My placement was very enjoyable, the team I joined are great and made me feel very welcome straight away. I was placed under a mentor and the support system Nissan provide is excellent. The work was challenging and well managed, however the only reason this is not 10/10 is because sometimes (particularly towards the start of the placement) it was quiet and a little boring. Other than that and Covid related disruption I could not have asked for a better placement.
The department I joined made me feel welcome from the start. My close team of 5 were amazing and are still very valued friends. They helped me settle in during a difficult period for the team and really are a great bunch. The rest of the department were also very welcoming and after a few weeks I felt like I had been there for much longer. In addition to this, management were great towards me, helping me to settle in.
The mentor which I was assigned was excellent, he is an expert in the area we worked and helped me out with everything I needed. The mentor system at Nissan really is great. On top of this management were always on hand to assist with any issues and my manager in particular took time to set me specific tasks and duties. There is also a placement presentation scheme which was great to help practice presentation skills.
At the beginning of my placement my work was quite slow, this was unfortunate and I spent quite a few days bored. At the time did raise this and the team did all they could to give me some tasks to do. However as time went on I began to pick up more and more projects, this quickly filled up my time and I ended up busy. My advice would be to be patient and wait to learn your role further.
At Nissan placements are given a real job role straight away so there is actual responsibility straight away. Fortunately placements usually get a hand over pack from the previous student to help you learn your role. I was given responsibility early on and this developed as time went on. After a few months I was allowed to work solely on projects with multiple stakeholders which should lead to real business changes ad cost savings in the future.
My placement at Nissan helped me to develop professionally to a huge extent. In particular I practiced office etiquette and got used to communicating via email. Supplier management is a big part of the company and this is a great skill to develop as it will assist in future careers. At Nissan, placements are asked to give a series of presentations to upper management, which although daunting is excellent for practicing presentation skills. These skills will be great for future careers and finishing my studies.
The general atmosphere in my office was positive and and professional. Nissan is not the most modern company and some of the views of older generations were still enforced in some areas. However in my department there a more relaxed feel where often people would have a laugh or giggle in between tasks. However without disrupting others in the process. Overall I enjoyed the office, particularly because the team I was placed in were never boring.
The induction and beginning of the placement were structured and organised excellently, all placement were inducted together and sent off to their individual departments. After this it fell to the department itself to be organised, I had a slow start to my placement but this was due to other external factors. There were specific managers in charge of the placement students who held a monthly meeting with us to discuss how things were going, this was really useful.
Placements were asked to give a series of presentations to upper management. This was a clear investment of time from management which was great to see and it helped me to develop presenting a lot. In addition to this placements had access to he Nissan learning system which some people took advantage of to attend courses. I was given extra support from my manager and mentor in this area and other areas which was great for me.
Above 25 days holiday
The graduate scheme at Nissan is very appealing, I spent time working with some of the graduates who seemed to have done great from this. The pay is also particularly high for a graduate scheme which attracts a lot of applications, this creates a lot of competition. However from what I have seen around the office it seems difficult to progress far after the graduate scheme as management places are very few. This is something to consider when applying.
Nissan set up a Facebook group for the placements which was great to introduce us all to each other from the start. Also being inducted together helped to build connections. Nissan also held a placements day at lane 7 in Newcastle to help us settle in, this shows how they really did push for a good placement social scene. Unfortunately further social events which were planned were interrupted by Coronavirus. Departmentally there were several social events which I attend and these were great.
As a student already based in Newcastle I can say that the area is much cheaper to live in than other student cities. Nights out are very cheap both in Newcastle and Sunderland which Nissan is close to both. It is possible to live in either city and commute to work especially if you drive, the location really is perfect. The salary from Nissan is also ample to live in the area and still socialise.
Once again as a Newcastle based student I can say the nightlife in Newcastle is probably one of the best in the UK. There are places to go for people of every different scene and also places to go to save money or others which are more classy. In addition to this Sunderland is also a great night out, my experience there is that it tends to be on the cheaper side but you obviously may have to commute.
There were opportunities provided for placements to get involved with things outside work. From Placement days there was also planned placement rewards ceremonies which were stopped due to Covid. Some placements (myself included) were planning a charity fundraiser which was also put on hold. My department also planned several events which I attended, from meals out to nights out so they really did cater for everyone. Overall I was involved in a lot of activities.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
28th October 2020