1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role as a sales associate involves providing customers of Harrods with the highest and most exceptional levels of customer service possible. In order to deliver excellent customer service my actions on a day to day basis are very important. My role involves me paying full attention at all times to all needs and requests of customers, enabling me to fulfill the greatest of their expectations.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a great amount so far whilst being a candidate on the school leavers programme. As time has gone by I have felt my communication skills thrive and strengthen which has helped me to feel contently comfortable within my role as a sales associate. I also feel as though I have a noticeably greater sense of patience, meaning I can grasp a clearer image of the customers needs and therefore enabling me to meet their needs. But most importantly I have learnt that the best way to learn is through making mistakes.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have thoroughly enjoyed the first 6 months of the programme due to the high level of opportunities and valuable experiences that have been thrown in my direction. It has given me the chance to meet some highly inspirational people, helping me paint a clearer image of where i would like to be in the future and making me hungry to thrive and reach my full potential. I also find the training very valuable and useful, it has really helped me develop my skills and succeed in the job role, without it i wouldn't have developed at such a fast pace and to such a great extent.
4. How valued do you feel by Harrods?
I feel very valued by Harrods as a whole due to the extent to which people have gone to in order to make me feel comfortable and welcome. As soon as I arrived at Harrods I felt that everyone was so eager to help and assist me in my early days, which was a huge help and enabled me to feel settled at a much quicker pace. I also have felt a great sense of trust and belief from my management team, who have left me to complete multiple independent tasks with a large sense of encouragement and support every step of the way. This made me feel empowered and valued as a member of the workforce, which then motivated me to work as a member of the team to the highest level achievable. I feel as though my managers have not been waiting for me to fail throughout the process, but instead they have been equipping me with the knowledge and skills I need in order to pick myself up whenever failure does come my way, which in my eyes is one of the strongest support mechanisms there is.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I feel as though the Harrods School leaver programme has the perfect balance between training and shop floor experience. The valuable training sessions have all been thoroughly delivered in the most informative and concise way possible, helping us as delegates to gain the most out of these sessions and adapt the skills gained to shop floor experiences. The organisation of the programme I have found has mostly been to a high level, however some of the training sessions have been altered at times. The one criticism I would have is I have felt as though there has been a limited amount of communication from the learning and development department at times, more communication would make us feel valued to an even greater extent and could possibly aid our learning
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I feel as though in the initial early stages of the programme we had a large amount of support from the training provider, however as time has gone on support has been delivered to a reduced extent.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I feel as though I have received a large amount of support from Harrods from a range of different areas of the business. For example from my management team who have been a constant support mechanism to the HR department who have delivered high quality training sessions to help me feel as supported and valued as possible. I have also found that there are so many different areas that you can contact within the business in order to seek help and support for both personal and work related issues. This has made me feel very comfortable within the workplace, for example the people support, who are always on hand to give you advice and employment support at all times.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I feel as though my salary comfortably covers my day to day costs, whilst also providing me with a little extra money on the side to spend on non essentials and social activities.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have found that both Harrods and London as a whole have given me a large span of opportunities. For example the Harrods Christmas Ball, held at christmas allowed me to visit a beautiful hotel, whilst also mixing with a vast array of people from all over the business. The ball gave me the opportunity to meet and share experiences with new people. As a great lover of art I have loved the access to some of Britain's top galleries on my days off, the culture and experiences available within London has completely blown me away.
9. Would you recommend Harrods to a friend?
I have found that the School Leavers programme has really allowed me to use and develop my best assets and abilities to the greatest extent, something which I am unsure I would have been able to have achieved if I hadn't participated in this programme. It has become increasingly more evident to me that physical experience is the most valuable preparation for your career, and as a result this is why I have found the Harrods school leaver programme so rewarding, as I have gained such precious experience and life skills that I fear you are unlikely to encounter anywhere else.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Harrods?
My main piece of advice to people applying is to, be passionate about what you are talking about. Show Harrods that you have a burning desire to work for them and state all the reason why. I would also say that the more familiar you are with the store before applying the better, so ensure you research the business thoroughly. Finally have an open mind and be prepared to do anything and put your all into everything - the more you make yourself stand out the more you will be noticed!!
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