1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am on a traing program called the Reatail Acadamy where I work 5 days a week mostly on the shop floor, as a sales associate in Harrods. My program is 18 months long, and is split in to 3 6 month placement where I work in different areas of the store. At the moment I am in my first placement wich is called Designer Collection. As well as working on the shop floor selling the goods I also have a few training sessions every week which consist of workshops that educate me on luxury retail and teach me skills that I can put in to practice on the shop floor and will hopefully increase my sales and understanding of the business.
A typical day for me would be to arrive at work and sign in 10 minutes before my shift starts. Then I would make my way to my department where there is always a 9:00 team brief consisting of one of my managers telling everyone about the sales targets we have for the day and weather we are in the clear of our deficit and if not how we are going to pull it back, as well as various other announcements. After this i will deal with any deliveries, cheek the flote of all the tills and tidy up as well as replenish the shop floor so everything is prepared for the shop to open. Then from 10:00 onwards I will spend the day assisting, advising and attending to customers. Each one I will be encouraging to increase the sale whilst baring in mind the customers best interest so that they leave with the most appropriate product for there needs. I may also have a training session that day which would mean I would leave the shop floor for a few hours. I work 9 hour shifts with an hour lunch break and another half and hour break. So on this particular day I would leave work at 5:30.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt so may new skills here I don't know where to begin. I knew almost nothing about luxury retail before I started, but the training I have recived here has taught me how to deal with and alter my treatment to a variety of customers, meaning I have also been taught how to identify these different types of customers. I have a strong understanding of the business and have been taugh lots of skills concerning how I should conduct my self whilst at work to maximise my opertunities here. I could go on forever because there are numerous skills I have learnt and developed and continue to carry on developing.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy the Reatail Acadamy program. It's defiantly tough work and was a slight shock to the system at the beginning beeing my first ever job, however I have now really setteled in to the swing of things. Although the hours are long and it can be extreamly exhausting, there is such a strong team of people here and with each other's support we all manage to get through it.
4. How valued do you feel by Harrods?
I feel very valued by Harrods. They have given me responsibilities that I have enjoyed like looking after different brands, and I now feel like an integral part of the team.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My program is defiantly very well organised and structured. Everything is clearly set out and I am informed as to what is expected me so there are very few misunderstandings. During each training session I will be given handouts to summarise what I have learnt so that I can easily recap and revise. I have also been given a learning log where I write notes on my progress and this then means when I get to my next placement I can show them what I already know so I'm not repeating things unnecessarily. I regularly book catch ups with my managers and the head of my program so they can see I am reaching the objectives they have set out for me with in the corect time frame.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I am constantly reassured that there support is there for me if I need it and at times when I have they have defiantly given it to me. This is from both my managers on the shop floor who make a point of coming to check up and chat to me everyday that I'm at work and also the head of my training program who I meet with regularly.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I think I may have answered this in the previous question. I receive lots of support from my employer
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
London is extreamly expensive so my living costs are quite hight. I manage to earn enough money to cover everything however I do have to make sure I am carful with my money and plan out what I'm going to spend it on. I work on commissions which defiantly motivates my sales so if I have had a good month selling I can allow my self to be slightly more extravagant with my spending.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are endless opertunities however like I said before I work long hours and that can become rather all consuming so I save my spare time outside of work for my social life and family.
9. Would you recommend Harrods to a friend?
It's a great alternative to uni and is for someone who is enthusiastic, tough and wants to get on with there life. Jumping straight in to a full time job can be tricky at times for an 18 year old who's majority of mates are partying at uni, however this program is suited to people that are driven, and for those people it can open up a whole array of opertunities
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Harrods?
I would advise people to just get involved with as many aspects of the program as they can, it all builds up experience which will put you in good stead
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