• Working full-time as a Buyer independently handling over 60 suppliers across Europe and Asia. I am responsible for managing the orders and inventory of over 900 raw materials.
• Gaining experience in the manufacturing industry, learning about complicated international supply chains and customs procedures.
• Organisational skills are essential for arranging transport and ensuring materials arrive in house on time for production.
• Using negotiation skills and delay tactics to push back supplier price increases and save costs.
• Frequently handling large volumes of data in Excel and SAP, making and summarising reports, and drawing conclusions by analysing the implications, for example to cost, demand, supply and etc.
• Developing foreign language, communication, and interpersonal skills living and working in Romania.
I was working in a foreign country which taught me a lot about multinational business and different cultures. In the beginning it was difficult as i adjusted to a new life, but it helped me to grow as a person and broadened my perspective on things. The job was quite demanding but i enjoyed the challenges and responsibility i was given. Overall it was a great experience and i would recommend it to anyone who wants to work in a multinational company such as Cooper Industries.
I was assigned a mentor who gave me guidance throughout my placement. My manager was fair and supportive and i felt comfortable going to her to discuss problems.
As i had a lot of responsibility, i was very busy in this role with tasks to complete. People held me accountable for things so I often stayed overtime during the week to keep on track with work. But i found that the days always went quickly because it was interesting and there was always something to do.
After demonstrating my commitment and willingness to learn, i was rewarded with a very high level responsibility. I worked as a full-time Buyer, responsible for 900 materials and over 60 suppliers based across Europe and Asia. This involved placing orders to suppliers, arranging deliveries for materials to arrive on time, and dealing with a multitude of different issues on a day-to-day basis.
However it did mean that i had to negotiate with my colleagues about when i could take holiday, because my daily responsibilities meant it was necessary for someone to cover me while i was away.
I feel confident that everything i learnt this year will help me in some way or another for the future. The skills i used during my placement (communication, negotiation, time management, organisation, thinking under pressure, being held accountable) will be translatable into other jobs for the future, while the experience of living in a different country is also invaluable.
Being the only foreign person in the office was a little isolating in the beginning, however as i learnt more of the language it became easier to get involved. The office had a relaxed feel, most of us dressed quite casual, but it was a productive environment.
The initial placement induction was organised well, however things were a bit slow getting started in the job to begin with because it had not been decided what role i was going to be placed in. I was based at one of the new sites and was the first intern to work at Cooper Romania so i think this was part of the reason. We had a number of training courses throughout the year were well organised and planned by HR.
HR arranged a number of training courses for all the interns including Project Management, Excel and Powerpoint, Commercial Awareness, and Finance. We also had monthly and quarterly reviews with our managers and HR to track our progress.
Working from home
After a successful placement year i was offered a position on the Graduate Scheme! Cooper Industries has a number of different Graduate Leadership Programmes including Operations, Engineering, Human Resources, Finance, Sourcing and Supply Chain, and Commercial Awareness.
As i was the only intern at the new Cooper Romania site, i did not have much of a social scene among fellow placement students, except when we met up for the training courses. However i think the other interns based in the UK had a good social scene as many of them were based at the same site.
In Romania the cost of living was cheaper compared to the UK. I paid 200 euros rent per month for my own flat which was located in a lively area 20 minutes walk from the city centre, and 10 minutes drive from work.
I stayed in Arad which is a small city with plenty of cafes, shops and restaurants. There were a few clubs, but there was a bigger nightlife scene in the next city Timisoara which has a couple of universities and lots of students.
Arad has a few different shopping malls, fitness clubs, swimming pools, and festivals in the city centre. Perhaps if i had known more Romanian i would have joined a social club or sports team. However i enjoyed going to the market on the weekends to practice my Romanian and buy fresh food. I often went on trips with friends and colleagues to other cities and the mountains.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Administration/Secretarial, Customer Service, E-Business, Information Technology, Languages, Logistics and Operations, Mathematics/Statistics, Purchasing and Supply, Transportation
4th July 2012
£14,000 - £15,999