Megan East, one of our fantastic Year In Industry students, was recently interviewed by Nottingham Trent University about her Year In Industry placement, you can read her answers below:
How did you get on to your placement – did you make use of the universities employability services (CV writing etc)? Prior to the assessment centre for Boots, I visited the employability team multiple times to check and edit my CV, I also used InPlace to look for suitable placements which made the application process a lot easier.
How did you find the placement recruitment process? It’s quite a difficult process, as I had to ensure I was balancing my time correctly in order to successfully meet both the deadlines of exams and the placement applications. However, NTU are a great help with this as they offer different types of support with cover letters and applications from early on in the year to make sure that the applications you are sending in are the best of quality giving you a better chance of being successful throughout the recruitment process. I struggled originally with balancing my revision with the time I was spending on applications as some can take a long amount of time to complete, therefore I had to learn a way in which I could balance these priorities.
What support did you receive from NTU during your placement? Prior to starting my placement I was given E-learning tests to complete based on Health and Safety and other factors, I’ve received phone calls and emails asking how my placement is going so far and discussing what I’m enjoying about my new job role.
What do you most enjoy about your placement? I love the category I’ve managed to secure my role in, I’m a CA for Premium Beauty. So currently I get to work with brands such as Clinique, Estee Lauder, Benefit, Smashbox and Lancome. This makes the job 100 times more fun because I love the products that were working with so it makes my role easier and a lot more interesting day to day. However, Boots as a whole is a great experience, such a fun place to work.
Everyone is so kind, so interesting and diverse. The development plan that you get put onto when you’re a year in industry at Boots is amazing, everyone cares about your development and everyone wants you to do well and progress in the business. All the interns are given the opportunity to go for team away days, and excursions where as a group we get to go away for a couple of nights to work on how we learn. We’ve also been given the opportunity to go for a meal at Lenton House (The house of Jessie Boot) where we were joined by the executive board to learn about their journeys throughout Boots.
Did you apply anything you learnt from your course to your work on placement? My role has a lot to do with campaigns and the way they are set up and the offers that are available for the products we sell, which obviously we did a lot of at university in terms of marketing. However, Boots is very customer orientated therefore we also have to constantly focus on the brand image and the people that we are trying to sell to so this means when observing visuals of the brands we have to take this into consideration and make sure that nothing will affect boots name. Which again throughout university we did a lot of work on buyer behaviour and brand perception which are both very relatable.
What advice would you give to anybody thinking of going on a placement?
Apply early, the closer it gets to the end of the year and the closer to exams it gets the more stress it becomes and the more you start to worry about the fact you may not actually be able to secure a placement. As well as the fact that towards the end of the year there are nowhere near as many placements available, and you obviously won’t get as much out of a placement that you don’t enjoy or a role you’re not interested in. But definitely do a placement! Placements are so worthwhile, already I’ve learnt so much that I don’t believe I could learn from a book, and I’ve met a lot of amazing and very knowledgeable people that have been very willing to offer advice and support throughout my early career.
A placement develops you as a person and gets you ready for a full time career which I don’t think a full time course could do, it builds your confidence in speaking and presenting to new people, it teaches you processes and information that you might not get the chance to learn in the course that you’ve personally taken and it gives you the opportunity to decide early on whether the job you believe you want to fulfil is right for you or not. Boots allow us to shadow other teams and gain a wider understanding of what other roles and departments entail and whether or not these would suit you better than what you originally thought.
Has this inspired you to find out more about our Year In Industry placements? If so, click here to find out more – www.boots.jobs/graduates-and-early-careers/year-in-industry/