Eva Kelly, Acting Head of HR Services at Lidl Ireland

'I’ve developed throughout my career, but so too has the graduate programme. It is City and Guilds accredited and has won numerous awards. Ultimately, it’s all designed to help you reach your full potential'

undefined

Eva Kelly

Acting Head of HR Services

Lidl Ireland

I am from Glasnevin in Dublin. I did a BA in economics and sociology at UCD and then a master’s degree in sociology. It was the people aspect of my studies that I was interested in, so I went to Smurfit School of Business and did a master’s in human resources management, in 2015.

I went to a careers fair and was looking at all the stalls when I came across the one belonging to Lidl. The person I spoke to said it had a HR stream for its graduate programme and great development opportunities. They told me you get responsibility, are supported throughout, that I’d be challenged and would learn and develop and I just thought, that’s what I want. So I applied and was accepted.

I spent six months in stores and warehouses. As a graduate you get to learn the business from the ground up. It’s a unique way of approaching a programme and it also allows you to build relationships all over the business. The colleagues I met in my training, I’m still in daily contact with even years later today.

Lidl has more than 7,000 employees on the island of Ireland and my team is the point of contact for all of them in relation to HR services.

What I really liked about Lidl from the start was the culture. It’s fast-paced but values-driven and that’s important to me. As a graduate you have theoretical knowledge but in the grad programme you get training that builds all sorts of skills, from presentation to behavioural development.

I’ve been exceptionally fortunate in the number of opportunities I’ve had here. I’ve held various roles, working with regional teams and in head office. I’ve developed throughout my career, but so too has the graduate programme. It is City and Guilds accredited and has won numerous awards. Ultimately, it’s all designed to help you reach your full potential.

I want to progress. Working for a global retailer, the sky’s the limit as there are many international opportunities available to you. It’s a brilliant culture.

What I like best about the job is identifying high potential people and helping to develop them and supporting them in shaping their career with Lidl. It’s very much like coaching in football in that way, and extremely rewarding. At Lidl, you work hard but you get the rewards, whether it’s health insurance or 25 days holidays.

I have to say, I’m extremely biased towards the company. I’m pro-Lidl.

This interview first appeared in the Irish Times on July 18th 2023 - Why Lidl’s graduate programme is the fast-track to career success

Our top picks

Slide 1/5

INDUSTRY LEADERS

FEATURED EMPLOYERS

You might be interested in...

Thumbnail for #GradStories Karen Ni Bhriain, HR Graduate at ESB.

#GradStories Karen Ni Bhriain, HR Graduate at ESB.

Video

MORE EMPLOYERS

All employers