I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at NMUK. The responsibility you are given from day 1 is truly amazing. My team were such a fantastic team to work within and they made the experience even better. It was challenging and stressful at times but, the knowledge acquired during those times was unbelievable. I gained so much confidence that I never even knew I had and helped me strengthen both my personal and professional skill set.
I thought my team were brilliant. We worked collaboratively together during challenging times but, also worked quite independently too. Fortunately, I got on with my team really well and created some very strong friendships. I worked in a team where the age varied quite largely, some of your closest colleagues are a lot older than you therefore, I thought this changed my overall attitude and view towards quite a lot of things in a positive way.
I genuinely couldn’t fault the support and guidance I reviewed from my mentor and manager. My mentor was so friendly and approachable and from day 1, “no question is a silly question” and this was very comforting for me - especially when embarking on a brand new challenge. My manager arranged for monthly catch ups to review my experience and this allowed me to raise any queries I had. They were honestly both so lovely!
I would say I was very busy however, I had asked for my challenges and responsibilities. I wanted to seize this experience and take every opportunity I could for my learning and development. For me, it was the perfect balance as you largely developed time management as well as prioritisation skills and this has allowed me to utilise these skills when returning to my final year of university. I would say it’s all about being adaptable.
I was given a lot of responsibility however, when issues required a lot more attention and knowledge that I didn’t quite have yet/enough competence, my mentor was always there to help. Everyone makes mistakes but, how we deal with those mistakes enables us to be more proactive and reflect upon the experiences so, you know how to handle them better in future circumstances. In general, I had a lot of responsibility but, chose to question things with my mentor when I deemed necessary.
Honestly, I have developed skills for life! Arguably, everyone has in their CV that they have excellent communication skills but, that was truly put to the test for me with dealing with global suppliers - many of whom, English was not their first language. However, learning how to communicate and deal with these language barriers was a vital, key skill I was able to develop. My confidence has grown so much and my adaptability skills too.
My section was really enjoyable and fun! However, other sections did seem rather quiet but, I personally think it’s just the office environment in general. As a whole, everyone is very lovely, chatty in a good way and so easy to get along with. I thought the office was spread out into sections so, found it slightly difficult to develop relationships with other sections but, I realised relationships are developed through the job itself which I really enjoyed. I created very strong relationships with colleagues all around the plant!
I didn’t really know what to expect when beginning my placement year, I had heard very mixed reviews from people who completed placements elsewhere. However, it was very structured I thought. Within my department, all placements had a mentor, a manager and then two separate managers who were responsible for the placement students and all were very helpful. It would have been helpful to have a handover period with the previous placements but, I believe Nissan did take this onboard.
I was fortunate to complete a few different training programmes whilst in my placement year. A key training programme was presentation skills which taught me how to correctly conduct myself, how to present yourself as well as the topic I am delivering. It helped me develop my confidence and communication skills too.
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
I would thoroughly enjoy returning as a graduate student and would very much like to do so. The learning and development at Nissan is amazing! There are a variety of different sections to work within and every day is unique!
My team and I had a few “nights out” which were really enjoyable and helped break down my barriers and enabled friendships to develop. Some placement students and I had a few nights out together too but, Covid threw a spanner in the works part way through so, social scene became very limited.
I lived at home during my placement year so, my biggest outgoing was petrol money. I do recall other placement students state that they paid around £120 a week to live in Newcastle which is doable with the salary we received.
It was very close to Newcastle so, nights out there were great. It is quite close to Durham too so, perfect for a place to go to for the day.
There was however, as mentioned previously, covid threw a spanner in the works so, everything became very socially distanced.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
3rd November 2020