Function: Responsible for creating reports regarding budget, investment, assets, headcount, recruitment and other administrative areas within the launch and quality department (Daily, weekly and monthly tasks). In charge of planning and passing TÜV audits (legal requirement check to be
able to sell cars in Germany). Responsible of the creation and improvement of a “risk tool” file for tracking the risk of T-Cars (Test cars production) by developing macros and commands in excel. In charge of updating and reporting the F1F2 cars status (phases of production). Attend meetings regarding all the mentioned above to provide the updates and receive feedback for improvements.
Skills Developed: Problem solving, decision making, interpersonal and communication, time management, meeting deadlines, presentation, critical thinking and knowledge of the company, its projects (e.g. F54- Cooper Clubman or F55- Cooper Hatch future launches to the market) and the car industry itself.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
This work placement year was a great experience. I enjoyed learning and applying it in the everyday tasks. It was a fun place to work at, people are very welcoming and supportive. There are many other students/interns and the network you get is great.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I got to know very well my colleagues and to build up a strong work relationship as well as a friendship with most of them. My work and support was very much appreciated and needed, specially for the people I worked more closely with within the team.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
Guidance and support was always available from my managers.
Owing to the fact that my first manager left the company after 3 months of my start, we had some major changes and replacements. So I had so seek support from various people. This however wasn't a reason for it not to be provided, every person that I had to report to was very helpful.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I had daily, weekly and monthly tasks, as well as some projects that came in waves.
I was definitely busy everyday, logically some days more than others but I was never with nothing left to do. The first week of the month was always the busiest of the month since it was when all the results from previous month came out and therefore we could do all the reporting. However, I managed my time so it never got the a point were it was too overwhelming.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
A lot in some cases. All the budget, headcount, investment and asset reporting was done by me, so I had the responsibility to report accurately and on time for the central systems and meetings. Sometimes I had to make hard decisions or solve problems quick without asking for approval, so responsibility for any decisions made as well.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Skills learned through working experience are for life. They are indeed useful for my degree in terms of knowing which theories and studies can be applied at work, but further than that you develop personal skills such as teamwork, time management, prioritisation of tasks, problem solving and decision making skills. These can be used for anything in life beyond the degree studies.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
Our working space was very big and open, meaning that you could hear noise 90% of the time. You can hear your colleagues phone conversations, conference calls, general chats, etc. It wasn't a huge problem for me to adapt to it since I prefer that rather than an office quiet as library. Some times it was hectic and maybe some tasks were hard to focus on, but there was always the possibility to go to one of the quiet meeting rooms and work there. Also breaks were flexible, you could go for coffee/tea whenever, lunch time when you preferred, etc. This made it a comfortable atmosphere to work in.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The placement set up was well organised. From the picking up the first day, the handover training to the leaving traditions at the end, everything was set up. I believe that since BMW has many students, and it is constantly rolling: a student leaves but trains the replacement before leaving and the circles goes on. It is much easier for everyone this way. Managers do not have to know exactly the student's processes to achieve tasks and they don't have to train the student, the predecesor leaves a well trained successor before leaving and this system basically runs itself.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Not all trainings are for students, some more professional ones are only for permanent positions. However, students are involved in general training which are compulsory for everyone, etc.
In terms of investing in me, I could mention a project I was leading that needed budget and after several proposals I received the budget to carry out the project.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Staff Sales/Staff Shop
Above 25 days holiday
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There are programs for placement students to apply for a position after graduation.
Doing a placement year really opens the doors to employment within the company. I applied to the speed-up programme and I got it, so I will me returning to the company once I've graduated.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Definitely! There were weekly social meetings at pubs/ bars with all the other students. There were a lot of parties and nights out, also loads of leaving drinks or leaving parties. So, definitely a great social environment.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
Oxford is not the cheapest, so no it was not cheap. However, there are things you can do and places you can go for less.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Oxford has a good nightlife, it's a student's city so there are loads of uni nights out at different clubs. There are bars and pubs as well, so there was always somewhere to go.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
For me it was easier, since I study in Oxford Brookes, I didn't have to move to another city, change my friends and environment. I was still able to see all my friends, have my uni life while working.