First placement: Business Sales for Peugeot Fleet Department
Worked to implement a new business sales strategy across the dealer network and introduce a new CRM system. This involved organising training seminars, coordinating events, creating sales campaigns and communicating with external parties.
Second Placement: Excellence and Change Management Department
worked largely on a project in distruction and logistics looking to reduce costs, improve processes and reduce lead times for delivery vehicles in the UK. I was responsible for data anlysis, project management, presentations and problem solving analysis.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at PSA. A key reason for why I enjoyed the placement so much was due to the fact I had the opportunity to work in two different departments, and therefore have two totally different roles. I enjoyed using my initiative to think of solutions to new challenges, developing my skill set and networking across both brands. Another factor contributing to my enjoyment at PSA are the employees; all are friendly, welcoming and always willing to help you. For a new starter this is very comforting and helps you to fit into normal business routines almost immediately, I felt like a valued member of both departments I worked in.
For my first placement I worked in a team with my manager which required me to work independently and alongside him. I felt valued by my manager as he gave me a lot of responsibility and trusted me to make important decisions. We worked on a project which dealt with the dealer network and several external companies. For my second placement I also worked closely with my manager as well as a large cross functional project team within head office. The project team also extended to colleagues based at the head office in Paris. Both placements led me to deal with internal and external stakeholders both in the UK and France which has significantly improved my communication skills. I built many strong relationships and therefore have felt highly valued by all colleagues, regardless of the status.
I have had a good relationship with both of my managers. My first manager Nick was new into the role, head of business sales, and therefore openly admitted he was learning a lot himself. Nick was an excellent manager, despite being extremely busy he always ensured that I was carrying out tasks which added value to the business and developed my skills. He shared his experiences from previous roles in marketing and events which I found very interesting. I had a good rapport with Nick so knew that if I needed advice at any point I rely on him for support and guidance.
My second manager Rob, is a director and therefore has a position of high authority. At the beginning of my placement he invested much time in training me and improving my knowledge and understanding. From this we instantly developed a strong rapport. Rob has 27 years of experience at PSA, sharing this with me Rob provided clear guidance from the outset.
On a daily basis I am relatively busy; I have never been in the instance where I have no work to complete. I have not had many daily tasks to complete as a lot of my work is project based hence the variations in workload. I deal with many stakeholders both internally and externally which inevitably increases your workload. During some periods I find myself very busy with tight deadlines however I have become aware of when these periods are and prepare myself. Working overtime is not expected however I have often done this during busy periods or when deadlines are tight. Personally I want to make the most of my experience so therefore have been willing to work extremely hard. I am an individual who thrives off being busy and pushed therefore the demanding placements i have experienced have been perfect.
During both placements I have been given a lot of responsibility. I have designed and organised large events including band induction days, demonstration vehicle events and regional training seminars. I led and produced a business campaign which is being replicated and updated on a quarterly basis. I often organise and lead large group meetings whilst owning keys actions that result. I have taken lead roles in high profile projects where I have been relied on for key financial results, KPI management, data analysis and problem solving analysis. I was given a high level of responsibility for someone of my status and experience however would not have been given this if my managers where not confident in my ability.
A placement in a multinational company is highly valuable to a degree in economics. The company is impacted by key economic factors such as inflation, exchange rates, consumer spending and GDP, witnessing the effects this can have on the industry is highly interesting. It has highlighted the use of theory in a practical environment, both the advantages and limitations.
The placement has improved my self-confidence greatly. I have always been a relatively confident individual but this experience has shown to me that I can perform to a high standard whilst working under pressure. I have also learnt many news skills and I have excelled in areas I never imagined. The placement has shown that with hard work and determination anything can be accomplished. I will certainly use this attitude at university if I face challenges or difficulties on course content.
Certain skills such as excel and PowerPoint have significantly improved and therefore will be of great help during my final year.
Beyond my degree the experience is invaluable - I now have over a year’s worth of experience in a multinational company, experience in multiple roles, sound business understanding and a network of contacts in the motor industry. I think the skills i have learnt on placement are skills for life and will improve the way i apply myself to my academic studies.
The atmosphere in the office is generally professional however there is still chit chat and laughter. The perfect balance so that you can quietly get on with your work but have a friendly conversation with a neighbouring colleague for a break.
I think the placement is well organised. Considering we had huge organisation restructuring across the business it was managed with professionalism and consideration for all IP's.
In my second placement the company invested a lot of time training me in lean and change management theories. We also recieved 4 training days which looked at basic competencies, this was extremly useful as it gave us the opportunity to reflect on what we had acheived so far and plan given the remaining time.
I recieve a lot of on the job training from both managers which was useful and best for the way i learn.
The company also have good and varied onine training facilities so you can persue yourown personal developments.
PSA look to recruit the IP's as graduates once they have completed university. Many graduates and IP's then become managers, supervisors, head of anf directors. Many individuals have worked at the company a long times (15 years plus) which indicates what a great company PSA are to work for.
I lived with 6 other IP's and we got on really well, so therefore the social scene for us was great.
We organised meals out, night out and even a holiday! There are many young and fun people working at PSA so making friends is very easy.
Cost of living and socialising is fair cheap, accomodation is £450 a month and a typical night out in coventry can be as cheap as £20!
The night life in coventry is okay, there are a fwe clubs, bars and pubs. For more choice you can travel to leamington which is only 15 mins by taxi or to birmingham which is 20 mins by train.
The company offers lots of activities outside of work, including many charity events, to name a few:
- sky dive
- peak district walk
- open water swim
- cycle from paris to coventry ( i took part in this and had an amazing time - possibly the best acheivement of my life to date!)
- dicsounted tickets for arsenal matches
- discounted tickets for gigs and concerts
- dicousnted tickets for ice hockey matches