I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at TUI. The role was something completely different than I could have expected, but I enjoyed going to work every day as there was always something different and new to work on. The office, despite being in Luton, is relaxed yet professional, which created a really good atmosphere while being at work. The amount of responsibility given from the start really showed just how much trust the teams put into the placement students.
From the get-go, all the teams I worked with were incredibly welcoming and willing to help out when I asked any questions or needed any help with my work. The training programme really allowed us to get to know a large number of the traders and managers in the first 4 weeks, which really helped for a good working relationship throughout the year. Despite the COVID-19 crisis meaning I did not spend the full year in my role, I was immediately welcomed by colleagues from completely different departments, and not at any point did I feel like I was treated any different for being a placement student.
The entire team I worked with could not have helped out any more with my training and development on my placement year. I felt supported by every colleague I've worked with over the year, especially as they put their trust in my own work in making my own commercial decisions where needed. My manager continued to support me, even when we weren't working directly together during Coronavirus, and was always available if I needed any support or help.
The role was fundamentally based on being both reactive and proactive for the resorts I looked after throughout the year. Because of this, every day was different - but there was never a day that I couldn't find something to do. As the year progressed and I gained more confidence with the systems, it became easier to find a new task to look at independently. As well as this, there were always meetings with people from around the business, and the placement projects given ensured I was never bored at work.
Right from the get-go I was given ownership of a number of our resorts, and so there was lots of responsibility from the start of the year - which is one of the best bits about the placement scheme at TUI. We do the same job as everyone else in the team, and managers would actively encourage me to seek further opportunities for my personal development. The skills I've gained from this year will be invaluable in my future career.
The skills I've gained from the overall year will definitely help me in the final year of my degree, from presentation and public speaking skills, right through to time management and everything in between. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis has certainly meant that I've had to adapt to more independent working at home which will be especially useful in my final year where my studies may still be somewhat impacted by restrictions. I expect to use the general skills I've gained this year for the rest of my career.
The office was an incredibly relaxed place to work, but everyone there knew that they were there for a purpose. It was a real work hard, play hard environment! The trading teams take part in hot desking, which is great for getting to know people in the team on a more personal level - which really helps create a great working atmosphere. Unfortunately the office closed for the final months of my placement due to coronavirus, and I really missed the collective atmosphere which it had!
Even though the scheme is run by a team of volunteers from around the business - they give 110% to us as placements whenever we needed their help with anything. At the start there's a key 4 week training and handover period, which really helped to ease me into not only my role, but general full time working life. The scheme is run by a lot of former TUI placements, which is great as they really understand both the roles that we are doing, as well as generally being around for support at any time.
The company is great at promoting personal training and development, and it felt like they invested in me throughout the year. The placement scheme gives 4 half days which can be used to spend in different areas of the business to see how other departments work, as well as gaining connections for the future. In our placement meetings we were able to suggest speakers from different areas of the business that interested us. The development programme in trading was actively offered to us as placements, which really made me feel like a fully valued member of the team.
Unfortunately due to the coronavirus outbreak, I haven't been offered a role for when I finish my degree, but I would definitely return to the business in the future if opportunities become available.
The was a great social atmosphere within my team and we would regularly head out for team nights out from the office, as well as doing things during the day where possible - from heading out for a meal, through to ice skating in London at Christmas! The placement L&D team also facilitated social events for us as a group, which was great as we didn't all work directly with each other in the office.
Living in Luton is relatively cheap, and I lived in a house share with other placements which meant that the price wasn't overly expensive, however socialising in Luton wasn't great and so we'd need to go further if we wanted to go out. The train to St Albans and London wasn't overly expensive, and trains ran late into the night so it wasn't too restrictive. Luton also has good access to the M1 and so getting out and about with a car was fairly accessible.
There is very little nightlife in Luton so we didn't go out here. However, it is very close and easy to get the Thameslink train to London or St Albans so we went out here when we wanted to which meant that the nightlife wasn't too bad and we made the most of it. Where we lived had good access to both stations in Luton, and work offered a bus service to Parkway station from the office if we headed into London after work.
There are a few clubs run by people from work, such as football, netball and running. There's also a subsidised membership for the gym near the office so some colleagues go together. The office is fairly young, and so lots of people meet up outside work - including for a drink at the pub next door on a Friday afternoon! The placement team also organize regular socials as a placement team.