What advice would you give someone applying for your role?
Be open-minded. The beauty of a rotational scheme is that it offers you the opportunity to try your hand at roles you wouldn’t normally select for yourself. If you can accept the challenge with a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn, you’ll discover strengths you didn’t realise you had.
What has been your biggest challenge?
For me, the biggest challenge was the store placement. I'd never worked in retail before joining Tesco and I found the combination of an unfamiliar environment, continually learning, and being in such a customer-facing role quite demanding. Ultimately this was one of the most rewarding experiences of the year and I’ve used what I learnt in store and from our customers almost constantly since.
Where has your experience exceeded your expectations?
I was surprised by how much responsibility I was given during my graduate placements. By the end of the scheme I was independently managing live projects end-to-end and set real business targets to achieve. This was particularly rewarding as it meant I felt fully part of the teams I was working with and that I was delivering real value.
What have you enjoyed most about your role?
The variety. In one year I've done everything from numerical analysis-led efficiency modelling, to organising and delivering a supplier conference, to designing new processes for adding range to the website. And I’m still learning something new every day.
What is the best training that you have attended?
I went on an Introduction to Leadership course this year and found the approach really refreshing. The focus was less about the practicalities of being a great leader, but more about self-awareness and recognising how to get the best out of yourself and others around you. Our group all came away having learnt a huge amount about ourselves and our individual motivations.
Do you have a support network, being on an early careers programme?
Yes, from the beginning of the programme I was assigned 2 graduate buddies from previous years and a director as a career mentor. I’ve built strong relationships with these people and have always been able to ask for informal advice or coaching. The network of other graduates is also a great source of support – the chances are that whatever challenge you’re facing or piece of good news you want to share, someone has been in your shoes before!