1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am a sales associate but I take on extra, more senior responsibilities. On a day to day basis I serve customers and deal with high end clients. Being on the retail academy opens up the opportunity to take on further responsibilities and develop your skills in management if that is where you would like to progress. For example, I shadow my managers to learn on the job about team management.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Being able to experience three different departments means you get to work in three different teams. This has taught me how to flex my people skills in order to best suit the situation. I have also learnt a lot about time management and the importance of being organised. I have learnt a lot about how to be confident in challenging situations and how to remain composed. I have developed as a person and being on the programme has given me the opportunity to learn from others.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am constantly learning which I thrive off. There is a good balance of shop floor learning alongside workshop training sessions which I always enjoy attending. Being on the programme opens up the opportunity to network. By being a Retail Academy delegate I have got to meet a lot of senior management which is a really fantastic opportunity and always inspiring. I have experienced three different departments which has given me a well rounded experience and I have learnt from all the different challenges and opportunities which have faced me.
4. How valued do you feel by Harrods?
Being on the retail academy means we get to meet with senior management. This makes you feel like a valued member of the Harrods team. We are always encouraged to offer feedback and when doing so feel respected and appreciated.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is split into three placements and within these we receive a learning over view at the beginning covering all our learning throughout the placement. We often receive training packs for our training sessions which we can then file and use as refreshers from our sessions. We are encouraged to organise floor walks and catch ups with mentors in order to receive advice regarding your development.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
We meet our training provider on a regular basis for training sessions and are always encouraged to remain in contact and book catch ups in order to share our journey on the programme. By having a single training manager we always have a direct point of contact and this is very reliable. If we have questions or queries we are comfortable and confident in contacting our training provider in order to receive guidance.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Shop floor managers have a clear understanding of the Retail Academy. My managers are supportive of the fact I am off the shop floor to attend training sessions and encourage me to share my learning. Our training adviser and managers are in communication in order to make sure we are receiving the right support in order to achieve career goals.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is very competitive. As we are at apprentice level it is a strong salary. The store benefits are also competitive and make you feel appreciated as an employee.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
By being on the Retail Academy I feel prepared to, when ready, apply for other retail opportunities as I have experienced a range of departments from fast paced retail to high end luxury retail. I aspire to apply for the Harrods Management Program and retain my position within Harrods in order to develop my career.
9. Would you recommend Harrods to a friend?
It is a very diverse programme. You can develop an understanding for business by being right at the heart of it. You learn predominantly on the shop floor however, the balance with training sessions offers a varied approach to learning.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Harrods?
I would suggest recognising that as a retail academy delegate you are not expected to be experienced but to have the qualities of a Harrods employee. This means you must be committed to learning, passionate about your work and proud of your employer. You must be prepared to work hard and able to deal confidently and comfortably with customers and colleagues.
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