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Placement at: BMW Group

Placement job title: Corporate Communications Intern

Placement length: 54 Week

Three words to describe your placement: Challenging, jam-packed, responsibility

Melanie at BMW

Most interesting part of your placement? Being in the communications team we get to know important and even secret information before everyone else. For example, working at a MINI factory there was an important announcement this year that our factory would be producing the electric MINI. This was huge news for the company, the local area and the workforce – especially considering the uncertainty of Brexit and working for a German company in the UK. This news was huge and the press went mad for it, but I got to know about it around two weeks before the official announcement, which was pretty cool.

Hardest aspect of your placement? I have a lot more responsibility than I was expecting, as I’m always given a very heavy workload and strict deadlines. By no means is my placement an ‘intern-y’ role where I’m fetching coffee. It’s hard work and my work makes a real difference to the company.

Most enjoyable aspect of your placement: My most enjoyable part of my placement is the external communications aspects. I get to run the Instagram page and find stories and pictures. I also get to work with TV companies, I have worked with ITV, Sky News and Channel 4, which has been a great opportunity.

What have you learned that you never thought you would have this year? I’ve learned more about myself than anything else this year. Yes – I’ve learned how to communicate well and use new programmes and software, but more than anything I’ve learned that I have the potential to succeed in this area of work. It’s a huge shock to the system going from university life to full-time work in an office environment, but I’m enjoying my time and am able to produce a good standard of work. Essentially, I’ve learned that not all is lost and I may actually be okay in the real world after uni.

What has given you the most satisfaction on placement so far? I’m only 6 months into my placement now, so still have 6 months left, but one thing that I find really satisfying is the newsletter I create. The internal communications side of my role means that one responsibility I have is writing, editing and publishing the employee newsletter that goes out to over 4,500 people. I do this single handedly for the most part, therefore sending a finished newsletter out every two weeks definitely makes me feel accomplished.

Another key highlight has been working within the community on various initiatives. The communications team run the charity partnership for BMW Group UK – this year we are supporting Macmillan Cancer Support and I led the organisation of this year’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ at MINI Plant Oxford where we raised over £2,400.

Me & the team at our coffee morning

Two tips for future placement students: It’s not as scary as you think – be confident! You are here to learn, you won’t be great at your job on your first day – be open to constructive criticism and use it to develop your skills.

One example of how BU supported you during your placement: Throughout the whole process BU helped, with the advice applying and starting my new role. I have had a phone review with my Placement Development Advisor so far and look forward to receiving a visit to my place of work soon.

One example of how your course prepared you for the placement: We had several placement lectures and advice on how to apply and secure a job.

Future career goals: I’m loving working in communications and would definitely consider sticking to this area of work for my future career. I’d also be interested in doing PR and advertising as I’ve had a little bit of experience in those areas this year too. Working in the automotive industry was never something I was particularly interested in, but it’s definitely proved to be interesting. Who know what the future holds…

How has your placement helped focus your future plans? Over anything it has calmed down my worries about not knowing what I want to do. Now I know I’m capable of working well in communications/PR and I know it’s something I will definitely look into doing in the future.

Any other comments: So far, so good and I’m looking forward to what the next 6 months bring!

Placement company website

Melanie’s LinkedIn profile




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