What's your name, company and job title?
My name is Lara Sutton, and I work with Tesco Ireland as a Marketing Insights Graduate. (Since this interview was completed Lara has moved onto another role, as Clubcard Executive with Tesco Ireland).
What are the main tasks you do in your job in a normal week?
On a weekly basis it would actually vary quite a bit. As I was in the marketing team I actually work with all the different teams on multiple projects;sales, pricing, promotion and forecasting so I link in with them initially to find out how the projects are going, what the next steps are and what's the plan for the next few weeks. I would then also be monitoring sales on a weekly basis. Since May I have been working as an executive on the Tesco Clubcard programme.
How did you get into your job?
I was always interested in retail. I did a Degree in Retail and Service Management at TUD which provided me with a great basis on the industry. Soon after this I talked to Tesco Ireland at the gradireland graduate careers fair. They told me about their graduate programme which sounded exciting a real challenge. The challenge was something I wanted because I felt so many graduate programmes put you in a corner and that's the corner you can end up getting stuck in. So I did an online application and then there was a video interview, at which point I was invited to a discovery assessment day at Tesco Clare Hall where I got to meet more people and it was just such a lovely environment. I was getting so excited at this point, then a few weeks later I'd heard I’d been successful and got the position.
How important was culture when deciding on a career?
The culture was a really important factor to me because I knew I wanted something that I would be comfortable with, because I'm a loyal person and I knew that if I find somewhere with the right culture, I'd be happy to be there for the longer term. If you show an interest, Tesco more than happy to move you around to different areas of the business.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
To be successful in my role I think one of the key skills is communication. There are 13,000 people in the business. Being able to communicate with them all and being able to communicate well is vital, especially as it's not unusual being in meetings and there's so many different people in it. As I'm on so many different projects as well from the marketing side, being able to be organised and prioritise is very important.
What advice would you give to a college student?
If I had to give my younger self a bit of advice I would say don't be so stressed about stuff. Just relax, things often happen for a reason. In terms of practical skills, I would say touch up on things like Excel. I would say strategic thinking and adaptability would be another great one to start developing because the retail industry is constantly changing and it’s great if you can put yourself it a position to adapt to change before it happens.