1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
On the retail academy, we spend the 18 months working in 3 different areas on the shop floor. Each placement lasts for 6 months. My first placement was in Womens fashion which I enjoyed very much. I learnt to clientelle and gain excellent communication with my team, customers and the buying office. During our 3 different placements, training sessions are then carried out for us where we have meetings with directors and inspiring people around the business. We also have a number of great workshops that we attend to help build our skills and make them better. At the end of each final placement we then produce a presentation and we are given a question and we have a time period when we perform our presentation to important people around the business. MY daily interactions are with my colleagues, buyers, GSMs and my managers. I am now in my second placement which is furniture, this is very different to fashion. I am being introduced to more exciting new areas of the business and dedicating my time to have great customer service. In furniture there is a lot more admin work then womenswear and its create to start having a lot more responsibility.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Skills that I have learnt is gaining the skill to clientele with customers and create relationships with customers as I am dedicating my time and providing a great service for my customers! Planning and performing help develop my confidence as it meant coming out of my comfort zone and talking to important individuals around the business. I have learnt how important it is to communicate with everyone around you to make sure that all of the jobs are accurately done. I have also learnt how to network around the business, and how important it is to do so.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy the teams that I have worked with. My fellow school leavers have been amazing and its great to have people around you that are doing the same thing as you. This is great to ask for advice. When I have worked in the different parts of the store I have really enjoyed meeting all the different people around the business and working with different characters. I love meeting for our training sessions, I enjoy coming away from the shop floor and learning something different that you don't learn on the shop floor and meeting amazing people who have inspiring stories is great!
4. How valued do you feel by Harrods?
We are lucky enough to have an amazing mentors that has helped guide us around the business and has really supported us through our challenges and our achievements. I feel valued by my managers and team as they really want us to excel and understand our passion to achieve and do well. They are always there to provide us with advice to help us to achieve where we want to go.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Our training is very structure as we receive our training schedule during the start of the new placement so that we are able to inform our managers. I book regular meetings with my mentor to catch up which is great as its lovely to tell her about my achievements.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Our training provider is excellent! She is very supportive and is always giving us helpful advice and when there is a problem she will guide and help us through. I have really enjoyed every training session that was provider and its a great idea to learn new things!
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My support that I have gotten from my management has been great! When there is a problem I am provided with helpful advice to improve and better myself. My management have always been eager to help us excel in our careers and giving us great advice to do so.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary/package is great! I live an hour and a half away so my train fare can be quiet expensive however i am able to live perfectly well. Also we get great commission aswell, which helps a lot! I am also able to socialise with my friends and easily be able to afford so. And treat myself with lovely things too.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Im not sure if there are many opportunities outside work, when i finished work i would go to the gym and socialise with friends and family.
9. Would you recommend Harrods to a friend?
Its a great first start to the retail world! This will lead to many great opportunities in the future.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Harrods?
The assessment days seem scary and daunting but don't be afraid to give it your all and just be you! You cant sell a great product without providing your personality. Most customers buy the products because of your great personality! And if the program is completed take every opportunity that you can get, its all a great for learning and networking around the business.
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