Portrait photograph of: Iko Congo

Iko Congo

Country Of Origin: Portugal

Degree: BBA Management, 2017

Iko worked with Aldi in the Middleton region for his placement year.

I wanted to have an experience of the real world of work that would help guide what I wanted to study in my last year of university and help me have a more concrete idea of what I would, or wouldn’t, like to follow as a career.

At Aldi the Industrial Placement is a very diverse role. As an Industrial placement student (IP) I started the first two weeks shadowing an Area Manager to have a feel of the standards and the culture of the organisation. Then for a series of weeks I trained as a store assistant to understand how that role functions, and immediately after, the store management training started which is the biggest chunk of the placement. This part of the role includes driving team’s performance, ensuring standards of the store are kept, dealing with customers, ad-hoc tasks, the maintenance of the building, etc. Following this there was some more time spent with the Area Manager to view the business from their perspective. The placement then concluded with around 3 months of real project work at Head Office that added value to the business alongside the other Industrial Placements.

To summarise my placement experience: There is tough… and there is Aldi’s tough.

I learned a lot about functioning within a business but also about myself. The amount of responsibility I was   given was really a strong point. I found the other IP’s a very pleasant group to work with as we were all friendly but dedicated to excellence. Though challenging it was extremely rewarding. I feel that if I were to start again I would have a different approach which I believe is a sign that I have grown and changed during my placement.

The diversity of tasks and roles an IP fulfils with Aldi’s business is absolutely fantastic as it exposes one to diverse fields. From being in charge of a store, to helping the Area Manager drive performance in stores, to preparing a presentation to the regional directors I was simply trusted I would do a good job.

Having completed my placement, I am thinking of continuing within general management. While at Aldi I also had a chance to train for a couple of days with the Corporate Responsibility team which is something else I wish to explore. Time management skills, strong work-ethic and endurance were skills I developed during my placement which I expect will help me in my final year and in my future professional career.

While on placement I visited the Careers team to discuss some concerns I had with regards to my role in the business. It was very reassuring to have a listening ear and I found it motivating to know the Careers team is always rooting for our success.