I found that it was an exceedingly engaging and enjoyable experience working within trading, the work was complex, interesting and unique as it is a business function you are not likely to find outside the industry. The office too had a great feeling about it, a more casual office but one where you really feel that people are trying to get the best results. It is a place that I enjoyed going to everyday.
Right from day one I felt like I was a part of a strong team that only wanted to help and support me wherever possible whether that is a senior manager making me feel comfortable in meetings or my senior analyst sitting down and going through processes step by step. There is a great team spirit within trading and everyone just wants to achieve their best. There was a real drive in trading that was noticeable compared to other functions
We started in trading with an intensive and thorough 4 week training programme to cover the fundamentals of the job role which gave us a good springboard to start trading from. My manager was a very knowledgeable trader and knew processes and conventions intimately and while in trading there’s was always someone on hand to help me if I needed it.
During the latter stages of my placement I moved teams to help during the COVID situation and sadly did not receive the same kind of support that I had within my own team however this I believe was because of the new processes that were being developed and in many cases I was the first to work on them.
As the Head of Early Trading often said, you could trade for 24 hours and still not do everything so naturally there was always something to be looking at or adjustments to be made and this meant there was new challenge to face everyday. I would often arrive early at the office to set myself up because once the day started you often wouldn’t stop!
Again, once the pandemic hit this became less of a daily occurrence and there was even one occasion I had not been given any work for 3 days which is frustrating when you’re wanting to maximise your experience
In trading you have direct responsibility for the performance of your resort and even as a placement student if those resort underperform then you are directly accountable for the results. The best thing about the scheme as a trader was that I was equally as responsible as a normal executive which provides you with invaluable experiences because at the end of the day it is down to you. On top of your resorts you are also given a coordinator role and with that you have to often oversee the performance of that area (such as Villa’s) and suggest how your colleagues can improve.
Although a finance based role, as an accounting student I haven’t had the opportunity to use any of my knowledge directly, it has given my invaluable experience in wider soft skills that are so essential when entering the workplace. This role allows you to become an independent worker yet at the same time you will be expected to become a great team player. It has given me the space to demonstrate my adaptability, accountability, creativity and you receive that constructive criticism that helps you improve and better yourself.
The office is a great place to be, it is such an energising environment to work in as well as having those spaces to break out into if you need it. Everyone there feels like they are in the business for a purpose and the was always a real sense of togetherness whether that be through hot dealing or all coming together for a town hall.
That was the biggest blow about the end of my placement because the office was closed which meant I missed out on maximising the experience there
Hands down this has to be one of the best schemes because of the huge support network that surrounds you as a placement. You have a dedicated team who run the scheme along side their own roles and they make the scheme what it is. Ordinarily there is the opportunity to take part in business projects and charity work or do mystery shopping trips into a retail store and it is all created specifically for the placements while they are in the business.
There is a vast array of personal development opportunities when you’re a placement student. In a directly work related way, I had weekly one to ones with my manager where we could discuss any feedback he had for me and we also received 360 feedback collected anonymously from the whole team about where you could improve and what you’re good at.
Outside of that Commercial run a programme called TODP and the placement scheme has 2 guaranteed places on these and they are a great way of widening your knowledge of different business areas. On top of this there are also insight days and half days where you can spend half a day with another department
Sadly this is a very difficult time for the travel industry as a whole so there had been a total stop in recruitment when I left the business which is a crying shame because it is a place that i would love to go back and work. It was honestly my dream job and I hope that there is an opportunity for me to come back to TUI at some point in the future
While Luton isn’t exactly a social hub, the easy train links into St Albans and London mean there is a great social scene and it being a really young team means there is always something going on. The placement team also did a great job in facilitating social events for all of us on the scheme and often resulted in some rather entertaining trips!! On top of that there was the Cyprus conference which was a ball
I can’t really comment on the cost of living however socialising wasn’t as expensive as you might think!
As previously mentioned Luton is not the place to go but London is so accessible that it just doesn’t matter and of course that means the nightlife is just unbeatable because of the sheer variety of things that are on offer
There was a few clubs run by colleagues but nothing too major but if you wanted to do something then guaranteed you’d always find a willing volunteer to go with !