenever I felt uncertain about anything, I always knew there was a meme we of the team who would be willing to help at the drop of a hat, and give a clear and informed solution to whatever query I was having. There was also a lot of guidance in terms of what I was looking to get out the placement, and assistance in how to achieve this.
There wasn’t a day within Randstad where there wasn’t something to do, and my days were always filled with something and if not, I was doing something wrong. Structure was provided with a day planner, as well as weekly meetings with my manager to discuss goals for the weak as well as overall business plans for the longevity of my desk. As recruitment involves aspects of both selling and recruiting, this meant that the days were easily split, and alongside admin it meant there was always something to do.
At the beginning of my placement, I had less responsibility as I was still learning - this was massively appreciated as it meant I was allowed to make mistakes with confidence that there wasn’t going to be many major repercussions and I could learn in a much less intimidating situation. However, as my placement went on and I grew in confidence, I was given a lot more responsibility and independence, which increased the pressure I was under, however also increased how much I enjoyed the placement as I felt there were more opportunities to push myself.
Time management was a key skill that was developed, that I feel will be incredibly beneficial when completing my degree, especially with the meeting of deadlines and being able to manage a timetable more effectively. The ability to deal with pressure is also a skill that has been massively improved, meaning that if there is a particularly hard module I have chosen, the pressure put upon me by this would be something that I am much more use to now, allowing me to deal with it in a much more healthy way.
The atmosphere was very healthy within the office, with it being a very easy place to speak up if something was wrong, and a good feeling of solidarity when we were working. It also created a very effective working environment, where you felt like you could work very effectively and efficiently without being distracted. It was also very welcoming, and did not give any feeling of intimidation when I had first joined the team initially.
The work placement was set up reasonably well, with who I would report to being made very clear to me, as well as a set of training being ready for me to complete as soon as I came in. This meant that I felt comfortable and ready to start as soon as I joined the company, and it wasn’t quite as intimidating as it could have been. There were some aspects that weren’t made quite as clear to me, however it only took me asking for these to be rectified.
There were many routes of training that the organisation provided for me that were very much appreciated. Firstly, this included 2 sets of out of office training in which I was sent down to different locations in the UK and provided training by Randstad’s specific training team, which was precise and informative. These were also both roughly a week long. Secondly, my supervisor sat next to me during my placement, and was always available for me to ask any questions and gave me guidance on anything I was ever struggling with.
I think it has been made quite clear to me that once I finish my degree, I will have opportunities available to me within Randstad to rejoin them, and pursue a career with in their organisation, which is incredibly reassuring to hear. After seeing the way the company is structured, and the opportunities available within Randstad providing I work hard and stay focused, I think the idea of potential future employment with them is very tempting.
As I was the only placement student in my office, I didn’t actually come across that many other placement students that often - however I was part of a relatively young office when he therefore I did not feel too out of place when I joined. One of the training excursions I went one however was for exclusively placement students, and this therefore was an opportunity to meet them and discuss their experiences, which I found very useful.
I was based in the Leeds branch, which meant that my cost of living was very manageable. My rent was very easily covered by the salary that Randstad had provided to me on my placement, as well as the cost of travel into work everyday. I chose not to live at home for the pavement, and instead live invented accommodation with other young professionals in order to maintain my independence, which meant that the cost of living was slightly higher.
Being based in Leeds, it meant that the nightlife available to me was very good, and there were many pubs, and bars available for me to go after work of on a weekend. It being a student area as well meant that there was a very good selection of clubs, that were easy to make use of on the weekend, and meant that my social life was still very maintainable even whilst still working for Randstad.
There weren’t many opportunities available provided by Randstad for activities outside of work, however I am aware that they provide a charity day which means that if you wanted to do a charitable activity, Randstad would give you a day off for free to do this. Leeds however does have many sports clubs available for things to do in your spare time, for example whilst I was on my placement, I took up taekwondo with a colleague.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
27th July 2020