Matt Tighe, Graduate Management Trainee, Lidl
Job Graduate Management Trainee
Employer Lidl (Dublin and Kildare)
Education BSc Transport Operations and Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology (2008)
I've always wanted to work for a big company with a large transport operation. I was attracted by the fast pace of retail and I haven’t been disappointed – there's never a dull moment.
I applied for the graduate programme at Lidl through the company website. It consists of three six-month placements, the first of which is spent in-store. I'm currently completing my first placement and after an initial period spent shadowing a manager I'm now running my own store. My role includes overseeing productivity, ensuring that we meet our store targets and controlling the main inventory of stock. It's a lot of responsibility, but I have plenty of support. After this I'll spend six months in a warehouse and then my final placement in the logistics department in Head Office, Co. Kildare.
On top of my daily work I write three weekly training reports. The first is a retail report where I give my opinion on a media story, the second involves researching a designated topic and the third is a product report. They are all designed to develop my knowledge about the runnings of the store and they are extremely useful.
The transition from student to working life was a bit of a shock to the system initially, but I was looking forward to it. At college you have to rely on yourself for motivation, whereas I much prefer the tighter structure of work. It's incredibly satisfying to look back at what I've achieved at the end of the week – and the pay cheque's pretty good, too!
Tips for graduates
When you start your first job, be as open minded and willing to learn as you can. The more information you have from the start, the better you will be.