1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Customer Service Assistant. Receiving telephone calls, letters and emails from customers and outside companies requesting information about their accounts and the mis-sale of Payment Protection Insurance. Investigating complaints and responding to the complaint in full and in a timely manner.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learned the legal implications of taking minutes and developed my skills in this area. I am now able to show other members of my team how to set up a meeting, send out invites, receive acceptances to invites, set up an agenda, book a location, arrange for any necessary equipment and produce minutes of meetings that meet legal requirements.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoyed all of the research for guided discussions and all of the revision for the exams I had to take. I am fortunate that work allowed me to use work time to complete my NVQ. My team have been supportive in that whenever I have asked them for feedback as part of my NVQ they have provided it. My line manager and Section manager always allowed me to go for meetings with my tutor.
4. How valued do you feel by Marks & Spencer?
My line manager always tells me when I am doing a great job. My section manager emailed me to say congratulations on completing my NVQ. It is great to have the support of these two people. I like it when I receive thank you emails from colleagues around the business and when I am awarded At Our Best points so that I can spend them on vouchers. I am involved in organising meetings for my team and also training new starters to the team and guiding them through our processes.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My NVQ was very organised and structured. My tutor and I met up once a month, discussed what I needed to do before our next meeting. If I had any questions between meetings my tutor would always respond very quickly with instructions. If I needed to rearrange a meeting my tutor was fine with this. I am now a recognised buddy for new starters on my team and enjoy to teach them and help them whenever help is needed.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
As much as I needed. For each task that I had to complete I would send a copy of my research to my tutor and he would make recommendations of what examples I could give to elaborate on my responses. My tutor's attitude towards the NVQ and towards me was professional. If I was unsure of how to use systems for example, eportfolio, my tutor showed me how to use it.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Monetary value (bank paid for the NVQ) and as much time as I needed to revise, research and complete tasks. Line manager met up with my tutor on required occasions to update each other with how I was progressing. Line manager completed witness testimony as required. She always let me go to meetings with my tutor and booked time out with our resource team to allow me to be out of the office.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have had a look on career websites external to M&S Bank and I can see how my NVQ could help me to get Admin jobs elsewhere. We have community support days and everyone is encouraged to take one day to help a local charity. We also have a walking club, netball club, football club and choir practice.
9. Would you recommend Marks & Spencer to a friend?
M&S is a friendly place to work. The location of the building is a ten minute drive or bus journey to the town centre. The job that I do is interesting. The people I work with are hard-working but friendly. There are many opportunities to take a higher education qualification. The salary is good.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Marks & Spencer?
Be honest with yourself. Research the company and decide if it is the best place for you. Interviews are initially done over the phone and if that goes well, be prepared for a fact to face interview. If successful you will be in training for up to 6 weeks, Monday to Friday 9-5, so make sure that you are available to attend training. However, if you have childcare issues the bank can usually work around this for you.
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