I really enjoyed working at PSA Group. I was offered so many different opportunities and experiences throughout my placement year. My job was very interesting to do, fast paced but very enjoyable. The role has provided me with so much insight into both the PR and automotive industry. I felt valued in the team as a member of the department, not just an intern. I felt that my role added significant value, not just to the department, but to the company as a whole.
I worked within the PR and communications department across all brands. I felt very valued by my team especially in my lifestyle PR role where it was only myself and my manager in the team. Although I felt like I relied on my manager initially, in the end, sometimes she would rely on me for help instead which made me feel extremely valuable. I worked alongside a lot of departments when issuing internal communications and therefore felt that I was part of the business.
I worked very closely alongside my manager as my role mirrored hers. My manager made my placement - she was always so helpful and is someone I still look up to even after finishing my placement. I felt that I could address any issues with her and I had her full support and guidance throughout the whole year. I also had support from the other managers in my team, including the department director which was really rewarding.
Each day varied but I was quite busy most days. There was never a day where I had nothing to do. But this was a perfect balance, it was very rare that I would have to work outside my 8-4:30 day so when there were times when this happened, I was more than happy to do so. I was busier when there were bigger company announcements or there were a lot of PR campaign work taking place. But generally, there was never a day where I was doing nothing with my day, there was always something to do. This again made me feel like a valued member of the team rather than being just an intern.
This was one of my favourite parts of working for PSA. The responsibility that I was given was on par with my colleagues who were working with the company full time. My role contributed to the company rather than just being an intern and this made me feel so valued. I gained so much experience from this and felt like I would return to university with additional insight, not just for my final year, but to take with me into my career after university.
I am now completing the final year of my marketing degree. The skills that I developed and the insights that I gained has really helped me so far. It changes my way of thinking about certain assignments as I have now worked in that environment and can apply my theory to an actual situation that I have been in or witnessed. My degree has specific modules that closely relates to the work I did on placement and I can see it match up well. For my future career, the people skills and actually working in an office environment has really prepared me for the future.
The atmosphere in the office was really nice to be in. It was open plan with a kitchen area in the middle which allowed you to see different people when you were making tea during the day which really added to the social element. We sat with our teams at desks of 6, the layout allowed you to talk to your team throughout the day and therefore was firstly so much easier to communicate and ask questions, but to also feel included.
I think that the placement was well organised. The application process however would be the only thing I would criticise, it took a long time from my initial application to each stage. However, this did not bother me that much in the end, because I was offered the role. We had regular communication throughout the process and this also continued throughout the year. At the beginning of the placement, we were given a 2 week handover period with the previous undergraduates.
My role required me to learn on the job a lot of the time which benefitted me a lot and I picked this up very quickly. The HR team also provided the placement students with workshop days such as presentation training which was very useful to take days to work alongside the other placement students on some skills that would be taken further within our roles, but also back at university and our future careers.
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
If I could return to the department that I worked in whilst on my placement year, or a similar role, I would really like to return for a graduate opportunity. I enjoyed my role within the company, so if I was given the opportunity to return, I would take it. PSA group is a really good company to work for and I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year, so future employment prospects would appeal to me.
The company took on over 20 placement students whilst I was on my placement. It was so nice to work alongside them and meet friends for life. We would eat lunch together every day which was nice and I still keep in contact with a lot of them. All the placement students got on really well and there were occasions where we would meet up outside of work, however this was disrupted due to lockdown at the end of our placement unfortunately.
I was luckily enough to stay living at home for my placement year and therefore only had to pay for petrol to and from work. This allowed me to save a lot of money whilst on placement which was also nice. Being close to London was nice with only a 30 minute train journey in, therefore there was a lot to do if we ever organised to go out rather than stay close to home.
Due to the majority of placement students living at home, this never really applied. There were a few nights where the majority of the placement students went out together. Again, we did go into London due to the surroundings being quite remote. There were also a few local pubs in the neighbouring village where we would sometimes go for work lunches or after work when it was nice in the summer, but not that often.
As I got along with my team and fellow placement, we organised our own things due to the lack of things to do around the office.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
25th November 2020