1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
No two days are the same but it can involve presenting data to stakeholders, negotiating costs, maintaining relationships with suppliers, administrative duties such as invoicing or loading promotions, communicating with internal stakeholders such as Supply Chain, attending internal and external meetings, trade planning, analysing customer data, project work and forecasting.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
All of my existing skills have been exercised in my role as I practice a wide range of them in my day job. This apprenticeship has faced me into situations I have never been in, therefore I had to adapt and quickly develop the new skills that were required of me in an office environment.
There are a wide range of free training courses that Tesco offers and my team always accommodate me taking time to attend them. It's been super helpful for upskilling in my development areas and it's a great opportunity to network too!
My apprenticeship course has also given me an in depth understanding of business theory which is all relate able to my role, however, the biggest gain I can take from it is my improved time management and prioritisation from having to juggle work, life and studying.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I can honestly say I love my job and the programme. The workload can be tricky to juggle sometimes but the support I receive from my team makes it more than manageable.
The culture at Tesco is fantastic and I have felt included since day one, despite my pre-conceptions when joining a corporate company with no experience. The scheme and the company have far exceeded my expectations.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The delivery of content from my tutor is strong and I regularly receive off the job learning hours which is a massive help for meeting deadlines.
I do however think the structure could be communicated better by Tesco. It seems there is a lack of clarity internally about apprenticeships and what's next once the scheme ends.
There are lots of training courses at our disposal, but some more suggestions around what we should be attending could be of benefit to future cohorts.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I feel very supported in my role as my manager and wider team are very accommodating with my study hours and helping upskill me where possible.
The general attitude in the wider business seems positive, but I do still feel there is a stigma surrounding apprenticeships and our level of capability. There is a noticeable pre-conception amongst graduate peers.
I have recently acquired a mentor which I hope will help me with my personal development. Mentoring is something Tesco promote and it's also a great opportunity to build a network outside of your cohort.
I do feel the support from HR could be improved upon and we have very little contact with them. We could also benefit from some knowledge around opportunities after the programme ends and how we can leverage them, in addition to transparency around pay expectations post completion.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
I receive 3.5 hours per week of 'off the job' time, in which I can use for training, upskilling, shadowing and the like so it's a fantastic opportunity that others don't get outside of their day job.
I also receive 3.5 hour a week of study time to write assignments. Tesco have been flexible and let me save this up to take 1 full day (7 hours) every fortnight in which I complete an assignment or spend doing research towards my qualification.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
It has given me a in depth understanding of business theory which has been applicable to my day to day life as well as my job, for example when faced with a difficult situation.
The theory itself has been useful for gaining a better understanding of business structures, which has particularly been useful when working with suppliers.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
We have team days and annual events such as IGD which are great for external networking.
There's also a gym which hosts classes aswell as full gym facilities.
Within my team we participate in charity events both internally and externally for the local community such as volunteering at a festival and supporting the elderly.
9a. Would you recommend Tesco to a friend?
Because of its amazing culture, opportunities to get on and because it's the biggest retailer in the UK - why would you want to join anywhere else?
The scale we have fascinates me and your job has the potential to impact thousands of households across the UK which I think is pretty cool!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Tesco?
Apply even if the idea terrifies you.
You'll meet some amazing people and be given opportunities you otherwise wouldn't get.
Be yourself, showcase your skills in your application and be honest about your motives for applying. The process may be lengthy and daunting but it's worth it!
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