1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Since I wasn't fully trained, there was a lot of cleaning (the shelves, front glass of the fish tanks ect) as well as occasionally talking with customers and giving food and water to the animals.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I learned a bit about how to properly communicate with customers, as well as how to work on a team.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Very much, there was a lot to do and each day came with something new. The staff were friendly and forgiving about my beginner's mistakes. In all honesty, I didn't expect to have this much fun whilst doing work experience.
4. How valued do you feel by Pets At Home?
A decent amount. I think it was obvious that I couldn't do much in terms of taking care of the animals, however I was able to take some weight off of the employee's shoulders by doing some of their work for them.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
At the start, I recall it being a little unstructured. It seemed like there wasn't anyone who would directly welcome me at the time. After an hour or so, I was shown around and introduced to people finally. Over the week, I got to work as a team with a number of staff. Overall, it was organised decently, but I suppose since everyone had their own tasks to do, it was difficult to integrate a new person into that right away.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
For training, I had to read a lengthy care manual that was mandatory for all employees to read/remember. I did this alone, and wasn't quizzed on the contents. I imagine if I were permanently working there, things would be more strict, however that was the extent of training I got. On other occasions, other employees would walk me through the process of doing other things, such as cleaning out the water bottles for the rodents.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The manager tried to ensure that I knew what was expected of the employees and made sure I always had something to do. They were very helpful.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
N/A. It was work experience, so I didn't get paid.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
9. Would you recommend Pets At Home to a friend?
It was genuinely a good time working there. Especially if you like animals, I'm sure this line of work would be a good starting point since there are many like-minded people. I got a good sense of community in that shop; everyone seemed very friendly and were kind.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Pets At Home?
Be aware that there are lots of people who are interested in working with animals, so it's bound to be fairly competitive field. It helps if you have a good idea about how to look after a variety of pets going in, since you'll be learning the specifics about each animal. I would also recommend you commit the different sections of the store and it's products to memory, since I wasn't expecting to be approached by customers, and I had a difficult time helping them find what they needed right away.