The ramblings of an Intern
October 02, 2020
Before I dig into the meat of this blog, I'd first like to give Change100 a mention, and more importantly a thank you. Change100 is a program ran by the charity Leonard Cheshire. Without them, I wouldn't have been able to experience the last three months. Change100 is an initiative designed to get disabled people into the employment world. This being my first proper job, I'm especially grateful to Change100 and Auto Trader for taking the risk of employing me.
In the three months I've spent at Auto Trader, I've learnt a lot and got a taste of the adult world. As a recent graduate, I'm supposed to be a fully-fledged adult and can no longer blame my shenanigans on the catch all excuse of being a student. As introductions go, my time at Auto Trader has been a wonderful experience. Future jobs will have a lot to live up to. Whether Auto Trader's experience of me has been as positive as mine has been of them is another matter entirely.
I think my biggest takeaway is the importance of culture and people. As a newly minted entrant into the business world, I couldn't have had a better launch and introduction to my career. Having the inclusive, supportive and cool people alongside me has genuinely been a pleasure. The value Auto Trader places on their culture is something which other businesses can only aspire to. Having friends in major companies with high powered names and brands, I can only compare their experiences to mine and feel extremely lucky.
The ability to function cohesively without a rigid hierarchy is something I found particularly striking. Everyone does their jobs to a high standard without constant chivvying from managers.
In addition to what I have learnt about the world of work, I would say the people impacted me the most. I can safely say that the people I met have become friends as well as colleagues. A statement which isn't always the case. It's testament to the culture and values Auto Trader espouse that I can genuinely say that I haven't met anyone who isn't a nice person.
The Greenman was another highlight in my time here. For the uninitiated, Greenman is the company induction experience. I think this commonality between everyone who joins is another factor which helps bring people together. It's something that everyone has in common no matter how senior you are. I think this demonstrates Auto Trader's philosophy regarding the people. Approachability, equality, friendliness and a community spirit are bywords which are encouraged. Again, the people, facilitators and participants alike are what made the event such a success. Not only did we get an invaluable insight into the business, but the cohort came together as a cohesive group much like the business itself. The induction was an excellent microcosm of Auto Trader. Socially, the group came together amazingly quickly. It's emphasis on people is something I don't think I'll ever forget.
In addition, the insistence on constant improvement and evolution is an ethos I find very impressive. Many businesses have a philosophy which they constantly shout about. However, my time at Auto Trader has taught me that everyone lives the Auto Trader philosophy and values on a daily basis. The values aren't just a managerial tool to look good, but actual meaningful concepts which everyone gets behind without any hesitation.
An example of which is the public acknowledgement of positive actions. The It Takes All Sorts initiative and platform is a great medium for the conveyance of thanks and appreciation.
I'll be very sad to leave such a wonderful place. I hope that this won't be my final stop at Auto Trader. Who knows, in the future, if an opportunity jumps out, I may have a chance to work here again. Until then however, au revoir to all the wonderful people.