• Managing inventory, stock adjustment requirements and obsolescence across a wide portfolio of suppliers, ensuring compliance with schedules as well as establishing contingency plans using supplier development tools and negotiation of improvements.
• Liaising between suppliers, physical logistics, engineering and transport partners to ensure targets and lead times are met as well as to assess risks affecting launch plans in line with key principles of lean manufacturing.
• Responsible for the procurement of prototype material for a new platform launch (electrics and interior trim) via SAP and supply chain development.
• Development of KPI and control of invoices and other documentation to support assignments and implementation of process development.
• Coordination of projects for added value production across departments and control of group communications.
• Supporting change control and quality in line with engineering and quality changes.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
It was very hard at first to find anything to do, after a few small projects and a lot of admin work for just over a few weeks I was given a real project with very high responsibility within delivery assurance of parts for the new Mini model prototype. The scope of involvement with other departments and stakeholders was very extensive and the necessary input in terms of dedication and passion was incredibly high. This kept me very enthusiastic about the project as the whole team was gearing up to achieve historically premium results.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
Like in any other professional scenario I had to earn my credit. In the beginning I felt i was just too eager to prove myself and it did not help much. Gladly, some colleagues saw my passion and eagerness as a catalyst for achieving results and some coaching in terms of interpersonal skills was comprehensively provided. As a result I gelled in quite nicely and managed to win my team, this was vital to make everyone achieve the best results as we all worked as a whole.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
It went from pretty terrible to amazingly good, in the beginning the whole department was very busy and having a very inquisitive individual like me constantly bombarding them with questions was not very comfortable for either side. The moment it became established what my projects and team were going to be I was offered all the support and coaching I needed in a very straightforward way. My strong points were constantly highlighted as well as my weaknesses, always with constructive tips to get better.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
Very busy, which for me is the perfect balance as I thrive this way. In turn, my managers made very clear that for the amount I was putting in, I had the leverage to ask for something in return. I was doing the placement at the same time as my final university year and was given time off for assignments whenever needed and I got to brainstorm a lot of academic topics with managers and co-workers considering that the department had so many specialists I could learn from. In terms of working hours, flexibility and work life balance was absolutely perfect.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A lot, I was responsible for the procurement of all the electrics and some interior trim for a prototype model and the scope of involvement was so broad that any action or decision always had to consider the deadlines and constraints of others. I was constantly multitasking, prioritising and making decisions with a direct impact to the business. It was a lot more than I could had ever wished to happen when I started.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
This is almost impossible to quantify, I think that given the responsibilities and intensity of everything I did, this 1 year equipped me with more than what I would have learnt and developed elsewhere, even more so than in my 15 years pre-academic work experience.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Quite hectic most times (I worked in the aviation sector before and I compare it to the control tower), for people like me who like the buzz this is perfect! People in the department were in general quite nice, very accommodating and respectful. There was always some fun times and because it is a large office it was always someone's birthday, so plenty of treats.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
Not a lot, actually it is very organic since there isn't a "one measure fits all". In fact I think this depends a lot more on the student than on the organisation. It is up to the student to be transparent with the managers and colleagues and provide a clear statement regarding what is the path the student wants to go, in turn the business will be able to accommodate if the message is clear. Once we all got past the introduction stage and the necessary steering was clear everything started to make a lot more sense and it was easy to put some structure to it.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Everything they could possibly provide within reason.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am strating on an improved contract straight after my placement is over. Different duties, a lot more to learn and even a lot more to prove!
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Not really, I think because most UK students were coming from different locations and mainly commuting this was hard. There is a lot of German students too and they all stayed in the same zones, so it was a lot easier for them. On the other hand, the company organises a lot of social events quite often.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
High, Oxford is not the cheapest area.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Plenty, however I am married and slightly older than the other students, so I would not consider myself an authority in this topic...
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
The work-life balance is great, there are plenty of opportunities.