Spend time in store, training from Stock Assistant level to Store Manager level. Spend time out with an Area Manager to gain experience of future role. Spend time in all Departments at Head Office, undertaking projects for each of the Department Directors.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
The placement year has been a fantastic opportunity, with new skills being learnt at every stage of the year. The employees of the company make the year very enjoyable and a lot can be taken out from the experiences gained.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Ideas and opinions are always welcomed amongst the Directors. All of the employees in the stores and Head office are welcoming and helpful. During time in store, a lot of responsibility is given to you quite early on and staff in stores recognise this and are supportive to the decisions that you make.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
From day 1, you are assigned a mentor, an Area Manager of the store you will be spending time in. They are there throughout the whole year to for any advice, feedback, reviews and updates that need to be given to you. Aldi provides all of the tools however it is left to you to work as hard as you can to develop and succeed.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
With Aldi, there is always something to do. As stores run on a lean operation. Staff in stores is a minimum which requires the management to do a lot of the jobs around the store doing all tasks. So don’t be surprised on rare occasions to see the store manager putting out stock / sitting on a till. You will learn to become efficient at things and manage several tasks together. As long as you can organise your time and prioritise tasks you will be fine. But you can guarantee you will never be bored!
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
The responsibility you receive from day one is immense for the position you are in. This is one of the best things about Aldi. Within a few weeks of being in store, you are given a set of keys and have to opportunity to be in charge of the store. Projects that you do in Head Office are not just simple admin tasks. The wide range of projects that you will have a part in will play key to the decision making of the Directors and to major changes to the operations of the company. When you are given a project you are given a brief, an outline of what was wanted and a deadline day. It was up to you on how you spent your time and what you did for the project.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I learnt a lot working at Aldi. My time in store helped me develop skills that I can use for the rest of my life like how to handle multiple tasks at one time and how to work with employees together to get the job done. Spending time in Head Office gave me the inside knowledge to what happens behind the scenes at Aldi. Having this year has given me the experience with a large company to go along with my academic skills.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Everyone, at each level of the company both in stores and at office, are very pleasant and great to work with. Everyone is willing to help each other out and not once did I feel that I was the "Placement Student".
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
As soon as I joined the Company, a set structure was in place for the year ahead of me. Generally, spending 6 months in store, and 6 months in Head Office but a week by week plan is provided to keep you updated to whats happening. Plans can change sometimes so its best to go in with an open mind and willingness to compromise when needed.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Working for Aldi has been a great experience about learning the world of work aswell as a lot about myself. A lot of time, is spent on your training from early days which can be quite daunting however with regular feedback on projects undertaken and reviews on your time in store , you are able to constantly grow as an individual and as a professional employee of the company. Aldi provide all the tools that are needed to do the job, however it is left to your own devices to gain the experience that will only become an advantage for yourself in the future.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
The Placement is just the stepping stone, there to give you help to get onto the graduate scheme. By undertaking a placement year with Aldi, it gives you the experience to the operations of the business, and answer all the questions to why things run the way they do. It also helps blending in with the team, which can be quite hard for graduates coming straight in.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived at home for the whole year. As your first 6 months are spent in store, you work in the closest training store near your home for convenience.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Members of staff would go to the local pub on Sunday evenings for a drink. Staff at my store organised friendly football games between stores under an area manager, which was enjoyable and had good support for both teams.