Tesco developed a really interesting and exciting virtual programme, despite the little time they had to do so. We have had the opportunity to speak to a variety of people at all levels of the business and everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. The only improvement would be a better social side but this is expected given the internship now being virtual however they have still tried to integrate a more social aspect.
I have felt extremely valued from day one and it is clear Tesco really do care about their employees' physical and mental wellbeing. Steve and Dani, the programme organisers, have been amazing as friendly faces throughout, always making sure everyone feels happy and comfortable, particularly through regular optional sessions to just have a chat with them about anything and ask any questions. Everyone is really friendly and keen to help us and answer questions, whilst also wanting to know about us and our backgrounds and ideas which has made me feel very valued.
Everyone has been so willing to help in any way they can and we have had lots of virtual training sessions, as well as the opportunity to sign up to a huge range of courses if we want to. Our key contacts have made it clear they are always there if we need anything, as well as anyone else I've reached out to being more than happy to chat and help.
With the internship now virtual the area I am focusing on has changed, however sustainability is such a key issue for all businesses in the future so it has been really interesting to learn more about this area. I am also going to take some optional courses to upskill myself some more and having talks from areas around the businesses gives the opportunity to gain insight into a range of areas, possibly more than we would have if the internship were in person.
The internship was really well structured with a clear plan for each day from the start, with the rest of the time to work on our own projects and with it ending on virtual presentations. I would say some days, particularly earlier on, I wasn't really sure what to do be doing if we had a whole afternoon with no sessions, however the team really welcome any feedback and as we settled in more, we started scheduling extra sessions with other interns, even just for a coffee, which really helped!
Given it was online obviously it's hard to have the same atmosphere as if it were in person however it has still been so welcoming and all the Tesco team have made a real effort to make a great atmosphere. The less formal sessions eg coffee breaks have really helped with this, as well as the weekly catchup sessions with the internship organisers and all the other interns where we have a great opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions and just have a general chat in a very relaxed and open environment!
Tesco provided various training sessions including about resilience and virtual collaboration, but also about our own personal mental and physical wellbeing and how to look after this generally but also during our internship. They also give the opportunity to sign up to a variety of optional courses if we want to do more which is amazing.
As it's virtual, it's hard to see exactly what it would be like, but at the assessment centre (before Covid so in person) I got a feel for the culture and atmosphere and it was so friendly and I really enjoyed the day. It's hard to know what a typical day might look like but everyone is so friendly so you can make meetings with people in various different departments and ask them more about their role, everyone is more than happy to chat to us.
Again, as it's virtual it is a bit harder to see exactly but also really got a feel at the assessment centre and you can still get an idea from the sessions we have had. We had a session at the very start about Tesco's history and values which gave us a base understanding. Also everyone we've spoken to chats about their departments and it seems very inclusive and welcoming.
This has been really helpful in firstly confirming that Tesco really is a company I would love to work. Secondly, having had the opportunity to speak to people from all across the business, and some grads, as well as the organisers saying they can put us in touch with any area of the business if we want, has been so helpful in looking at particular areas I would like to work in.
The pay was extremely generous for this internship as pre-Covid it was meant to last 10 weeks but the virtual one was shortened to 6 yet we were still paid for 10, which was very much appreciated and kind of Tesco. For the assessment centre, they reimbursed travel and accommodation costs up to £50 which was also very generous.
Yes this was one of the best parts of the internship as we met people from all over the company and at all levels and the organisers were more than happy to try and put us in touch with people in any areas of the business.
Due to the nature of it being online and social distancing restrictions etc these were much more limited but given the circumstances the organisers put so much thought and effort into trying to make up for this and really encouraged our feedback and ideas on how to improve! eg coffee breaks, eating lunch over video meeting, virtual painting evenings.
Not massively, I know there is a gym on the campus and that employees (in normal circumstances) often take part in charity events eg race for life which is something I would definitely want to get involved with, however I guess these weren't really focused on as they cannot take place at the moment.
100% I am so grateful Tesco still put this on and put the effort into make such an interesting and exciting virtual programme. Steve and Dani, the organisers, have been amazing and so helpful in every way. Being able to speak to people across the business in Q&A sessions and everyone being so friendly and helpful, the variety of training, and our project work on sustainability projects have been so great to gain a variety of skills and insight. It has allowed me to discover that Tesco is definitely somewhere I would love to work longer term.
10th August 2020