1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My job title is E-Commerce Channel Assistant in healthcare. My main role is making sure that salesplan runs smoothly and without fault. This includes builidng and updating the healthcare pages on boots.com, updating products on the website, price changes, image updates and sales overview. My day to day role also includes meetings with line managers, suppliers and other members of the team from different departments such as supply and trading.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
My apprenticeship allows me to gain a level 4 b-tec in leadership and management and also a NVQ level in business administration. I have also taken part in various internal training courses such as IBM training and Coremedia training. I have also learnt how to organise myself better in terms of time management as well as preparation for important meetings and presentations with various suppliers.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Initially I didn't enjoy my programme as it was overwhelming with too much information to take in. However as soon as I started to become more comfortable in the role and got used to my work I really started to enjoy it. I really enjoy how much responsibility I have within my role. The team I work in has also really helped me enjoy my apprenticeship as they were all kind and welcoming when I joined.
4. How valued do you feel by Boots?
I feel valued by Boots on the apprenticeship scheme, with my teamates all helping me feel valued. I beleive however our PDP isn't enough to keep us on our toes, with not enough being done to encourage good performance. For example, the 100% attendance reward has been axed. I believe more praise from higher praises, even if it is simply a 'well done' will go a long way.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The apprenticeship scheme has been very organised, with my induction programme by my team clearly highlighting what i have to do and what is expected of me. My induction also consisted of two months in Boots stores which really helped me see the end process of what is worked on in the head office where I work now. I believe my studying (one afternoon a weel) could be taught better, as being read to from a powerpoint each work gets boring very quickly.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I haven't got one specific training provider. My line manager, who sits next to me, is extremely helpful with on the job training and answers any questions I have whenever I ask them. I only see my college tutor once a week and she answers any questions I have for her then. However she is hard to contact outside these hours. The content of training is far more interesting on the job than at college.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My support from the company itself has been good. As I have previously mentioned, my line manager has been excellent. Boots have also offered me various training courses, I have been on multiple away days with my team and my apprenticeship cohort and I am satisfied with what they have offered me in terms of support. I have regular catch ups with my line manager and the woman who was in my role before me too.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I live with my parents so I don't have to worry too much about living costs. I live far away from my job and I end up using about £40 of petrol a week, so if Boots could help me out in that way that would make a massive difference. My daily costs are ok because the food at the head office is reasonably priced and my discount card can be used too. My wage is good for an appretice too.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are various events that take place at Boots. For example, at least once a week there is an event in the pavillion usually run by suppliers that give out free samples of their new product. There is the Benny day coming up in May which raises money for employees who need extra financial help and this day involves sports, food and animals.
9. Would you recommend Boots to a friend?
The opportunites to further your career via the apprenticeship scheme are clear to see. The apprenticeship itslef is highly looked upon and you get good qualifications out of it when you have finished as well. I like where I work too, as the building and equipment is up to date and modern. In addition, there are numerous apprenticship schemes from to choose from, not just the one or two.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Boots?
I would advise preparing answers to questions that the interviewer is most likely to ask. When haveing the telephone interview you can even have your notes in front of you ready. If you have to perfrom a presentation I would just simply say practise your speech until you have it near perfect. For the team project, I would advise not being too loud and conveying all your ideas as you would come across as too desperate to be noticed. However that doesn't mean stay too quiet either.
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