I found my placement year at TUI extremely enjoyable. My role was both fun and challenging, and I was able to gain real experience which will come of use during my final year at university. Right from the start I was made to feel welcome from those around the business, and was continuously supported throughout the year. The support network at TUI is extensive so I knew I always had someone to talk to if there were any issues, I was able to have regular catch ups with my manager, the L&D team, mentors and a buddy.
I did feel valued throughout my year on placement. On your placement you have real responsibility and hard work was often praised within my department. I felt more valued during busy periods where my workload was lesser than those around me and I was able to support my colleagues with their work. I think TUI is a great example of a company that celebrates those that have made a difference and gone above and beyond, it is very unlikely that someones work would go unnoticed.
As said previously, as part of the placement scheme I was offered an extensive support network which made me feel at ease. I had weekly catch ups with my line manager where I was free to discuss the work I was currently completing as well as an issues I may have. As well as this I also had catch ups with my senior manager, an L&D team member, a mentor from your chosen department and a buddy.
Within my role every day was different, some days were extremely busy others not so much. With this in mind though, even on the days I was not as busy there was still work I could get on with. This balance also allowed enough to focus on placement project work and complete my university assessments. Managers and colleagues were always able to help if I felt my work load was too much, and similarly I was able to offer my help when other colleagues were too busy.
Within all the roles on placement you're given real responsibility, if you weren't doing the job, someone else would have to. At the start of your placement you're given loads of support and guidance, and as the year goes on you slowly take on more responsibility and really taking charge. Once I found my feet in my role, I was able to make suggestions for my own destinations and drive change to make a difference.
I think the skills I have learnt during my placement year will be invaluable during my final year at university and beyond. I have been able to develop my communication and presentation skills, as well as using my own initiative on projects and many more. These skills will be of use during my final year assessments and group work projects. I have also now had experience of working within a professional environment, and learnt business etiquette which will come of use when entering a new role after graduation.
TUI had the right balance between professional and fun. The atmosphere in the office was always positive even on everyone's busiest days. There was always occasions arranged to socialise, whether this be team wrap ups, placement socials or Seasonal parties. There was often mini events hosted within the office with stalls, and product launch days included fun extras like mixing your own smoothie on an exercise bike or a Robbie Williams tribute act performance. The Commercial Smiles team also organised events to uplift everyone's spirits, celebrating seasonal events.
The placement was organised extremely well. At the start of the year we were presented with a four week training schedule to follow, which eased us into the role and we knew exactly what we were doing and when. When it was time to do the placement projects we were told in advance the structure so we were prepared. Due to a larger intake this year there were somethings that changed slightly but they were overcome very easily
From my first day I felt very invested in. I think you get as much out of TUI as you want to, if you want to learn as much as possible during your year you will be supported and encouraged. You are also offered four half days when you start which allow you to experience working within another team. As well as this you're given a mentor within a department of your choice, which allowed me to gain specific career advice for the future.
Future employment prospects at TUI are very likely, most placements before us all got offered roles to come back to after they graduate. It was very evident from the beginning that roles are normally offered to placements as long as you work hard throughout the year. During catch ups throughout the year I was often asked about whether I would consider accepting a role. However, understandably given the current global situation I was not offered a role.
The social scene was one of the my favourite aspects of working for TUI. Everyone was so social and friendly which means that there was often events planned amongst us. As placements we organised monthly socials, but as the year went on we would also meet up on our own accord for events. I also had monthly socials with my team which was a great way to build friendships with those that you work closely with.
I live near to Luton so I was able to live at home during my placement year which was really handy but for those that did move away it was not too expensive. Luton itself is not that expensive for socialising but the majority of the time when we went out we would go to London which can be quite expensive. However there are often student nights and deals that you can take advantage of.
There are some bars and clubs in Luton however we mainly went out to St Albans, Harpenden or London. The free shuttle bus stops outside the office and was able to take us straight to Luton Airport Parkway if we were going out straight after work. St Albans and Harpenden are also on the train line making them all very accessible. There is also a pub right next to the office which many would often stop off at after work on a Friday.
There was often team socials organised which was a great way to socialise with those in your teams in a more relaxed environment. Additionally there was also sports teams formed throughout the years for colleagues to join. Nights out were often organised as well across teams which anyone was welcome to join. The Commercial Smiles team often organised events for colleagues to get involved in after work, such as Movie Nights, Rounders Matches and Bingo etc.