1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Serving customers and taking payments were the key responsibilities. I have also advised customers, assisted in locating requested goods, provided information on products, stacked and displayed merchandise, and ordered stock. Overall, I answered customer questions, collected payment for items sold, conducted in store promotion, notified customers of sales and special offers, placed orders for products, stocked shelves.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed a number of skills including teamwork and flexibility, stress management and politeness, being resilient and approachable, communication and arithmetic, being responsible and attentive, being self motivated and confident, being discrete and meticulous, following orders and resolving customer problems, following health and safety guidelines, working and standing for long hours.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have enjoyed programme very much as I was able to do tasks that I enjoy doing such as talking to customers, restocking shelves and rearranging displays. I have also enjoyed the programme as I was doing tasks that involved the paperwork, from interpreting a new marketing campaign to completing a stock take.
4. How valued do you feel by ASDA?
I felt quite valued by ASDA because I was given different kinds of responsibilities during my programme. The management team kept the lines of communication open, shared their vision for the future with employees, took the pulse of the organization by constantly listening and responding to what they hear so they can serve the needs of their people. Whether it's sharing quarterly financials or making strategic decisions, they were always listening and that made employees feel that they are valued by the company.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme was very well structured, each day I was given a number of different goals where I was working. I had an induction which was very useful as I was introduced to major concepts and company's vision and goals. I always received support from the designated person from my team looking after my personal career development. I was given hourly goals for completing various tasks as well as restocking shelves. I was rotated frequently to give me experience across the store.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I received a large amount of support from the training provider, I was constantly in communication with different members of staff in various departments. They were extremely willing to assist in resolving any problems or answering any queries I had. They gave me clear instructions and goals to meet in my workplace I was working in, which helped to constantly get motivation to get the tasks done.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The same could be said about for the employer, supervision team and senior members of staff as they were always willing to assist me with my daily tasks, especially in difficult situations where I was sometimes stuck or struggled. During difficult circumstances, I always knew the colleagues around me were willing to help and advise me. It was very nice to receive advise on how to perform in the role effectively and successfully from those members of staff who had been in the roles for a considerable amount of time.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary was quite good. I also got paid extra money for working overtime and on bank holidays. The package was quite reasonably competitive in comparison to other employers my relatives and friends have worked for, and therefore this was an excellent aspect of the programme. I have many friends on other apprenticeship schemes and programmes that receive half of my salary and they did not have job satisfaction that I have had.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Yes of course, there were plenty opportunities for me outside of the workplace. Firstly, I received a generous staff discount card with Asda, which was always very useful. Furthermore, the money which I managed to save up will potentially enable me to start up my own on-line store in the near future. I have learnt a lot of valuable lessons that will potentially steer me in the path to a successful future.
9. Would you recommend ASDA to a friend?
Unlike some other apprenticeships and programmes I have done some research into, you can truly get a lot of real life retail industry experience during the programme in Asda. Even if I do not end up working for Asda, you can add this experience to your CV, which can definitely help boost your chances of getting a job. Furthermore, during this programme I felt valued and respected by the employer and the training provider.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to ASDA?
During the interview and general assessment stage, you need to be confident and demonstrate several important skills. Ambition – you need to be able to be your own motivator and have a strong desire to do your best. Improvisation – you need to be able to demonstrate that you can think on your feet. Tenacity – you need to give examples showing that when you have a task, you give it your all. Confidence – you need to believe that you are capable of achieving your goals. If you’re a first-time applicant for sales/retail role, any kind of experience dealing with customers on a regular basis, even a Saturday job in a shop, could set you apart from other candidates.
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