1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
On the Harrods school leaver programme the day to day role is a sales associate role. In my first placement I have been given a brand to look after, so I spend a few hours a week monitoring the sales and organising stock, as well as contacting others in the business who share the brand. (This varies between departments, each person on the programme has different responsibilities) The rest of the time is spent on the shop floor helping customers, keeping the area up to a high standard and learning about the products. In our first placements, we have had at least 1 training session a week to do with selling, presentation skills, meeting business stakeholders etc, which give us a great insight in to the wider business, not just out departments.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed my time management skills greatly by organising my time between training, office and covering the shop floor. Dealing with new people everyday has helped with my people skills and interacting with people from all over the world. I have also had the opportunity to learn to use various computer programmes that are used in Harrods, which has been beneficial to me as my computer skills were poor before joining.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy the training side of the programme, we are offered the highest quality of training and endless support from various people throughout the business, especially our course leader. I have especially enjoyed training sessions on etiquette and leading the sale, both of which taught us how to appear more confident and strong in our roles. It's also great to be in a group with others in the same position and the same age. Sometimes the shopfloor work can be quiet and slow, but the training makes it worth while.
4. How valued do you feel by Harrods?
On the programme we have had many opportunities to meet people at various levels throughout the business, and I feel that each person we have met has cared about our progress, is open to feedback, and are happy to help with anything, which makes me feel as though we are valued and encouraged to reach our potential. There are many great incentives at Harrods and hard work is always recognised and rewarded.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very well organised, we are given our 6 month training plan at the beginning of each placement so that we are able to prepare and organise our rota around our sessions. There is a general focus area for each placement, for example the first one has been selling, however there are training sessions that branch out to other topics relevant to our jobs.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Our course leader is happy to help with any queries or issues that we may encounter via email, telephone or in person. We have regular catch ups to receive feedback and ask for advice on how to further ourselves on the shop floor. Our course leader has experience in our position and is familiar with any thing we may encounter on a daily basis.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My direct manager is currently working part time, so I have not had as much support as I would've appreciated as we do not always work the same shifts. But from others in my department I have received all the support I could've needed, there is always someone to help and answer any questions.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary outweighs costs for me personally as I live with family in London. However, for someone renting in London the salary may be a stretch by the end of the month.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Through Harrods there aren't many opportunities outside of work. Also due to working shifts it is difficult to find opportunities yourself as you won't have the same time off each week.
9a. Would you recommend Harrods to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
There are opportunties to progress in all areas of the business, and various training programmes to apply for after the school leaver programme. Also the support offered by colleagues, managers and directors is more than I could have ever expected.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Harrods? *
Be confident and eager to learn. This programme is built to teach young people about the world of retail and encourage the future talent to exceed their potential. For this, it's not necessary to have previous retail experience, just a drive to learn and a strong work ethic.
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