1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I assist in the Operation of the department - there are multiple aspects to my role, I ensure that we are compliant with our day to day work, I ensure our processes & procedures comply with any regulations we are governed by, I review our procedures on an annual bases. I am the plan writer for the departs Business Continuity Plan. I deal with all relevant Risk Management and maintain relevant records i.e. Record Retention, Operational Loss. I also assist staff with system issues, provide relevant system access so advisors can perform their duties. I also work on projects that affect the department e.g. customer journey what processes & procedures will impact them and ourselves, if there are any system upgrades what effect that has on the department, live proving of any system upgrades ensure the changes do not impact the advisors in completing their duties. I work closely with our onshore & offshore team and I am the go to person for any queries not only for my department but also other business areas. At times I work with 3rd party providers as they are linked to our systems.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed quite a few of my existing skills which you don' really think about when doing your day to day role. I have learnt quite a bit on how to effectively communicate on a one to one bases or in a group, also engaging actively with stakeholders provide details on the bigger picture and consider the different challenges and that there is always more than one way of achieving your goal. I have learn some new skills in identifying the different types or teams and their roles within a team such as Belbin's Team structure. It has also made me think of what I would like to do at the end of the course & how I go about achieving this
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
How the program brings to light everything that I do in my day to day role, but have never actually really thought about it. I have learnt about the effective way of communicating, how to deal with different types of people/groups and collaboration. Also planning my day to day work more effectively which benefits not only me but the department/business.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I can not fault how this programme is organised & structured. I have a talent coach who is very knowledgeable and very approachable and feel that if there is anything I am not sure of I can discuss this with him, we have regular updates which enables me to discuss my assignments and make sure I an on the right track. The information provided to assist in completing the assignments is very clear and not over complicated.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer is very supportive, they are conscious that I am provided with the relevant off work time to complete any assignments. We have regular updates, they are more than happy to assist me in some of my assignments, they have provided information and processes as the requirements may not be part of my role i.e. Finance and budgets
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My talent coach is very supportive, we have regular meetings and he provides relevant information to assist me in working towards my qualification. I feel confident that I can discuss any of my assignments with him, anything that he is not sure of he will always find out for me. The feedback that he provides is constructive and relevant which helps for future assignments.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Due to the information that I have learnt from my qualification I have been able to use some of the learning in my role especially when compiling reports for our Management Team. I focus more on the requirements rather than overloading the report with any unnecessary data which assists management to pull the relevant information when require d
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.)
Work has extra curricular activities that I can get involved in if I require such as the Walking Club, Book Club, Cycling Club, our premises also has an in-house gym, but I am actively involved in community activities such as Netball, Hockey, parkrun, I interact with all types or professions from teachers to barristers, but I know who to contact in work if I wish to get involved in any activities.
9a. Would you recommend Marks & Spencer to a friend?
The people within the business are very friendly, we are much like a family, we are there to help and assist each other and our customers. There is plenty of opportunity within the business if you want to progress i.e. promotion, also there is opportunity for further education which the company actively promotes and supports the individual in achieving the desired qualification.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Marks & Spencer?
When applying to Marks & Spencer, be clear of your achievements of past that would benefit the company. Make sure you do not overload with any information you provide, you need to keep the person reading anything about you focused and key points that will be of benefit to the business. But most of all be yourself when applying to the company