1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
My placement year at Danone has been an amazing experience. I have been given the opportunity to lead my own projects thereby allowing me to use my own initiative which has proved to be extremely motivating. The culture of the organisation is also absolutely fantastic with a real sense of community widespread throughout the business. Would recommend to anyone looking for a challenging yet rewarding placement year.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Within my department (Category Management), my ideas, I feel, are always welcome as are anybody else's - regardless of grade. Although nervous to contribute at first (usually due to lack of contextual knowledge) I am encouraged by my collogues to contribute on a regular bases.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My line manager has been instrumental in providing me with feedback & positive criticism to allow me to reduce weaknesses & build upon existing strengths. Monthly catch-ups are frequent & always thorough. I must at this point add that giving feedback is a core component of Danone's culture and not just limited to line managers etc - I often receive feedback & guidance from other departments which is great for personal development!
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
In my experience, no day is the same at Danone.
Some days I will be extremely busy whilst other days are more quiet.
It really depends on what you want to get out of your placement year when it comes to how 'busy' you are.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
During the first month, my manager ensured that I had a decent/motivating amount of responsibility e.g. updating/creating reports, booking train tickets, putting parts of a presentation together. By month 11 (time of writing) I am leading around 3 key projects whilst being a key contributor to other internal/external activities which is a great feeling as the sense of ownership you get as a placement student is really motivating.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I have been writing my dissertation during my placement year & strongly feel that my time management, networking skills & critical thinking has rapidly improved which will no doubt help with my studies & other areas of life.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Very positive! We even have a 'Fun Police' to ensure we all go to pay day drinks etc. However, in the sales department, when we are all rushed of our feet, the 'Fun' will no doubt die down slightly as we will all be focused on our respective accounts.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Danone were fantastic in organising my inductions, personalised development plan & ensuring that I am always progressing.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Although already stated, I receive feedback very regularly & feel that the company has invested a lot of time & effort in my development.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Monthly emails are distributed within the organisation highlighting vacancies including positions in other Danone CBU'S.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Whilst I feel fully integrated into the wider team of whom the majority are not placement students, we still arrange to go out for drinks, food & social events.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Fairly expensive. Although, like anywhere, there is the opportunity to shop around for good value entertainment & food etc.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
There are plenty of pubs & restaurants in close proximity to the office. However, there is always the option to venture out into Central London for a great night out - we occasionally did this either in a group of placement students or departmental nights out.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Danone provide a few opportunities to engage in outside of work activities such as yoga & football.