In this blog we hear from Hannah Doherty, BA (Hons) Business Management. Read about her experiences through the application stage to on placement at Volkswagen and her top tips for your search.
I often get asked the question; why did you choose to do a placement year? Absolute no-brainer – if you are given the opportunity to take a PAID year out which expands your skills, adds to your CV and offers invaluable business knowledge and experience, you would be crazy to say no! Competition is fierce; it is so so so important that you stand out from the crowd.
After hours of online applications, telephone interviews, verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests and many ‘sorry, you have been unsuccessful letters’, I was invited to Volkswagen’s assessment centre. Don’t be discouraged by a ‘no’, I applied to at least 15 companies (they have a pool of thousands of students to sift through!). This was my first, and last assessment centre, with VWG HR offering me the role within days of returning home. Not only do I LOVE cars, I was given the opportunity to work for one of the leading automotive organisations who sell 1 in 5 cars on the road – I was delighted to say the least.
I am now just over half way through my placement year working as a Continuous Improvement Executive. My role involves improving customer satisfaction using root cause analysis to drive sustainable permanent solutions. This requires interaction between various stakeholders from other undergraduates, senior management and external suppliers – as you will have no doubt heard, undergrads are usually given great responsibility at the majority of placements (I definitely have!).
Not only have VWG provided me with incredible commercial opportunities including vast training, I have also visited the factory in Wolfsburg, had the pleasure of staying at the Ritz-Carleton, watched Trevor Nelson DJ at the Audi Graduation and so much more – I am so excited for the next 6 months!
Advice from people who have been in your shoes is always beneficial; if there is any way I can help you, even if it just a quick question, please get in touch – you can get my contact details from the Placement Team!
If you are applying to a placement; Good Luck, if you are already out on placement; Enjoy!
Hannah’s Top Tips
- Make FULL use of the Placement Team for anything and everything from CV reviews to interview practice. The support is there – it’s solely your decision to use it! Sarah Belsham fully supported me with application from beginning to end (much appreciated – thanks Sarah!)
- Be the organised student – It is never too early to apply – Volkswagen’s application closed in November!
- Do your research – applications should be personal to each individual organisation (What do the industry trends look like?)
Call the Placement Team on 0161 247 3711 to book a 1-to-1 for application checks, CV reviews, assessment centre advice or interview practice.
More details on the Volkswagen Undergraduate Scheme can be found here. Applications have now closed for the 2015/16 scheme. If you are a current 1st year look out for details of the 2016/17 scheme at the start of 2nd year and apply early!