My placement with Lidl was extremely eye-opening and I thoroughly enjoyed my year learning in depth about the food retail industry and training in various management roles. The placement has allowed me to develop my employability and transferable skills massively which will aid me during my final year at University and future employment. The rotational scheme that Lidl offer allowed me to work in Sales, Logistics, Administration, Training, Recruitment, Payroll and run my own regional cost project! Lidl offered me a challenging placement that pushed me out my comfort zone, provided with an incredibly supportive professional network, developed my personal and professional abilities, a fantastic experience with endless opportunities I am grateful for.
For one of the many reasons I applied to Lidl in the first place, the culture and environment at Lidl was what I loved about my placement year. Every area of the company I had the opportunity to work within I was welcomed with the friendliest and most helpful colleagues. I was provided with endless support and training from my line management and there were never too many questions! My placement continued during Covid-19 and I felt an extremely valued team-member at work. I was able to offer support to many departments that required extra assistance during this difficult time in which I learnt more than I ever imagined.
The guidance and support provided by my supervisors was amazing. From the beginning of my placement I was given a full training plan for the year which was extremely useful so that I could visually see what I would be doing day-to-day. I was made to feel welcome since my first day and my confidence has flourished working in such a comfortable working environment. I developed good relationships with my managers in each area and if I had any issues or questions I had no doubt that they would be addressed.
My time as a Shift Manager in stores, especially as it was Christmas, was definitely the busiest role I did as there was always a job/task that could be done and it was certainly a more physically demanding role. However, I much prefer to be busy and productive than to be stood around learning/doing nothing as this is what a placement year is for at the end of the day! My time in Logistics/Admin was slightly different as being 'busy' was more to do with meeting deadlines and keeping to schedule which definitely developed my organisation and time management abilities.
If you are somebody that tends to shy away from responsibility and accountability, then this placement isn't for you! I absolutely didn't expect to be handed the keys to a store within my first month, run my very own regional project to present to the executive team, or visit 60+ stores in the UK conducting audits. Invaluable experience that I won't forget. I was also given responsibility to telephone interview applicants for roles and personally decide who to recruit which was something I hadn't any experience doing but I was trusted to do so.
Undoubtedly the skills i have developed during my placement year will be beneficial to my final year of studying and potential roles in the future. I have developed my CV substantially by the vast amount of departments I have worked in.
I was only based in offices during my time in Admin and the atmosphere was supportive and fun. Everybody worked together as a team and all my colleagues positively impacted my training/learning. There was good communication between different departments in the offices which I found useful for finding out extra information, solving problems and getting to know everyone in general!
My placement was organised well. However, for unforeseen circumstances during the year my training plan couldn't be completely honoured and unfortunately I was unable to visit head office. It is, however, generally a well structured programme that has enabled me to work in over five different departments which is unique to the majority of placements offered by companies.
As mentioned previously, from the start of my placement I was provided with a structured training plan for my learning. This involved a lot of hours invested in internal training courses during my time in store which gave me chance to meet with a lot of new or very experienced diverse employees. These were very helpful to learn the theory behind processes and practices that being a Shift Manager in store involved, as well as hearing other stores staff experiences/knowledge. I had regular appraisals in each department that allowed me to see what level I was working at and what I could do to improve in the role.
Above 25 days holiday
After my placement with Lidl my future employment options have been made clear to me during my time and I am optimistic about returning to Lidl and potentially building a career. They are a great company to work that care for employees and I 100% recommend the placement scheme to any undergraduates considering doing a year-in-industry.
In my region, there was two of us as placement students. The time in Sales meant we didn't work together or know each other very well at the time as they try to put you in a store that is most convenient to where you live. However, when we moved to the regional distribution centre we spent a lot of time working and learning together which I enjoyed. During the national meetings with other placement students from around the country we all got on really well so I looked forward to these events.
I lived at home throughout my entire placement and I was a 5 minute drive from my store which was extremely convenient. It was 25-30 minutes drive to my Regional Distribution Centre which increased my cost of living slightly more paying for fuel there and back everyday but this was not much of an issue for me. As I was already roughly from the area socialising was just normal for me, I knew of places to eat/go out etc. but I definitely found working full time hours a big change in the beginning!
I can only really speak for nightlife in my hometown which is 25 minutes away from the regional distribution centre which is great, lots of restaurants, bars, cinemas etc. No issues with finding something to do on a night/weekend!
Lidl works endlessly to support the NSPCC, there were different events held to try and raise money for the charity.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Administration/Secretarial, Auditing/Tax, Business Management, Charity/Non Profit, Consumer Products/FMCG, Customer Service, Human Resources, Recruitment, Retail, Sales, Transportation
1st September 2020